Artists At Play

Entry Deadline: 9/5/13
Application Closed


Media Images: 8

View Site Details

Short Description

A partnership of Center Art LLC, Seattle Center and Seattle Center Foundation is seeking an experienced, local Pacific Northwest artist/design team with energy and imagination to provide design and fabrication services for the Artists At Play (AAP) Project. The Project will help reinvent and enliven the former Fun Forest North site at the heart of the Seattle Center campus. The project site is a space of approximately three acres between the EMP Museum and the Armory, just south of Memorial Stadium. The artist/team may propose on all or a specific portion of the site. The total project design and construction budget is $800,000 including artist and/or designer fees, all materials, fabrication, installation, participation in community outreach taxes and any/all permits. One artist/team will be selected following a two-stage selection process this fall. While we encourage a team approach from the outset, we will also consider proposals from individual artists who, if shortlisted, will form a team prior to interviews. We seek to begin design and community outreach in fall 2013 and complete construction in 2014. The application deadline is 11pm PDT, Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

Project Highlights include:

• Privately funded project by Center Art LLC
• $800k total project design and construction budget
• Project will enjoy a high visibility site at the heart of the Seattle Center campus
• Site Prep work and associated costs will be the responsibility of Seattle Center
• Project will be open to the public, year-round in all seasons, free of charge
• A long-term installation with a dedicated maintenance fund


The Artists At Play Project is a unique opportunity for experienced artists/teams to show their imagination and creativity in designing and building a play area for kids that will be a welcome new addition to the Seattle Center campus in 2014.

Seattle Center serves as an extraordinary arts, civic and family gathering place in the core of our region. The more than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations residing on the 74-acre campus, together with a broad range of public and community programs, offer nearly 5,000 events which attract 12 million visitors each year. Seattle Center‘s purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.15 billion in business activity and $387 million in labor income.

One of the newest facilities at Seattle Center is Chihuly Garden and Glass, developed in response to a 2010 Request for Proposals issued by Seattle Center. As a public benefit component of their proposal, the owners at Center Art LLC - the management team for Chihuly Garden and Glass - pledged funding for Artists At Play, an artist/design team effort to create an innovative and imaginative play area that would appeal to both children and adults.

An Artists At Play (AAP) Advisory Group was formed in May 2013 with representatives from Seattle Center, Center Art LLC, the Seattle Center Foundation, Seattle Center Advisory Commission and the city’s Office of Arts & Culture to realize the development of this project at Seattle Center in accordance with the 2011 Lease Agreement between the City of Seattle and Center Art LLC. The purpose of the AAP Advisory Group was to provide input on the framing and development of project guidelines and the artist/design team selection process. The AAP Guidelines were finalized in June 2013 and are included in the Background Resources attachment to this call.


This call is open to experienced public realm artists and/or designers living in the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, ID, and AK). The artist can be in the lead or part of a full design team; in either case, a complete team must be identified as part of the shortlist/interview process and fully assembled prior to issuance of a contract and start of design work. Applicants must be over 18 years old and interested in working collaboratively in public settings. Preference will be given to artists/teams with broad skills in community engagement. At least one team member must hold current National Playground Safety Institute Certification for Playground Safety Inspectors and be familiar with National ASTM Playground Standards as set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

Scope and Goals

The project site is a space of approximately three acres at the heart of the Seattle Center campus between the EMP Museum and the Armory, just south of Memorial Stadium. The artist/team may propose on all or a specific portion of the site. The project entails creating a large and engaging, artfully designed play space for three to nine year olds and their families. The play area will be free and open to the public at all times of the year. The selected artist/team is encouraged to consider different options for materials and approaches to the art/work.

The artist/team will lead community engagement starting early in the design process. This is an important part of the design process and we welcome creative approaches to engaging users of all ages and cultures. Finalists for the project will be asked to provide a robust community engagement plan that will include at least two public meetings or community forums.

Over the course of project design and fabrication, the selected artist/team will present their initial and final designs to the partnership group and upon their final approval, the artist/team will install their work at the Seattle Center campus in spring/summer 2014. The final project must comply with all Seattle Center campus guidelines and local regulations including: AAP Project Guidelines, Century 21 Design Guidelines and Public Art Guidelines, Seattle Center Site Standards and Campus Rules and all applicable and required certifications and permits, including ASTM Play Equipment Standards.

Project Goals for Artists at Play

• Offer a free and accessible play area for kids with family-friendly amenities
• Recognize a unique siting opportunity to create something special
• Fully integrate with the site and the larger Seattle Center campus
• Engage KIDS of all abilities and meet the needs of a wide spectrum of users
• Demonstrate a vibrant creative concept integrating art, not your typical playground
• Serve as a dynamic, activating agent for Seattle Center campus that is visually stunning
• Have lasting impact as a long-term installation with a dedicated maintenance fund
• Follow best practices for design, public art and sustainable design
• Align with the spirit of the AAP Proposal and the Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan

Proposed Schedule

August 6 Art Call released
Sept 4 Submittal Deadline
Late Sept Phase I Review – Shortlist 3-5 artists/teams to submit full proposals w/stipends
Late Oct Phase 2 Review – Finalist presentations/interviews
November Winning Team announced, Contract Issued, Design work begins
1st-3rd Q Fabrication and Installation
4th Q Project Opening


Center Art LLC is generously providing $1 million total towards the realization of this project, of which 80% will be allocated to the design and implementation of the play area; the balance will cover selection costs (including proposal stipends), administration, site management and contingency. Seattle Center will be providing all work and associated costs for site preparation.

The total budget for the design and implementation of the project is $800,000. This is inclusive of all artist/design fees, permitting, materials, fabrication, installation and community outreach costs and taxes. In the contract, payments will be divided roughly as follows: 10% for concept design and community engagement, 10% for design development and construction documents and 80% for fabrication and installation. Specific deliverables and payment schedules will be outlined in the agreements.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit an online application using CaFE by 11pm PDT on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. Applications should include a Statement of Interest from the Artist or Team, a brief, written Preliminary Concept or Vision and relevant Samples of Work. A complete list of application materials is included at the end of this document. CaFE system instructions are attached at the end and available at the following link:

If you are applying using CaFE for the first time, we suggest applying well in advance of the application deadline to allow for ample time to format and identify your images and upload all required application materials. Once you complete your online application, you will receive an email from CaFE confirming the receipt of your application. Please note that if you do not receive this confirmation letter, we have not received your submission.

Background Information and Resources

See the attachment included above under ‘View Site Details’ for useful background information to help familiarize you with the site and the most relevant context documents. These include:

• AAP Site Plan and Seattle Center Campus Map
• AAP Project Guidelines (June 2013)

In addition, the following resources are available online:
• Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan (2008)

• Seattle Center Century 21 Design Guidelines and Public Art Guidelines (2009)

• National CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook and ASTM Standards (revised 2010)

Selection Criteria

The successful artist/team will be selected based on the following considerations:
• Present a compelling and creative concept proposal
• Keep function primary, kids should love it
• Provide multiple access points and ways to engage
• Have a proven track record of successful experience with projects of this scale
• Demonstrate ability to transform the site in an imaginative way
• Focus on promoting interaction from a child’s perspective
• Advance a successful design that works for a variety of age groups and skills
• Commit to meaningful and broad-based community engagement
• Show skill and comfort working in a team environment - architects, engineers, maintenance staff, donors and kids
• Consider adjacencies in location of play structure and available amenities
• Be innovative, with insight into non-traditional design and construction methods
• Give evidence of feasibility - likely to be completed within the budget and project timeline
• Show care with overall completeness and quality of submittal
• Hold public safety in mind – adhere to all applicable Federal, State, and Local guidelines
• Include at least one team member who holds current National Playground Safety Institute Certification for Playground Safety Inspectors


The successful artist/team should understand the intended audience for the Project and aim to:
• Entice and engage all youth, focusing on the three to nine year old age bracket
• Provide play opportunities that are accessible and intuitive
• Incorporate family friendly amenities - consider full range of needs for parents and families
• Cater to both local neighborhoods and international visitors – think broadly about users

Selection Process

The selection process will take place in two phases.

In Phase I, the panel will review submitted qualifications and a brief, written preliminary concept and select a shortlist of three to five artists/teams with the most merit and promise. In Phase II, shortlisted artists/teams will each receive a stipend of $5,000 to create and present a more complete proposal with scope, schedule, budget, and team members identified. A draft project contract will be shared with all shortlisted candidates at that time to ensure they can comply with all terms and conditions to realize a successful project.

The Artists At Play selection panel will be composed of several AAP Advisory Group members and local arts professionals, the Director of Seattle Center and the Director of Chihuly Garden and Glass. The donor will have final approval over selection.

Our goal is for a diversity of viewpoints, disciplines and cultures to be reflected in the makeup of the selection team. Staff will serve as advisors to the Panel, providing background and contextual information, as needed. The selection panel will convene over the course of two separate days, in two phases. The purpose of the Panel will be to:

1. Advise and make recommendations to shortlist three to five artist/team finalists based on submitted qualifications.

2. Conduct interviews, review detailed proposals and make recommendations for a selected artist/team.

Selection Panel

• Michelle Bufano – Executive Director, Chihuly Garden and Glass
• Mark Dederer -VP, Wells Fargo Community Affairs Program and Seattle Center Advisory Commission
• Graham Graham - Arts Consultant
• Sandra Jackson-Dumont - Deputy Director for Education & Public Programs/Adjunct Curator, Seattle Art Museum
• Tina LaPadula - Education Director, Arts Corps
• Donna Moodie - Owner, Marjorie Restaurant and Seattle Center Advisory Commission
• Robert Nellams - Director, Seattle Center, City of Seattle
• Korynne Wright - Board Member, Center Art LLC and Space Needle Corp.

Notification of Results

Applicants will be notified of the Panel’s Phase I decisions by email in late September.

Following the first phase of reviews, a shortlist of three to five finalists will be notified and awarded a stipend of $5,000 each to prepare a more complete proposal to be submitted in advance and presented during in-person interviews with the Selection Panel in late October during Phase II. The selected artist/team will be notified by email and phone in late October and will be announced to the public in November.

The AAP Advisory Group and donor reserve the right not to select any of the applicants.

Questions and Contacts

For questions about the project or the selection process, please contact:

Getting Help

1. Attend the Q&A Workshop for the AAP Call – AAP Partner Staff will walk through each step of the CaFE application process. Please bring your materials on your own computer, a flash drive, CD or as a hard copy. The workshop will be held on:

Tuesday, August 20, 6-8pm at
Seattle Center, Next 50 Pavilion
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109

2. Read the Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan, Design Guidelines and Public Art Guidelines.
3. Read the CAFÉ online application instructions.
4. Contact CaFE for technical assistance, if necessary:

Legal and Liability Requirements

A three-way partnership of Seattle Center Foundation (SCF), Seattle Center and Center Art LLC will be managing the Call and SCF will be the entity administering project funding. Seattle Center will be the host site. Project team members who receive funding will be asked to carry commercial general liability insurance.

Business License is Required

Project team members awarded funding must also have a current Seattle business license and a Washington State Unified Business Identification (UBI) number prior to receiving payment (NOTE: the license and UBI numbers are not required for application). Total expense for the license and UBI number will not exceed $150. For further information on Seattle business licenses, and to receive an application form, please call the Seattle Revenue and Consumer Affairs Division at 206-684-8484 or visit the Web site at . For further information on obtaining a Washington UBI, contact the Washington State Department of Revenue at 800-647-7706 or .

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law ensuring access to services and facilities for the differently-abled. Seattle Center as a public place respects the needs of people with differing abilities and seeks to make available to applicants, participants, and all interested persons information regarding the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act and its applicability to the proposed activities. For information about public meetings, site accessibility, and auxiliary aids, please contact Seattle Center Customer Service at 206-684-7171 (voice), or 800-833-6385 (TDD Relay). This agency complies with all federal, state and local laws that prohibit discrimination in employment and services.

Respect for Diverse Cultures

Seattle Center and Seattle Center Foundation respect and seek to achieve cultural and aesthetic diversity in their programs and administration through:
• Ensuring culturally diverse representation in decision making through attention to cultural diversity in panel selection and hiring of staff.
• Developing policies, documents, and procedures that remove barriers to participation.
• Identifying ongoing needs and opportunities within the arts for involving diverse cultures and underserved audiences and artists.

Application Materials

The application deadline is 11pm PDT, Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

Apply online only through the CaFE link for the AAP Project:

Please make sure to upload ALL of the following REQUIRED MATERIALS. Your CaFE application should consist of:

1. Statement of Interest – Why Me/Why Us (2000 character limit) - brief artist/team statement of what is personally compelling to you about this project
2. Preliminary Concept or Vision – describing initial ideas and concepts for art/design work, including suggested methods and materials and early thoughts about site(s). (2000 character limit, plus one image (image optional, if you would like to include please make this image #1 of your 8 required))
3. Resume/CV – 2 pages max
4. Eight (8) Sample Images of past artworks/projects with Identification List – Include artwork/project title, year installed, media, dimensions and brief description. (No more and no less than 8 images and list should be brief - 500 characters or less. CaFE image format instructions can be found under “Image Prep”.)
5. References – Include names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for at least three people who can speak to the quality of your work and ability to work with a variety of people.
6. Location - What is your Place of Residence within the Pacific NW?

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