Request for qualifications

Projects with SJDA

From beautification to capital improvements

Artistic Design and Installation Of Illuminated Sculptures

Proposal Due Date: July 1, 2023 | Time: Before 5 p.m. PST


The San Jose Downtown Property-Based Improvement District (PBID or District) is a special benefit assessment district that conveys special benefits to the properties located within the district boundaries. It is issuing this Request For Qualifications (RFQ) in order to solicit proposals from qualified artists to provide artistic design and installation of 1-8 illuminated sculptures in the theme of “Positive Cultural Identity.” This theme is open to any interpretation as artist sees fit. The allocated budget range for artist compensation (not including material costs) is $5,000-$50,000+ based on scale and number of sculptures provided

Proposals are due by 5 p.m. PST on July 1, 2023 and should be submitted to the PBID in care of the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), the organization contracted by the PBID to manage District operations.

Definitions (General):

  • City: The City of San Jose, a municipal corporation of the State of California.
  • San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA): A 501(c)6 non-profit membership based organization founded in 1986. SJDA represents business and property owners working to enhance the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose. SJDA has been managing the PBID since its inception in 2007, via a management agreement.
  • San Jose Downtown Property Owners Association (SJDPOA): A 501(c)6 non-profit membership based organization founded in 2007 with an independent Board of Directors that oversees all District programming and services.
  • Street Life Manager: SJDA staff member who will be the primary contact for the Contractor with respect to services provided to the District, per this RFQ.
  • Artist: Artist or artists to be selected for the services described in this RFQ and who will enter into an agreement described therein. Not limited to a single individual, can be a qualified group or qualifying group of individuals.
  • District: The service area that encompasses the San Jose PBID.
  • Street Life: Beautification improvements to the built environment that make downtown more visually attractive and support placemaking efforts, enhanced landscaping, murals, street furniture, lighting, decorations and banners.


  • SJDA will accept proposals based on the scope of services included in this packet (A.1). Proposals submitted must be for sculptures with an illuminated aspect.
  • It is essential that the proposal clearly define and demonstrate how the services to be provided will be accomplished. Please include as much detail as applicable and specific examples of how past similar projects have been planned and executed.
  • The District reserves the right to make reasonable changes in the general scope of work of the contract. Any such changes will be directed by SJDA.

Please submit one electronic copy to

Proposals must be accompanied by a summary sheet addressing the following items in numerical order (please number responses):

  1. Artist name and address
  2. Name of parent company (if any)
  3. Number of years in industry
  4. Total compensation for services. Please provide cost of both options: 1) one individual sculpture 2) a full set of 5-8 sculptures
  5. Two references
  6. Description of experience (both in San Jose and outside the region). Please include:
    • Name of project, scope of work and value of contract
    • Portfolio of relevant work
  1. Implementation plan providing detail on timeline and cost
  2. Overarching philosophy and delivery approach and explanation of why artist is uniquely qualified over all other proposers to deliver the services requested in this RFQ
  3. Any additional relevant information to be included not explicitly stated in this RFQ Proposals should be sent to:

Proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. PST on July 1, 2023.


Upon selection, artist must execute a formal agreement with the term of the resulting contract. SJDA reserves the right to negotiate for upgrades to services at any point during the contract term upon mutual agreement with the artist. Agreement between artist and the SJDA for District services may be terminated by SJDA at any time during the term of the agreement with 30-days written notice to artist.

Evaluation Criteria / Process:

Artist must understand the mission of the District and have a proposal that addresses the unique characteristics and challenges of the District at present and in the future. Suggestions for changes and improvements to the lighting installation that, in the artist’s opinion, would better help the District achieve the goal of being the cleanest, safest, friendliest and most inviting downtown possible, are welcome and expected.

SJDA and representatives of SJDPOA will evaluate each proposal pursuant to this RFQ on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated experience and capability of artist, its management, and employees if applicable
  2. Demonstrated ability to comply with local and state standards
  3. Demonstrated ability of artist, through a detailed implementation and operations plan, to assume all contract responsibilities and to perform the scope of services outlined in this RFQ, including being fully operational by December 2023
  4. Responsiveness to RFQ in terms of proposing artist elements in line with theme outlined
  5. Overall cost for the provision of services and its individual sub-elements. Respondents must include a completed cost sheet by category
  6. Positive response of references and track record in the industry

Please be advised that the SJDA reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, or portions thereof.

Up to three (3) finalists may be invited to interview with the RFQ selection committee. These interviews will be conducted in July 2023. Notification of the award of the contract is expected no later than August 1, 2023.

Should a proposer find a discrepancy in or an omission from this RFQ or should be in doubt as to any meaning therein, the proposer shall at once notify SJDA in writing, who will send written instruction to all who received the RFQ. Any such notice from a potential proposer must be received by SJDA by June 12, 2023. SJDA will not be responsible for any oral instructions.


RFQ Released June 1
Deadline for questions June 12
Proposal / Responses due July 1
Finalist (s) invited for interview no later than July 10
Selection committee interview July 17-28
Notify artist no later than August 1

Appendix A

A.1 Scope of Services Theme

The theme of this art installation will be “Positive Cultural Identity.” This is an intentionally broad theme that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Please feel free to be as creative as you can be.


This art installation is intended to be a temporary activation of storefront space(s). This installation is intended to be mobile and will be placed in vacant storefronts for an allotted amount of time. They will be moved from one location to another in prominently visible windows on ground floor buildings.


This art installation is a part of the Comprehensive Lighting Plan for the downtown San Jose core. The installation must include an illuminated element not limited to uplighting, embedded illumination, or projection.

The art is intended to be a sculpture or a set of sculptures. There are no specific material requirements. There are no specific limiting size requirements, however the art will be displayed in a ground level window or windows in the downtown San Jose core.


Please contact:

Sarah Billings
Street Life Manager