Beginning in Fall 2017-Spring 2018, the Chicago Park District seeks to connect the West Pullman neighborhood to the rich resource of its unique savanna ecosystem through a mix of educational initiatives and artist engagements. Our goal is to increase awareness about the savanna in the West Pullman area and help to facilitate meaningful community engagement with this natural area.


Throughout the decades, West Pullman Park has retained its beautiful natural setting. The site's mature stand of oak, hickory, and cherry trees covers an ancient river bank. This wooded slope is one of Chicago's few remaining native landscapes. The native prairie habitat that exists in Illinois is less than one percent of what was here in 1800. A very small amount of that prairie habitat is what’s called a savanna ecosystem, an open grassland with mature, slow-growing and fire-resistant trees consisting of native grasses, wildflowers, and trees. West Pullman Park Cultural Center and Metcalfe Elementary School adjoin the savanna area, offering a unique set of possibilities for learning and community engagement in this rare natural area.


Artist in Residency+ Outdoor Artwork Installation

We are taking proposals for ecofriendly projects that engage community in a collaborative art making process. Successful proposals will harness local creative energy and reflect a consideration of and respect for the natural landscape, native wildlife, and an ecological aesthetic. We are particularly interested in projects that enliven the savanna through aesthetics, enhance its natural areas, and envision ways to engage community members in the design of the space. This could take the form of tree installations and other temporary creative activations, designing outdoor signage and wayfinding, art and nature workshops, performances, and other programming, etc.


Proposed projects are required to:

  • Have minimal physical impact on the natural area

  • Be highly visible from the street

  • Involve community directly in the conception and making of any projects and/or programming

  • Create momentum to catalyze cultural and natural stewardship of the West Pullman Cultural Center and Park

  • Strengthen civic pride and a strong sense of community

  • Be completed within a six-month time frame

  • Physically enhance the neighborhood and build on the character and uniqueness of the community

  • Integrate with ongoing events such as the Back to School Celebration, Third Thursdays, etc.

Any installed work produced must fit within with the landscape, and will be vetted and approved by the Park Enhancement Committee prior to installation.


Artists must carry commercial general liability insurance. The Chicago Park District is to be named as additional insured.  If artists do not have the required insurance, it can be purchased from the stipend awarded during the residency.


The chosen artist or organization will receive an $8000 stipend for the artist in residency including community engagement activities and culminating outdoor artwork installation. A materials and supplies budget of up to $2000 will be available. Some on site storage and workspace provided. Some additional materials such as wood and woodchips may be available from Natural Areas as well.

This funding can only be used to support the following aspects of a project:  design, fabrication, programming, site work, transportation, delivery, and installation.


Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline: Monday, September 11, 2017 by 12 Midnight

  • Selection Notification: Monday, October 2, 2017

  • Artist in residency orientation & residency planning: week of October 9th

  • Artist in residency + supervisor Meeting: Monthly while in residence, October-December 2017 and February-May 2018

  • Artist In Residency Start Date: October 2017

  • Artist In Residency End Date: May 2018

  • Artwork installation: Late May 2018

  • Opening Reception: Late May 2018

  • Program wrap up meeting: Week of May 28 2018


Legal Details

Please note the following:

  • This Request for Proposals (RFP) is not intended as a formal offering for the award of a contract or for participation in any future solicitation.

  • Chicago Park District do not intend to grant or issue any additional agreements on the basis of this RFP.

  • Chicago Park District and their officials, agents and employees make no representation or warranty and assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the information set forth in this RFP.

  • All submissions shall become the property of Chicago Park District and shall not be returned.

  • No information contained in submissions shall be deemed confidential and such information may be shared with other related entities. Therefore, please do not submit any information that may be deemed proprietary in nature.

  • The artist receives credit, sole ownership, and copyright of the final design and artwork, but is required to extend to Chicago Park District the right to a royalty-free, perpetual license to use any depiction of the artwork, during production and installation, for promotional, publicity, or other non-commercial purposes deemed appropriate for this and future activities.

  • Neither Chicago Park District shall be liable for any costs incurred by any respondent in the preparation, submittal, presentation or revision of its submission.

  • Chicago Park District, at their discretion, without limitation, reserve the right to withdraw the RFP at any time; to discuss various approaches with one or more respondents (including parties not responding to the RFP); and change any terms of this RFP.

  • No exceptions will be made for materials submitted after the stated deadline.

Site Information

West Pullman Park and Cultural Center

401 West 123rd Street

Chicago, Illinois 60628


Question: Kentaya Brown, Cultural Liaison West Pullman


This artist-in-residence program is an arm of the Re:Center Project, a multi-phase cultural organizing and creative placemaking initiative driven by local citizens and anchored in Chicago’s neighborhoods facilitated through the Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit. Through Re:Center’s process, community members, artists, and park staff work to envision Chicagoans as cultural stewards of our public parks. From 2015-2020, the Chicago Park District’s 15 Cultural Centers are collaborating with surrounding communities to re-imagine cultural priorities and programming that speak to the interests of each neighborhood across Chicago’s North, West, and South sides.

In the fall of 2017, the Movies in the Parks program will once again expand into October programming with the return of Campfire Horrors at Northerly Island. Campfire Horrors features classic and cult classic horror films for an adult audience; films are screened outdoors and accompanied by campfires, roasted marshmallows and warm cider.

This year’s Campfire Horrors program will culminate with a screening of the first (and unauthorized) film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Nosferatu. This 1922 silent film introduced the world to the figure of the vampire and never fails to spook audiences. To enliven this classic for a contemporary Chicago audience, the Chicago Park District is seeking a local band, musician or composer to create an all-new live score to be performed alongside our October 27 outdoor screening.

Selected musician(s) will receive the following support for the October 27 performance:

  • A stipend of $3,000 to support the composition and performance of the live score (including any fees paid to other musicians or performers)
  • 2 Professional Sound Technicians for the October 27 performance, and
  • A complete sound system (excluding backline)

The anticipated timeline for the project is as follows:

  • August 9 – August 23: Submissions accepted from musicians
  • August 31: Selected musician notified
  • September 4 – September 8: Contract negotiated and signed
  • September 25-29: Proof of Concept Due (Recordings, Sheet Music, etc.)
  • October 2 – October 6: First Payment of $1,500 issued to Musician
  • October 19 – October 25: Final score presented to Chicago Park District staff via dress rehearsal
  • October 27: Performance of live score alongside screening
  • October 30 – November 3: Second Payment of $1,500 issued to Musician

The Chicago Park District is accepting submissions through August 23. Interested applicants must submit the following:

  1. 3-5 sample recordings of original compositions/performances.
  2. Anticipated instrumentation for this project (if known, and subject to change)
  3. Statement of intent or interest for this project