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Artists Sought for 7th Annual Georgetown GLOW Festival

Posted by Georgetown BID ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artists Sought for 7th Annual Georgetown GLOW Festival



The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) invites artists to submit proposals for the seventh edition of its Georgetown GLOW Winter Public Art Exhibition, an outdoor display of light art installations on view in Washington, D.C. from Friday, December 4, 2019 through Sunday, January 10, 2021. Georgetown GLOW is free and open to the general public, with installations lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. in the commercial district.

BUDGET: $15,000 (8-10 artists selected)

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists working in video, performance, and sculpture + light

DEADLINE: April 17, 2020 11:59 p.m.

Download full RFQ here.

Note:  This is a Request for Proposals. Applicants must submit a designed artwork and itemized budget as part of the application process. Applicants are not compensated for this up-front design work.

Project Background

In December of 2013, the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with Alliance Francaise D.C., hosted four international artists who showed at the Fête de Lumieres, one of Europe’s most celebrated festivals held annually in Lyon, France, since 1852. This was the first time that any of the Lyon installations had been exhibited in the United States.

In 2014, the Georgetown BID launched Georgetown GLOW by commissioning local, regional and international artists to re-imagine the season of light through public art. GLOW’s artistic aim is to encourage contemplation of, and interaction with, the natural and historical environment of Georgetown, Washington, D.C.’s oldest neighborhood that dates back to 1751. To learn more about historic Georgetown, please visit the BID’s official website,

Over the past six years, GLOW has worked with 70+ artists and over 50 installations and draws an estimated 140K+. Going into its seventh year, GLOW is a widely-recognized public art exhibition in the Washington, D.C. region and a popular, established holiday tradition for Washingtonians. To view past exhibitions, please visit

Project Description

Georgetown GLOW is part of the BID’s overall holiday programming, which includes the region’s largest outdoor ice skating rink, and holiday shopping, happenings and events. With its charming buildings, yuletide decorations, and more than 450+ stores, restaurants, galleries, and salons to shop and dine, the Georgetown neighborhood is internationally renowned, and the D.C. area’s top stop for all things holiday.

The exhibition aims to highlight and juxtapose the historic Georgetown neighborhood through the lens of engaging and contemporary light art. It is essential that each art work consider and respond appropriately to the surroundings of Georgetown and captivate its visitors.

We would like each artist to consider the notion that there is a light within all of us and that when sparked can spread warmth and delight. It is our aspiration that the selected works when activated ignite a little spark within the viewer that encourages interactivity, merriment and joy. Through this exhibition, we will embrace a diversity of ideas focused on the power of light by looking to local, national and international voices within the setting of historic Georgetown.

We are looking for artwork that will delight and amaze our visitors’ experience in Georgetown. In most cases visitors will be able to view your piece very closely. Many visitors love to interact with the pieces or at least see some sort of movement/change. Installations must be durable over the time period it is up for, and built for possible extensive interaction. The more interactive your piece is, the more durable it needs to be.

With light at the center of each project, artists are encouraged to explore concepts of space and place; inspire public interaction; and utilize and respond to
Georgetown. We will not accept projects where light is simply illuminating your art work; the role of light must be essential and integrated with your concept.

Project Locations
Installations will be located in visible and historic sites throughout the Georgetown commercial district. Multiple projects can be installed at some locations.

Maintenance of Artwork
Each artist must ensure their installation meets all GLOW requirements (e.g. electrically and physically sound). Each artist must also provide a Maintenance Plan/Guide providing BID staff instructions on how to operate and maintain installation during artist’s absence. If an issue arises with an artist’s installation that the BID is not able to fix, artist will agree to come to Georgetown within 24 hours, at artist’s expense, to make the necessary fixes. If artist is located out of town and unable to get to Georgetown within 24 hours, they will be required to make arrangements with a local technician (BID can provide local recommendations for installation and maintenance assistance). These fees will be covered by the artist.


  • Call for Artists: Deadline to submit: Friday, April 17, 2020
  • Artists notified of project being shortlisted*: Friday, August 7, 2020
  • Artists notified of project selections**: Monday, October 5, 2020
  • Installation of selected art works: Early to late November 2020
  • Exhibition opens to general public: Friday, December 4, 2020
  • De-installation: Monday, January 11th – Friday, January 29th, 2021

Selection Process and Criteria
A selection committee including Georgetown BID staff, BID members, community stakeholders and curator, will select approximately eight to ten artists for the 2020 GLOW exhibition. The committee will consider the following in selecting the final projects for the 2020 GLOW exhibition:

  • New Artworks: We give priority to light art that has been created for GLOW;
  • Interactivity: We also give priority to light art with an interactive component that further engages visitors;
  • Light is the Primary Medium: We are not looking for art that is simply illuminated. Light must be central to the concept of your proposal;
  • Creativity & Innovation: GLOW aims to amaze and delight visitors with the creativity and innovation of light art. We are looking for works that are innovative and evoke a sense of wonder with the viewer.
  • Durability: We require durable and rigid constructions. The December weather in D.C. can be unpredictable – from unseasonably warm and dry to below freezing, windy and rainy (and at times, snow!). As a result, your piece must be technically and physically durable to withstand all kinds of elements.
  • Low Complexity & Turnkey Installation: We look for projects that the artist will build, install, maintain and de-install with a low level of complexity. The BID will not work as a middleman to contract installers or deinstallers; that is the responsibility of the artist.

What to Submit

To be considered, each applicant must submit:

  1. CV (no more than three pages);
  2. Contact information for lead artist to include full name, address, email and cell phone number;
  3. Rendering of proposed project(s): Applicants are permitted to submit no more than two project
    proposals for consideration;
  4. Description of proposed project(s) with dimensions and weight (no more than one page each); and any additional safety information, e.g. wind load – particularly for installations near the water.
  5. Detailed, itemized budget for each submitted proposal to include costs for materials, artist fees, travel, fabrication, installation of the art work, de-installation, etc. Any items needed, but not included in your budget must be indicated in detail, such as equipment and local labor needs, (e.g. forklift, forklift driver, ladder). These additional needs will allow the committee to assess the total cost of your project.
  6. Up to 10 images of previous art work accompanied by a short description of each project; and
  7. Three References.

How to Submit

All proposals must be submitted to the curator, at with the subject line “2020 Georgetown GLOW Exhibition Proposal” by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 17, 2020.

QUESTIONS? Contact GLOW Curator Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams at


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