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For more information, please contact

Sean Starowitz, Assistant Director of Economic & Sustainable Development for the Arts,, 812-349-3534

RFQ for Bloomington Bicentennial Community Song

Bloomington, Ind. - To recognize Bloomington’s Bicentennial in 2018, the Bloomington Arts Commission (BAC) is commissioning a musical work that celebrates the city’s past, present, and future.

Project Specifications:

The Bloomington Arts Commission seeks a musician to create an original musical work for the City of Bloomington’s Bicentennial in 2018. We invite applicants from all musical backgrounds with a passion for collaboration and community engagement. The selected applicant will be commissioned to write a melody with lyrics that is accessible to any untrained singer. To support greater opportunities for public participation, the work should have the flexibility to evolve. For example, the applicant may propose supplementary parts for instruments or a choir of voices to complement the melody and engage local musicians and/or arts organizations.

The source for the lyrics to the melody must be connected to Bloomington through any of, but not limited to, the following:

  • A collaboration with a local poet/writer

  • A collaboration with a poet/writer connected to Bloomington

  • A text setting of a poet/writer’s work, with appropriate permissions and a demonstrated connection to Bloomington

  • An original text setting that celebrates Bloomington

  • An original text setting inspired by a work of local public art (such as Jiangmei Wu and Jon Racek’s (C)olumn, located near Seminary Park)

How To Apply:

Applicants must submit the following to Sean Starowitz at

Contact Information:

  • Full name

  • Address

  • Telephone number

  • Email address

Supplementary Materials:

  • A portfolio of 2-5 sound files of previous work and corresponding scores or lead sheets

    • Sound files (audio only, MP3 preferred) may be shared/submitted via Google Drive.

    • Scores and/or lead sheets must be submitted as a PDF (not Finale or Sibelius).

  • An artist’s statement describing your professional experience and interest in the project

  • Artist Resume (Maximum of 2 pages, PDF Only)

  • Proposed Project Description:

    • A description of the inspiration for the proposed musical work and how it will celebrate Bloomington’s Bicentennial in 2018.

  • NOTE: If you will be collaborating with a poet/writer, you must include: 1) contact information for them; and  2) a memorandum of understanding, with an agreed upon amount for compensation


Project Timeline  

  • Application Opens:  January 5, 2018

  • Application Deadline: February 9, 2018

  • Decision Notification: February 23, 2018

  • Project Completion: June 2018


Project Goals and Values

To commission a musical work that:

  • Captures Bloomington’s unique identity

  • Provides an interactive musical piece for the residents of Bloomington, Indiana.

  • Celebrates Bloomington’s past, present, and future during its 200th anniversary

  • Meets the BAC’s Strategic Plan Goal 2.3: To advance initiatives that promote citizen participation in the arts.

Selection Process

The musician will be selected by a panel consisting of members of the public, Bloomington Arts Commission and City staff. The panel will listen to a minimum of 3 minutes of pre-recorded materials per applicant. Upon submission, applicant may indicate which 3 minutes of their portfolio submissions they would recommend to the panel.

Musician Responsibilities

The contracted musician will be asked to attend and teach the musical work to the public during at least three Bicentennial events. They will also work with members of the BAC to teach them the musical work as they will carry on the role of teaching the musical work to the community during Bicentennial and future Bloomington community events.


The musician will receive up to $5,000. This amount includes all artists’ fees, arranger fees, and necessary materials and/or equipment purchases to complete the project. The musician will be expected to pay others, such as a poet/writer, out of the total stipend. The BAC will approve the final budget. Artist(s) will be paid upon the project’s completion.


Musicians 18 years of age and older who are current residents of the State of Indiana are invited to submit proposals. Newcomers to the public art process are encouraged to apply. City of Bloomington employees, Arts Commissioners, or their committee members, project consultants and employees are ineligible.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Sean Starowitz at 812-349-3534.