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Request for Proposals sought for Boston Marathon memorial


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Arts and Culture

 The deadline to submit proposals is June 4, 2018.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission (BAC), today announced the City of Boston issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for qualified consultants to carry out a robust public engagement process and communications campaign that will culminate in the selection of an artist to design a memorial to honor the survivors and victims of domestic terrorism and violence, as well as celebrate Boston’s peacekeepers and healers. This process will ensure that the call for artists, as well as the final artwork reflects the resilience and resolve of the people of Boston in the face of unspeakable loss and tragedy.

The Consultant will be responsible for managing the public and stakeholder engagement of the project to inform a successful artist selection and memorial design process. The RFP will not determine the artist selected for the project.

“On April 15, 2013, the city of Boston changed forever,” said Mayor Walsh. “Sunday was the five year anniversary of this tragic event, and it’s important for us to collectively honor the victims, the hundreds of runners and spectators who were injured, and the countless heroes who stepped in and offered vital support. This memorial will serve as a testament to the spirit and resiliency of the people of Boston, and a way to honor those we have lost, and those who are still healing.”

The City of Boston seeks a thorough public engagement process to ensure an inclusive dialogue that speaks to the resilience and spirit of all. The City is encouraging a breadth of engagement methods including public town-hall style meetings, digital campaigns, exhibits or hands-on activities, marketing and outreach through multimedia, with consideration for translation and maximizing access to participation.

The engagement process will ensure that the subsequent artist selection process, as well as the final memorial artwork, incorporates the vision of all stakeholders.

“During the Boston Creates planning process, a prominent issue we found with the City’s arts and culture sector is that it contains barriers to full inclusion and participation,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. “When commissioning a piece of public art that reflects such a far-reaching tragedy as the Boston Marathon Bombings, it is essential to develop a community engagement process that allows the voice of every Boston resident to be heard.”

A mayoral-appointed Memorial Advisory Committee will oversee the entire project and a City of Boston staff memorial team will assist with administration and implementation.

“Both the memorial itself and the process of creating a memorial are important, because they symbolize the caring for victims and survivors by a government or community and serve to reassure us that such evil will be met with even greater good,” said Dr. Kermit A. Crawford, who served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Marathon Bombing Victims/Survivors Resiliency Center through August of 2017. “The Memorial will honor those lost and be a lasting tribute to the strength and resilience of those who survived the tragic events on April 15th almost five years ago.  When done right, with inclusion of voices of those who suffered inconsolable losses and with the voices of the survivors, memorials can promote a sense of healing, recovery, reconciliation and acceptance.”

Two markers have been separately commissioned to honor and remember the three lives that were lost on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013. While that is a distinct project, the markers should be taken into consideration in the greater community process and final memorial design.

The RFP is open to all arts consultants, artists, architects, landscape architects, historians, scholars or teams with relevant experience in project management, meeting facilitation, design competitions, community and stakeholder engagement, media and marketing campaigns, museum exhibit design and site responsive design. Experience with public art and those with a background in trauma are encouraged to apply.

The RFP (Boston Marathon Memorial Community Engagement and Communications, EV00005368) is available here. All questions regarding the RFP are due to the City by April 27, 2018, and the deadline to submit proposals is June 4, 2018. The consultant will be selected in June 2018.

The City of Boston, the Boston Art Commission, and the consultant will manage the design and installation of the work with the artist, maintain a schedule, as well as facilitate meetings on design and feasibility. Final budget for the artwork will be included in the call for artists and finalized by the City. The City expects the final memorial to be unveiled in spring of 2021.

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