Public Art Project: Westwood Recreation Center
Budget: Approximately $250,000.00 USD
Eligibility: Artists or Artist Teams residing in the United States
DEADLINE: Monday, August 19, 2024, 11:59 P.M. MST

Denver Public Art seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create original public artwork(s) for the future Westwood Recreation Center in Denver, CO, which will be located at the intersection of Morrison Road and W. Walsh Place.

The goal of the project is to celebrate and reflect the culture, people and ecosystem that has been created and sustained in the Westwood neighborhood in Denver and to enhance the experience for visitors of the Westwood Recreation Center. The selection panel wishes for the future artwork(s) to speak to the uniqueness of the young, diverse, vibrant and artful culture of Westwood and to celebrate the community’s hard work in building a place that is collaborative, symbiotic and thriving, and works together to meet community needs. The panel is interested in artists who deeply understand the community’s sensitivities to potential displacement and gentrification, can demonstrate an interest in local involvement and community engagement, and will prioritize listening and collaboration.

A 13-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and design professionals, and civic leaders has been assembled to identify art opportunities and to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The selection panel has identified two outdoor spaces at the future Westwood Recreation Center entrance along Morrison Road as preferred locations for potential artwork(s).

Denver Public Art will host a hybrid information meeting for artists on August 12, 2024 at 6 p.m. for interested applicants in person in Westwood and online via Zoom. The meeting will cover project background and goals, and the application process for this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), as well as the Morrison Road Plazas Public Art Project (a separate RFQ published by Denver Public Art that is in proximity to this project’s location). Attendees will also receive information on, through which artists may apply. Interested applicants are asked to register to get information on how to join prior to the event. If you cannot attend, a recording will be available on the Denver Arts & Venues Vimeo channel.

Land Acknowledgment
We acknowledge that the land Denver’s Public Art Collection occupies – – land where we stand, live, work and learn — is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado. Our nation was founded upon and continues to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples. May this acknowledgment demonstrate a commitment to dismantling ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities, as we intentionally honor and celebrate the Indigenous communities in our city and express our gratitude for their ongoing and significant contributions. Let’s not forget that this land was theirs long before we made it ours.

About Westwood
The Westwood neighborhood is one of the most culturally vibrant neighborhoods in the Denver Metro area. The neighborhood is in southwest Denver, bounded by Sheridan Boulevard on the west, Federal Boulevard on the east, Alameda Avenue on the north, and Mississippi Avenue on the south, with Morrison Road diagonally bisecting the neighborhood. The Westwood community has a culturally rich population known for its grassroots efforts in collaboration, advocacy and the arts. Westwood is home to many cultures, including Mexican, Vietnamese and Native American, which contribute to its rich cultural landscape and identity. The neighborhood is predominately Latino/x, comprised of first and second generation Mexican American immigrants who care deeply for their community and are committed to preserving and celebrating their culture. Westwood is home to many dynamic community organizations and non-profits that are committed to reinvestment and successful growth of the neighborhood. Morrison Road serves as the predominant commercial corridor for the neighborhood, known for its bright colors, murals, and diversity of businesses, housing and the arts. Strong community cohesion, a unique mix of cultures and civic pride bolster the neighborhood. As residents and stakeholders anticipate neighborhood improvements, there is a common hope and desire that progress will not result in displacement and that affordable housing and employment opportunities will continue to be within reach in the future. Many changes are on the horizon for the neighborhood (including the new recreation center, street, and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, etc.), and the public art projects at Westwood Recreation Center will be a notable addition to the improvements in the neighborhood.

*Information referenced above is from the Westwood Neighborhood Plan, adopted by Denver City Council in 2016. The full document is located here: Westwood_Neighborhood_Plan.pdf ( Please visit this link for more information about the Westwood neighborhood.

What community members say is unique about the Westwood neighborhood:

  • The Latino/Asian fusion
  • “The way we are able to work together to meet community needs”
  • That many artists live and work there
  • One of the youngest population demographically in Denver
  • The culture and generations that exist there and how it’s changed over time
  • “The geography of a mile and a half, diagonal road – you know you’re in Westwood when you’re on Morrison Road.”
  • The unique architecture
  • Gardening and agriculture, and the education that occurs surrounding those practices
  • The art and music created there
  • “The vibrant colors make it unique; it makes it feel like I belong there.”

*The above information was gathered from an open community meeting about the project on 3/18/24

About the Westwood Recreation Center

The new recreation center will be located at the corner of Morrison Road and Walsh Place in Denver, CO. The Westwood Recreation Center project is funded through the Elevate Denver Bond Program, approved by voters in 2017 to enhance mobility, safety and quality of life across Denver. A public input process was held in early 2018 to identify the community’s most desired projects. The process identified a recreation service gap in west Denver—the future recreation center will be the first in the neighborhood. In addition to numerous opportunities for neighbors to engage in a healthy lifestyle through fitness and educational activities, the recreation center will provide a community gathering space where programs and resources can be more easily accessed. The new recreation center will include an indoor gymnasium, fitness areas for weightlifting, cardio activities and exercise classes, indoor pools and waterslide, a childcare area, multipurpose rooms, a teaching kitchen, locker rooms, and outdoor areas. Construction is set to start on the recreation center in late 2024 and should be completed in 2026.

Please visit Westwood Recreation Center – City and County of Denver ( for more information about the Westwood Recreation Center project.

Goals, Site, Media & Materials
The selection panel members have set forth specific goals for this public art project with the hope of creating unique artwork(s) for the community that will enhance the future Westwood Recreation Center.


  • Artworks should elevate the cultural vibrancy of the neighborhood and reflect and celebrate what has been previously built by the community that resides there.
  • Artists should be locally involved and/or focus on community engagement and should be sensitive and aware of community needs and concerns around displacement and gentrification.
  • Artists are encouraged to consider themes of recreation, quality of life, water, gathering, cultural vibrancy, and all of the benefits and improvements that a recreation center offers to a community.

Artwork Site
Finalists will be asked to create an outdoor public artwork or artworks at the entryway of the future Westwood Recreation Center along the entrance off Morrison Road.

Media & Materials
The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials suitable for outdoor display. Durability and ease of maintenance are essential at this location.

Maintenance & Durability
This artwork will become a permanent addition to the Denver Public Art collection. All applicants must consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. These projects are in the public realm and will be exposed to physical stresses, as well as being subject to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator prior to the submission of a final proposal. Artist proposals awarded contracts will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved timeframe.

Who May Apply
This project is open to artists residing in the United States. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to building a public art collection that represents a broad diversity of artists and encourages applicants from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities, including artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, People of Color (BILPOC), people with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, Two-Spirit+ (LGBTQIA2S+) communities. Denver Arts & Venues also encourages applicants at various stages in their career and applicants practicing a variety of artistic disciplines.

Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé for the team, with no more than one page per team member.

Applying for these opportunities
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via (CaFÉ™).

  1. Six digital images of past work
  2. Résumé
  3. Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters

From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five finalists who will create site-specific proposals and be interviewed in person or virtually. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. Artists/teams selected as finalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form for their proposals to be considered, which will be provided upon notification. As directed by Executive Order 101, this form must be submitted for all city solicitations of proposals. Denver Public Art staff can guide you in filling out this form.

Based on the interview and proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team will work with Denver Public Art and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) staff when finalizing their designs for installation.

Diversity and Inclusiveness
Denver Executive Order No. 101 establishes strategies between the City and private industry to use diversity and inclusiveness to promote economic development in the City and County of Denver and to encourage more businesses to compete for City contracts and procurements. The Executive Order requires, among other things, the collection of certain information regarding the practices of the City’s contractors and consultants toward diversity and inclusiveness and encourages/requires City agencies to include diversity and inclusiveness policies in selection criteria in solicitations for City services or goods when legally permitted. Diversity and Inclusiveness means inviting values, perspectives and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds, and integrating diversity into hiring and retention policies, training opportunities and business development methods to provide an equal opportunity for each person to participate, contribute and succeed within the organization’s workplace. “Diversity” encompasses a wide variety of human differences, including differences such as race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disabilities, appearance, and historically underutilized and disadvantaged persons, as well as social identities such as religion, marital status, socio-economic status, lifestyle, education, parental status, geographic background, language ability and veteran status.

The budget for this commission is $250,000 which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s 1% for Public Art Ordinance resulting from the upcoming new build of the Westwood Recreation Center. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to, the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering consultation, insurance (including Colorado Workers Compensation), tools, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, a contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work done on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.

(Except for the online application deadline, the timeline is subject to adjustments)
August 19, 2024 11:59 P.M. MST        Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
September/October 2024                    Finalist Selection
December 2024                                    Artist Selection and Notification

Project Selection Panel
According to Denver’s Public Art policy, the project selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for the City and County of Denver. The Westwood Recreation Center public art selection panel is comprised of 13 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria for a request for qualifications, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and finally for selecting an artist or artist team for the commission.

Selection Process

  1. Three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the sites and have the opportunity to meet with community members from the selection panel, Denver Public Art staff, and Denver Parks and Recreation staff. The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare a proposal and present it in person or virtually.
  2. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists, and recommend an artist/artist team for the commission.
  3. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, and the mayor of Denver for final approval.

*All decisions of the City and County of Denver are final.

Materials to be Submitted
Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.

All materials must be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.

Digital ImagesTo be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks through the online CaFÉ™ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application and will have the opportunity to upload one video file.

IMPORTANT: if submitting audio or video files, do not use them as your very first image. They must be submitted last in your image sequence.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here:

If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he/they may call (720) 515-5768 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues.

To request this RFQ in an alternate format (such as Braille, large print, or accessible electronic format) please contact

Statement of InterestPlease submit a statement (2,000 character maximum) outlining the following:

  • Why the Westwood Recreation Center Project is of special interest to you (and your connection to Westwood if you have one)
  • Your interest in or relationship to themes of cultural vibrancy, resilience, collaboration, or recreation
  • Your experience with community engagement, and your approach to working with communities dealing with concerns around displacement and gentrification
  • Your design approach and experience working on public art projects

RésuméSubmit a one to two-page current résumé via CaFÉ™ that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name. First initial (i.e. Smith.J.pdf). Résumés that are more than two pages will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with no more than one page per team member.

SurveyApplicants will also be required to fill out a short demographic survey that will be part of the CaFÉ™ application.

References – Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.

Please direct all questions about the project to:

Hannah Leathers, Public Art Program Administrator,, (720) 515-5768

To request this RFQ in an alternate format (such as Braille, large print, or accessible electronic format) please contact

Denver Arts & Venues complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender, or language. It is your right to request oral or written language assistance services in your primary language, sign language interpretation, real-time captioning via CART, or disability-related accommodations if needed. Please contact Denver Arts & Venues at and these services will be provided to you free of charge.