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RFP Issued for Public Art to Honor E.L. Doctorow

   The New Rochelle Council on the Arts has released an RFP for the Doctorow Legacy Initiative; the group is seeking proposals from experienced professional artists for public art to honor E.L. Doctorow. The selected artist(s) will create a site-specific work (traditional figural statue or non-representational sculpture) that celebrates the author, who lived in New Rochelle and used it as the lens through which to view America in his novel Ragtime.

   The proposed public work of art will be complemented by the creation of educational programs in Mr. Doctorow’s name and by a Heritage Award for his former home on Broadview Avenue. The Doctorow Legacy Initiative committee —  made up of representatives from the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence, the City of New Rochelle, plus City Historian Barbara Davis and Mrs. Helen Doctorow — says the proposed monument “will promote reading and literacy in the community — twin passions for Doctorow —  and become a destination for those who admire Doctorow and his work, inspiring civic pride as well as providing an aspirational model for our young people.” Expected installation date is May 2017. A video describing the Doctorow Legacy Initiative can be viewed here https://youtu.be/nklHLV9HDcY

    The RFP is open to professional artists who have previous experience in the design, fabrication and installation of life-size and monumental-size, original works of art. (Objects that are mass-produced or of standard manufacture are not eligible for consideration.) Work in any medium will be considered but the medium must be weather resistant and designed to last in a permanent outdoor site. The budget for this project is $80,000, inclusive of all costs (travel, installation, permits, site restoration, insurance and transportation); in addition the selected finalist will receive a $15,000 stipend.  All proposals must be submitted online by June 15, 2016. The Doctorow Legacy Initiative committee will then select semi-finalists, who will each receive $1,500 and be asked to create a maquette and submit a more detailed proposal with an itemized budget.  The final decision will be announced in September, with installation of the work to be completed no later than June, 2017. Complete guidelines, project details, and application are available via NRCA’s website: http://www.newrochellearts.org . Interested applicants can email [email protected] with their questions.

     The New Rochelle Council on the Arts is acting as lead agency for this project. “We are excited to offer this opportunity to artists,” says NRCA President Theresa Kump Leghorn. “It is a significant commission that will occupy a highly visible site on North Avenue in front of New Rochelle High School, and it has the potential to become a community gathering place not just  for Mr. Doctorow’s fans but for all who love to read.”

    New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said “New Rochelle is enormously proud of our long relationship with E.L. Doctorow.  Through this community initiative, we will honor a beloved resident, pay tribute to his extraordinary talent, and ensure that future generations in our city continue to draw inspiration from E.L. Doctorow’s remarkable life and work.”

   The Doctorow Legacy Initiative is actively fundraising, writing grants and reaching out to corporations and individuals. To make a tax deductible contribution with a credit card donors can visit www.newrochellearts.org or mail a check (with Doctorow Legacy written on the notes line) to NRCA, P.O. Box 211, New Rochelle, NY 10804.