Artist Opportunity

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Important Links
  • PDF of entire Call for Art (including Appendix A) available here.
    • Call updated for one location 2/14/2024 available here.
  • Pre-application Google form available here.
  • Registration for January 9, 2024 Information Session available here.

Abolitionist & Underground Railroad Downtown Art Walk - City of Greenfield, Massachusetts
Release date: 12/19/2023
Due date for responses: 2/4/2024
Contact Information:, 413-772-1548 ext.4


The City of Greenfield, in collaboration with local educators and historians, has identified twelve sites historically significant to the abolitionist movement in Greenfield that are located in the downtown neighborhood, which is also a Mass Cultural Council Cultural District. The sites include former residences of abolitionists, potential locations of underground railroad activity, and the location of addresses given by nationally prominent figures like Frederick Douglass. The City will hire up to twelve artists/teams to paint murals on the sidewalks nearest each site in order to inform residents and visitors of the historical connection to the abolitionist movement that exists in downtown Greenfield. The art should be illustrative of the subject of each site but final design decisions will rest with the artists. Source photos of involved individuals will be provided whenever possible (see Appendix A). 


The City of Greenfield will provide a stipend of $1,000 for each mural painted on an approximately 48x48” section of sidewalk. Stipends are inclusive of the cost of art supplies selected by the artist/team and approved by the City. The City of Greenfield will provide low-slip, Americans-with-Disabilities-Act compliant paint to each artist//team at no cost (artists may use their own similar low-slip paint if approved by the City). If an artist is selected for multiple murals they will receive $1,000 for each work (e.g. $3,000 for 3 murals). The City will block off sections sidewalks and ensure that any permitting requirements are met before work begins.

The City of Greenfield will enter into grant agreements with individual artists and/or artist teams. 50% of the award amount will be paid upon signing the agreement and the remaining 50% paid upon completion and acceptance of the project by the City.


The call is open to any resident of the United States of America aged 18 years or older. Current or former residents of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Massachusetts artists familiar with Greenfield are strongly encouraged to apply. Artists and teams with experience in community arts, creative engagement, murals, and paintings are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate experience working with community-based organizations, BIPOC communities, and other segments of the population that are underrepresented in the public realm. Artists at all levels of experience – including individuals who are currently enrolled in school – are encouraged to apply.


See Appendix A for complete information on historic sites.


  • Pre-applications may be submitted in any of the following ways by February 4, 2024:
    1. Google Form
    2. Email responses to pre-application questions to
    3. Mail responses to pre-application questions to:
      • City of Greenfield Attn: Christian LaPlante 14 Court Square Greenfield, MA 01301
    4. Video recording of responses to pre-application questions or other methods approved by Making It Public Grant Administrator.
  • Pre-application Elements:
  1. Contact Information
    1. Name of artist(s) (If applying on behalf of a team, please list the full names of all team members)
    2. Mailing address of lead applicant
    3. Email address of lead applicant
    4. Phone number of lead applicant
  2. Artist Statement
    1. Please describe your interest in this project and its subject matter. Why are you interested in creating artwork at locations tied to the abolitionist movement in Greenfield? What would it mean to you to create artwork for this kind of project? See Appendix A for details of project sites. Preference will be given to artists that show a strong interest in the subject matter and commitment to the project.
  3. Portfolio
    1. Please provide one of the following
      1. link to artist website with examples of artworks,
      2. upload examples of artwork to Google Form,
      3. Printed copies of previous artworks mailed to the address listed above, OR
      4. email examples of artwork to Preference will be given to applicants whose portfolios indicate a strong ability to create attractive, painted artwork on sidewalk or concrete.
  4. Experience
    1. Do you have experience working with community-based organizations, BIPOC communities, and other segments of the population that are underrepresented in the public realm? Please describe your experience below. Experience does not necessarily have to be art-related. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate experience working with these populations.
  5. Timeline
    1. Are you able to meet the key dates listed in the call for art (final artwork completed by June 14, 2024)? Preference will be given to artists who indicate they can complete artwork by June 14, 2024.
  6. Accommodations
    1. Do you require any accommodations in order to complete the tasks outlined in this project and/or to meet the key dates? Please list them below. If not, please respond “n/a” to this section. No preference will be given to artists based on whether they do or do not require accommodations.
  7. References
    1. If available, provide names, phone numbers, and email addresses for two (2) references who will vouch for the applicant’s ability to meet deadlines, to understand complex information, to work within editorial constraints, and to modify artwork according to feedback. If you will not be providing references please reply "n/a" to this section. No preference will be given to artists based on availability of references.
  8. Capacity
    1. How many sidewalk murals do you have the capacity to design and create by June 14, 2024? Note: twelve sites have been identified to be part of the project and the city intends to select multiple artists/teams. No preference will be given to artists based on the number of murals they have the capacity to create.

December 19, 2023

Call for Artists Pre-application Release Date

January 9, 2024 at 6 p.m.

Call for Artists Information Session via Zoom. Attendance is not required in order to submit a pre-application. 

Register here:

January 12, 2024 at 4 p.m.

Question Submission Deadline. Send questions about the project to

January 19, 2024 at 4 p.m.

Responses to all questions received via email and during info sessions will be posted online by this date

February 4, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Pre-application Due Date

February 16, 2024

Notification of finalist selection on or before this date

February 26-29, 2024 Week

Information session for finalists on project background with local historians

March 31, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Artwork mockup due date

April 19, 2024

Awards announced on or before this date

May 3, 2024

Grant agreement signed on or before this date

June 14, 2024

Final artwork to be completed on or before this date


A review committee consisting of local historians, Cultural District Committee members, and Human Rights Commission members will evaluate the proposals received. Committee members will review submissions in accordance with the criteria listed below. The review committee may seek outside expertise, including, but not limited to, input from technical and subject matter advisors to assist in evaluating proposals.

Pre-application review criteria: Up to twelve finalists will be selected based on: interest in the subject matter via the artist statement; ability to create attractive, painted artwork on sidewalk or concrete; experience working with community-based organizations, BIPOC communities, and other segments of the population that are underrepresented in the public realm; ability to meet deadlines.

Final application review criteria: The finalists will receive a stipend of $100 in order to create a mockup of one piece of art for a listed location (see Appendix A). The finalists will rank the locations listed in Appendix A based on their preference and will be assigned their highest ranked location for their mockup if possible. The creation of a mockup does not guarantee an artist will be selected to create artwork.

Up to twelve artists/teams will then be selected to create artwork based on: a mockup that is a compelling representation of the chosen site’s historical context; a mockup that is of scale and detail that is suitable for an approximately 48x48” sidewalk square in downtown Greenfield and is ready for immediate creation. If fewer than twelve artists are selected, the remaining locations will be assigned using the original rankings, giving artists their top choices whenever possible. The City of Greenfield will enter into grant agreements with the selected artists to finalize a design for and create one to four murals each.


The City of Greenfield and grantee each reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, and otherwise use, and authorize others to use any artworks/deliverables developed under this agreement with attribution. Grantee retains all ownership and copyright of any ancillary materials developed under the Grant Agreement and will grant the City a royalty-free, nonexclusive, limited right to reproduce, publish, and otherwise use any such ancillary materials on a case-by-case basis with the written permission of Grantee.

Funding for this project was provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts. City of Greenfield staff participated in the Making It Public (MIP) for Massachusetts Municipalities public art training program which prepared staff to release a call for temporary public art. You can read more about the Making It Public program here.


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of sidewalk painting are you looking for?
The style of the artwork on the sidewalk is entirely up to you! For an example of sidewalk art in another municipality, see the public sidewalk art program in Raleigh, NC.
Are the sidewalk murals temporary or permanent? Are artists responsible for removal of the piece when the project is over?
The Making It Public grant which provided funding for this project is intended for temporary public art. The City of Greenfield plans for the sidewalk murals to naturally fade over time. However, an artist/team may request to maintain or update their mural at their own expense if desired.
Are the historical sites assigned on a random basis or do artists request which site they would like to paint?
The city will select up to twelve finalists who will then provide a list of their preferred sites in ranked order. The city will then randomly rank the artists and give each artist their top site (or a highly ranked site if top is already taken). Ideally this will mean each artist will be able to paint one of their top ~3 choices.
The project summary references ADA-compliant low-slip paint available from the city at no cost. What kind of paint it is? How many colors will be provided?
The city is currently planning to use porch and floor enamel paint which is used by the Raleigh, NC sidewalk art program. We plan on purchasing the same colors listed on their site. Artists may use their own variety of paint with approval of the city.
Are additional historical reference photos available or is it only what is contained in Appendix A?
There are likely more historical reference photos available through the Greenfield Historical Society for many of the sites. If available, we will try to provide those upon request to finalists.
Who is a member of the Making It Public Review Committee?

Greenfield Making it Public Review Committee

Voting Members:  
Lukas Martin History Department, Greenfield High School
Carol Aleman President, Historical Society of Greenfield
Mpress Bennu Chair, Greenfield Human Rights Commission
Caitlin Von Schmidt Chair, Greenfield Crossroads Cultural District Committee
Rachael Katz Member, Greenfield Crossroads Cultural District Committee
Grant Administrator (non-voting):  
Christian LaPlante Greenfield Community and Economic Development Department


Who is responsible for preparing the concrete surface?
The city is responsible for ensuring that the sidewalk is clean and ready to be painted on.
Is there a specific time frame artwork needs to be completed in?
Grant agreements are expected to be signed by May 3, 2024 and work completed by June 14, 2024. Painting can occur any time from May 3 to June 14. Artwork on narrower sections of sidewalk will need to be completed in a shorter time frame than wider sections of sidewalk as to cause less disruption to pedestrians.