Empowering the arts and cultural community is paramount to the strength and resilience of our community.—Karen Finn, Executive Director for the Springfield Cultural Partnership
The SPark! Project is a remarkable opportunity to create a museum without walls!—Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums
Request for Proposals: SPark! Igniting Our Community
Public art to be installed in Pynchon Plaza
For more information, please see SPark! (https://springfieldculture.org/spark/)
Application Deadline: February 21, 2021 at 2 pm
The Springfield Museums and Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) request proposals for public art installations in the Springfield Central Cultural District at the newly renovated Pynchon Plaza. The SPark! Igniting Our Community call is open to all artists, and special consideration will be given to installations that include Springfield artists, artists of color, LGBTQA+ and female artists.
Thanks to a combination of public and private monies—including a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program Grant and City of Springfield Community Development Block Grant—the Museums and the SCP will award and fund up to eight proposals for public art.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “Our newly renovated Pynchon Plaza is a jewel which helps to connect our downtown amenities with our world renowned and famous Dr. Seuss Museum, our beautiful Quadrangle and our wonderful Central Library. To have this space filled with public art for all to enjoy would be a terrific programing engagement addition to this public space. I am looking forward to seeing the different types of art which will be displayed for all to see.”
The project is designed to engage city artists, residents, community stakeholders, and cultural institutions to actively participate to re-imagine public art that celebrates Springfield’s citizens, culture, and historical legacies. Competitive proposals will be inspired by aspects of Springfield itself—including its historic and/or present-day people, cultures, places and landscapes, architecture, etc.—and can be literal or creative, interpretive representations.
“Empowering the arts and cultural community is paramount to the strength and resilience of our community,” said Karen Finn, Executive Director for the Springfield Cultural Partnership.
“The SPark! project is a remarkable opportunity to create a museum without walls that builds on the hopes and vision of our community in the heart of downtown Springfield,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums.
The eight potential installations include: Free Library Box; Pynchon Plaza Signs; Artful Seating; Utility Art; Fencing Art; Mosaic; 3D Pedestal Sculpture; and Sound Sculpture. More information on the application process can be found on the Springfield Cultural Partnership website, https://springfieldculture.org/spark/. Applications are due February 21, 2021 by 2 pm.
“Pynchon Park will become more than just an easy way to walk from downtown to the Springfield Museums, the Central Library, and the Armory. It will become a community space for solace, conversation, programming, and play surrounded by intriguing art,” said Simpson. “We are thrilled to co-create an Art Park that showcases the talents of artists from Springfield and beyond.”
ABOUT THE PROJECT/ GOALS & PURPOSE
SPark! Igniting Our Community is a two-year public art project to transform recently reopened Pynchon Plaza into a vibrant public space with innovative multi-media art installations created by local and national artists. The project is designed to engage city artists, residents, community stakeholders, and cultural institutions to actively participate to re-imagine public art that celebrates Springfield’s citizens, culture and historical legacies. Competitive proposals will be inspired by aspects of Springfield itself—including its historic and/or present-day people, cultures, places and landscapes, architecture, etc.,—and can be literal or creative, interpretive representations.
ABOUT THE PROJECT PARTNERS
The Springfield Museums, the SPark! grant recipient and fiscal agent for the project, is a nonprofit organization of five museums located in the heart of downtown Springfield, MA. The mission of the Springfield Museums—as the regional center for informal learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)—is to warmly welcome all visitors and spark their curiosity with art, science, history and all things Seuss. Formed in 1857, the Springfield Museums support the preservation and vibrancy of the evolving cultural heritage of Springfield. The Museum’s permanent collections and robust lineup of exhibitions, educational programs, and special events inspire, educate, and entertain 500,000 regional, national, and international visitors annually. Springfield city residents receive free admission.
Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP), the grant recipient serving as Project Director for SPark!, connects artists, institutions and audiences to create and celebrate Springfield. The SCP is a 501c3 founded in 2016 to serve all of Springfield, MA. A member based organization, the SCP includes a diverse mix of individuals and organizations all committed to supporting the vitality of thelocal cultural economy. The SCP oversees the MCC-designated Springfield Central Cultural District. The SCP’s mission is to foster civic engagement and arts education in the City of Springfield by creating and sustaining a vibrant cultural environment that authentically engages institutions, artists, and the community.
The City of Springfield Parks Division’s mission is to maintain and enhance Springfield’s parks and open spaces to provide safe and sustainable active and passive recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Pynchon Plaza is the property of the City of Springfield, and the Parks Division is responsible for its care and maintenance along with over 50 parks (2,500 acres), 160 traffic islands and terraces, and 55 miles of city sidewalks to ensure safe passage for school children and residents. The Division also conducts construction projects aimed at expanding and reclaiming parkland and open space to increase, diversify, and improve quality recreational programming and leisure activities. The Division is currently working on restoring four city parks, including Pynchon Plaza, in order to bring basic amenities like electrical services, green space, pedestrian pathways, wayfinding and seating.
This project is funding in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.