IMPORTANT! Due to the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) events on this site may be postponed or canceled.CLICK HERE for More Details.

Artist-in-Residence Sought for Purple Line Rapid Transit

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Artist-in-Residence Sought for Purple Line Rapid Transit




The Arts Council of Indianapolis, in partnership with Transit Drives Indy, is requesting qualifications from artists or artist teams who are interested in aesthetically engaging community members to help plan a major new public transit line.   The resident artist will receive $10,000 for approximately six months of part-time engagement. A budget for transportation, materials, supplies, and equipment will be provided separate from the residency fee.

Deadline for Submissions:  Monday, November 27, 2017  5:00 p.m. (this is NOT a postmark deadline!)

Informational Workshop (optional)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the East 38th St. branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 5420 E. 38th St, Indianapolis, IN  47218.  A light dinner will be provided.  RSVP to Lindsey Lord, or (317) 631-3301 x214.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a resident of the United States; applicants living outside of central Indiana must be willing to relocate to Indianapolis for the duration of the residency (January-July, 2018)
  • Work professionally in a visual, performing (theater, dance, music, storytelling, etc.), literary, media (sound/film/video), or social/civic-practice discipline
  • Have previously engaged in community-based art projects, arts in public places, asset-based community development, or socially-engaged art
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict timeline

Artists living, working, or with professional experience in any of the communities along the planned Purple Line corridor are encouraged to apply.

Project Context

Indianapolis, Indiana is a new member of Transportation for America’s (T4A) Cultural Corridor Consortium.  T4A believes that incorporating participatory artistic and cultural practice into the planning of transportation projects results in transit that better serves communities (particularly those containing low-income, culturally-specific, immigrant, or otherwise traditionally disinvested residents) and reflects hyper-local culture and values.  IndyGo, Indianapolis’ public transit agency, agrees and is taking steps to creatively collaborate with artists on upcoming transit projects.

The community-based transit advocacy group Transit Drives Indy and the Arts Council of Indianapolis have partnered on a long-term initiative, 3CIndy, to assist IndyGo in infusing arts and culture into the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan. Funding for this initiative is provided courtesy of T4A and other community stakeholders.

The Purple Line Rapid Transit project is one component of the larger Marion County Transit Plan, which proposes significant transit improvements system-wide.  This frequent, fast, and reliable bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor is a core operational component of an efficient and connected grid of routes.  The Transit Plan, which when fully implemented will be a total 70% increase in transit service, also includes significant upgrades to Indy’s local transit service and rapid lines. Current and future riders will see improvements to some local routes starting in mid-2018.

The 14.6-mile Purple Line will connect downtown Indianapolis to the City of Lawrence along N. Meridian St. and E. 38th St., and will serve to upgrade the current Route 39 (the system’s most heavily traveled route) with additional stops on Post Rd.   Battery-powered electric buses will arrive every 10-12 minutes along the Purple Line’s 23 stations, with level boarding, real-time arrival information, bus-only lanes throughout much of the route, and 60-foot long vehicles that can accommodate bicycles inside the bus. When completed, the Purple Line will support the creation of nearly 1,600 job-years in a variety of industries.

The Purple Line corridor serves a rich diversity of Indianapolis’ neighborhoods, from historic residential districts to modern industrialized zones, and from urban to suburban contexts.  There are several concentrations of disadvantaged households along the corridor:  the ½-mile area around the line has 30% of its residents living below the poverty line, and about 61% are persons of color.  The corridor contains some of the highest concentrations of transit-dependent residents of any in Central Indiana.

Stakeholders along the Purple Line include Ivy Tech Community College, the Indiana State Fair, IU Health, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, The Children’s Museum, and Fort Benjamin Harrison among others.  Neighborhoods served by the Purple Line include Crown Hill, Arlington Woods, Mapleton-Fall Creek, North Meridian, Meridian Park, the Meadows, Forest Manor, and Devington as well as the Far Eastside and the City of Lawrence.

Residency Description

The selected artist will be embedded within IndyGo and will work with IndyGo to foster the engagement of Purple Line communities with transit planners.

The artist will use arts-based strategies to embrace and include neighbors and businesses in the design process, inspire meaningful community dialogue, and connect people to each other. Through creative interventions, the artist will help Purple Line communities imagine and communicate a future where their needs and preferences are met through transit connectivity:  a strategy that is proven to improve the quality of life for all.

The artist’s activity during the residency could include one or more of the following:

  • Use artistic interventions to increase community understanding of the Purple Line’s goals and activities, including potential impacts of construction;
  • Facilitate re-imagination of community space that could be realized through Purple Line implementation;
  • Create an artistic work or event with the community that highlights the community and its culture;
  • Source input from the community in an aesthetic way to inform Purple Line routing, station design, infrastructure improvements, construction impact mitigation, and desired neighborhood benefits from transit connectivity; or
  •  Another activity of the artist’s choice or innovation that ensures community engagement is incorporated into Purple Line planning and design work

The above are merely suggestions for residency approaches, not prescriptions.  It is not expected that the artist will come into the residency knowing the exact approach s/he will take:  increased familiarity with the Purple Line and the communities along it will likely drive the nature of the residency activities.

The development of a stand-alone creative “product” through this engagement is welcome, but not required. It is hoped that the process of engagement will result in community-vetted ideas for continued neighborhood improvement through the arts and plans for the intersection of arts and transit.  These ideas may be able to be addressed and funded through other means, if they are unable to be realized through the residency activities.

Compensation and Project Budget

The selected artist will receive a fee of $10,000 and will work for a period of six months. An average time commitment of 12 hours a week will be required; this will vary with fewer or more hours each week according to the Purple Line outreach plan and the project activities as they develop. Approximately $2,000 is available for transportation, materials, supplies, and equipment needed for community engagement activities or artistic projects:  the exact amount will be negotiated with project organizers as the residency progresses. A group or team of artists submitting together for the residency on one application is considered a single applicant and, if selected, will receive one fee.


Selection Process

Artists may indicate their interest in the project by submitting their professional information and project history according to the requirements listed in this Request for Qualifications.  No designs or engagement plans are required as part of the artist’s application materials!

Submitted information will be reviewed by a selection panel, consisting of representatives from selected Purple Line stakeholders, from the Transit Drives Indy coalition, from IndyGo, and from the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Public Art Selection Committee.   These are all prominent experts in their respective fields and include artists, arts advocates, curators, administrators, and other arts and community development specialists.

Selection Criteria

One resident artist will be identified, based upon the following criteria:

Artistic quality:  artist’s submission displays a record of appropriate, yet innovative, concepts brought to a site or project, and documents creative and stylistically distinctive solutions to challenges similar to those to be encountered in this project

Aesthetic sensibility:  artist’s work and working method displays an approach and aesthetic that would be desirable for this project

Technical ability:  artist’s submission indicates skill with theories, practices, and techniques similar to those that would be required for this project

Experience:  artist’s submission indicates a strong social justice orientation and a history of successfully working collaboratively on projects that unite people from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds

Process:  artist’s submission indicate that the working relationship will be pleasant and the completed project will successfully meet the challenges particular to the overall initiative, including financial management and documentation of project activities

Project Timeline

This timeline represents the project as it now appears.  Changes may be necessary as the project progresses.

  • October 11, 2017 – Release Request for Qualifications
  • November 1, 2017 – Optional information workshop:  East 38th St. branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 5420 E. 38th St, Indianapolis, IN  47218, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  A light dinner will be provided.  RSVP to Lindsey Lord, or (317) 631-3301 x214.
  • November 27, 2017 – Artist qualification packages due to the Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Week of December 4, 2017 – Artist submissions reviewed (artists may be requested to come in for a personal interview)
  • By December 31, 2017 – Selected artist notified and contracted
  • January 1, 2018 (approximately) – Residency begins
  • July 31, 2018 – Residency ends
  • 2019-20 – Purple Line construction
  • Late 2020/early 2021 – Purple Line opens

Submission Process

Artists must submit the following information digitally:

Applicant Information: Complete the form on page 8 of this RFQ and submit in .doc, .docx or .pdf format.  An editable copy is available on request, or use copy/paste to reproduce the form.

Professional Resume or CV: No longer than 3 typed pages.  Submit in .doc, .docx or .pdf format.  If more than one artist will be involved in the residency, provide resumes for each proposed artist.  If the applicant is an arts organization or formal group of affiliated artists, provide a brief (less than one page) summary of the organization/group’s history and programs plus the resume(s) of the creative individual(s) who will perform the residency activities.  These individuals must be identified at the time of application and must remain engaged with the project through completion.  Please do not direct us to a website to obtain resume information.

Samples of Previous Work: List and Images

  • Work Samples  (maximum 10 files including alternate views or details of the same artwork)
    • Submitted samples must represent the work of the individual artist(s) who will perform the residency activities.
    • Submit documentation of projects that best represent the artist’s experience, style, and ability as they apply to this initiative. Examples of artwork and projects from the past five years are preferred.
    • Artists may also submit documentation of any other work that best represents their style and production over the past 5 years.
    • Submitted images must be digital files in JPEG format, minimum size 3” x 5” and minimum resolution of 150 dpi. Do not submit your images embedded in a document!  Please try to limit image file sizes to 2MB or less.
    • You may submit digital audio or video files, links to online audio/video files at third-party sites such as Soundcloud, YouTube, or Vimeo, or links to embedded audio or video on your own website. Audio clips and videos should be 3 minutes or less. Links to online videos should be live (see below under “Previous Project List” for details on how to submit links).
    • Name your submitted digital files according to the following format: FirstLast_01.jpg, FirstLast_02.jpg, etc.  (EXAMPLE:  JaneSmith_01.jpg, JaneSmith_02.jpg, etc.)  If some images are alternate views or details of the same artwork or project, number and submit them sequentially with the overall view first, followed by alternate views and then detail images.
  • Previous Project List (typed and provided digitally in .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx or .pdf format)
    • Make sure your name and contact information appears at the top of the list.
    • The project list should provide as much information about each of the submitted work samples as possible.  Include at minimum (in this order) the name/title of piece/project, client if applicable, location, medium, process, dimensions, year completed, budget and final cost, and a description of the concept, situation, purpose, or site/community context (as applicable) along with how you successfully addressed it using artistic strategies. There is no space limit for this information. Please do not direct us to a website or online project description.
    • Organize the list numerically according to the names of the files, starting with the one you identified as 01.
    • Links to online audio and video files should be included in the project description and be “live” (i.e., clickable).  If you are not sure how to create a live link, contact the Arts Council public art department at Links should lead directly to the audio/video sample rather than to a page containing multiple samples or clips:  it should be obvious which project is being referred to.

All images, sound clips, and videos should be of excellent quality. If you need a referral to a professional photographer who specializes in working with artists, please visit the Arts Council’s Artist Resources page for options or e-mail

Delivery of Submissions

All submissions must be received at the Arts Council before 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, November 27, 2017.

Submissions may be delivered electronically via file transfer link (Dropbox, Box, Hightail, WeTransfer, or similar), or burned to a CD and either mailed or hand-delivered. Due to an inability to accept large attachments, we will not accept emailed submissions.  We will not accept directions to a website in lieu of a formal application as outlined above. Submissions time-stamped after 5:00 p.m. on November 27 will not be accepted.

CDs may be delivered or mailed to:

Arts Council of Indianapolis
Attn: Purple Line Artist Residency
924 N. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-1021

File transfer links must be sent to

QUESTIONS?  Contact Julia Moore, Director of Public Art, Arts Council of Indianapolis, or (317) 531-3301 x240

For more information about the Arts Council of Indianapolis, visit

For more information about Transit Drives Indy, visit


The Arts Council of Indianapolis is committed to working with the arts and cultural community to cultivate a sector that serves, celebrates, and values every resident of Indianapolis. We envision a city where engagement in the arts is not pre-determined by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. We see a robust and successful arts and cultural community as:

A city where all artists, creative workers, audiences, and students have full access to the robust creative arts resources of our community and in which their varied histories, voices, and life experiences are honored.
A city where equitable access to arts funding and programs for all arts organizations and artists is expected and delivered.
A city where such funding and programs unite arts organizations and artists with diverse populations in our community to nurture a community where every resident sees themselves as belonging, learning, and participating in the arts sector.
We believe these closely held tenets will sustain a full creative life for all.


Purple Line Artist-in-Residence

Applicant Artist Information Form

Please limit the information provided on this form to one typed page.


Artist Name:

Mailing Address:             City/State/ZIP:

Day or Mobile Phone:            Evening or Home Phone:

Email Address:            Website (if applicable):          Twitter handle (if applicable):

Facebook or Instagram page (if applicable):


Do you have a personal or professional connection to, or prior experience with, Transit Drives Indy, the Marion County Transit Plan, IndyGo, or any locations, spaces, stakeholders, or neighborhoods along the planned Purple Line corridor? If so, please explain.


How do you see this project fitting in with your past work, artistic interests, and experience?


Based on the limited information provided in this RFQ, how would you approach this project? (note:  do not submit any artwork designs or engagement plans at this time!)


Demographic information

(all questions are optional; if the applicant is a group, please mark as many as apply to the artists who will be participating in the project)


How do you describe your preferred gender identification?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Gender Variant/Non-conforming
  • Other not mentioned above


Which of the following categories describe(s) you? (check as many as may apply)

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African American
  • Native American or American Indian
  • Asian
  • Pacific Islander
  • White or Caucasian
  • Other


What is your age?

  • 18-29 years old
  • 30-49 years old
  • 50-64 years old
  • 65 years and over


Do you identify as a person with a physical or mental disability?

  • Yes
  • No


Are you a veteran of any branch of the U.S. military?

  • Yes
  • No




Artsopolis Network Members: Akron OH | Austin TX | Bainbridge Island WA | Birmingham AL | Boston MA | Cape Cod MA | Cincinnati OH | Cleveland OH | Colorado Springs CO | Columbia SC | DuPage County IL | Durham NC | Essex County MA | Flagstaff AZ | Flint MI | Fort Lauderdale FL | Indianapolis IN | Kalamazoo MI | Kansas City MO | KeepMovingOKC | Macon GA | Main Line Area PA | Marin County CA | Marquette County MI | Mendocino County CA | Middlesex County NJ | Milwaukee WI | Montgomery County MD | Napa Valley CA | Nashville TN | Niagara County NY | Oklahoma City OK | Orange County CA | Orlando FL | Ottawa IL | Panama City FL | Pittsburgh PA | Providence RI | Quito, Ecuador | Richardson TX | Sacramento CA | San Antonio TX | St. Cloud MN | St. Croix Valley MN/WI | St. Johns County FL | Stillwater MN | Tallahassee FL | Tampa Bay FL | Utah | Ventura CA | York County PA