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Artist Sought for Nineteenth Amendment Public Art in Cambridge, MA

Posted by City of Cambridge ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artist Sought for Nineteenth Amendment Public Art in Cambridge, MA




The City of Cambridge invites artists to submit qualifications for a public art commission to commemorate the passage, in August 1920, of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which resulted in the largest one-time addition to the American electorate, yet also left most women of color without access to the ballot box. A successful project will acknowledge the amendment’s complex history, its ongoing work in the shaping of American democracy, and the role of Cambridge women in the women’s suffrage movement.

BUDGET:  $300,000

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists

DEADLINE:  September 30, 2019

Massachusetts was at the forefront of the fight for women’s suffrage, with the first National Women’s Rights Convention held in Worcester in 1850. Cambridge women of all backgrounds petitioned, organized, marched, campaigned, and persisted throughout the decades of the movement. Their efforts over three generations were animated by high passions and embedded with paradoxes which have carried forward to this day. The passage of the Nineteenth Amendment did not end the national struggle for full and equitable enfranchisement, due to racist citizenship laws as well as organized disenfranchisement laws and activities, but it was an important step along the way.

The City of Cambridge seeks qualifications from artists who not only can speak to the importance of this complicated history as it played out in the lives of Cambridge women, but who also can create a public artwork that acknowledges the unfinished business of voting rights and engages the visitor in the ideas propelling the movement forward. We encourage artists who are interested in creating an innovative and socially engaged interpretation of history through a contemporary lens.

More information about the Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Project can be found here.

The site for the project will be determined by the Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Committee and will be confirmed for the 3-4 finalists selected from the RFQ process. Potential sites are all outdoor public open spaces and include:

  • Tubman Square (bounded by Kinnaird, River, and Pleasant Streets)
  • Joan Lorentz Park (an area in front of the Main Cambridge Public Library at 449 Broadway)
  • Cambridge Common (bounded by Massachusetts Avenue, Garden Street, and Waterhouse Street)


  • September 30, 2019:  Deadline for submissions of qualifications
  • Early November 2019: Finalists selected
  • November 2019 – March 2020: Proposal Development
  • March 2020: Final proposals due
  • April – May 2020: Proposals displayed; public feedback
  • June 2020: Final Selection of one proposal
  • August 2020: Public announcement of proposal


From the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), three or four finalists will be selected by the Art Jury and paid $2,000 to develop concept proposals for a permanent installation based on criteria and guidelines established by the Committee and in consultation with city staff. All finalists’ proposals will be displayed for a period of public feedback. Final selection of one proposal will be made by a selection committee of stakeholders based on the finalists’ in-person presentations and interviews. The City will announce the selected proposal at a centennial celebration in August 2020, after which implementation of the selected proposal will begin.


Submit images of past work and biographical information via Slideroom to the Cambridge Arts artist registry: If you are not in the artist registry, registration is free and easy – upload digital files of work samples and complete the form for artist information. Once you are in the registry you will be considered for the Nineteenth Amendment Centennial project as well as for future public art commissions administered by the City of Cambridge.

If you are already in the registry, it is recommended that you update your images and information. If you would like to submit updates, please email Lillian Hsu, Director of Public Art and Exhibitions, to access your profile:

For technical support using Slideroom, please e-mail

QUESTIONS?  Contact Lillian Hsu, or 617-349-4389.


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