Call for Artists

Main street studios 2

Call for Artists:
Date applications open: February 21, 2023
Application Deadline: March 14, 2023

Main Street Studios: Reflecting the Diversity of Creativity in the Community


The City of Fitchburg is partnering with the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance to commission a temporary art installation at the FCA’s newly opened Main Street Studios. These affordable studio spaces are currently in the process of being leased by local artists while at the same time activating the common space for artist and community use. The City is looking for an artist to design a banner installation that will be located along the vertical brick portions of the building’s façade and will reflect the diversity of creativity in within the community.

Recent efforts: 

Main Street Studios was born out of a collaboration between the Art Stewards, a community engagement program and the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance. A public input meeting of the Fitchburg Cultural Council revealed that local artists wanted affordable studio space and a community art center. Based on this feedback, they began seeking spaces. After several years and a pandemic, an opportunity presented itself at 675 Main Street. This space is owned by Fitchburg State University Foundation. Although the space is a part of FSU’s long term plan to restore the Fitchburg Theater located within the block, they have no short term plans for the space. The FSU Foundation has since leased the space to the FCA which opened Main Street Studios in the summer of 2022.

Location Details:

675 Main Street, the Former Fidelity Bank Building, was donated to Fitchburg State University when Fidelity Bank vacated the space that is now Main Street Studios. Fitchburg Cultural Alliance is renting from the university and opened the studios and hired its Executive Director in June 2022. This space retains its bank layout, complete with teller counter, bank vault, and offices. Main Street Studios is in the process of renting out the eight office spaces to area artists began renting and utilizing the studio spaces in November of 2022. In addition, the common area will be available for workshops, exhibits, community events and performances. The Property owner, Fitchburg State University Foundation, is allowing interior renovation and reconfiguration, however they have requested the exterior remain unaltered. 675 Main Street is a highly visible property on the corner of Main Street and Grove Street. Both the side and front of the building are visible as you approach the building traveling westbound. The building has 16 vertical brick columns of similar widths, with the two brick columns that frame the entrance being wider.

The location is adjacent to the Fitchburg Theater Block which houses the vacant historic theater FSU plans to restore, multiple store fronts and FSU’s Idea Lab which includes a student game development lab and a multiuse public meeting space. Across the street is the City’s Legislative building and City Hall.


Fitchburg is seeking to expand its identity as an arts and culture destination within the North Central MA region. A place for creatives and residents to learn, connect, engage and create economic opportunities through arts and culture. The City is seeking temporary art that will convey this to the public through an installation depicting the variety and diversity of art and artists in our Fitchburg community. This installation should also invite the public to think about what types of art they would like to see in their community. The temporary art created shall be three feet wide by nine feet long, (3’ x 9’), be installed on at least eight of the sixteen vertical brick columns of the façade and must be removable after 18 months without damage or alteration of the existing building. The selected artist will work with a local banner company identified by the City to manufacture and install the eight banners based on the above specifications. Banners shall be installed using masonry anchors attached in the mortar between bricks. Adding an interactive element such as a QR code linked to a survey or a more analog method inviting residents to share what art they would like to see is encouraged, but not required. Artists that include an interactive element will receive an extra point during submission scoring.


The City of Fitchburg will fund the creation and installation of the public art piece(s) at a total budget of $10,000. This total budget includes the cost of banner manufacture and installation. The City has approved vendors that the artist is welcome to work with, estimated quotes for printing 8 Boulevard Banners $3,969.50 and estimated installation is $995.00, for a total of $4924.5.  Artists are welcome to work with City's approved vendors or identify fabricator and installation/maintenance company for the city to approve as it needs to meet building requirements, e.g. not altering the exterior of the building.   The City strongly encourages the use of local vendors for this project.

Payment Schedule will be as follows:
Deliverable PaymentDue Date
1. Signed agreement and initial design   $500.00April 11, 2023
2. Finalized design. Draft Fabrication and Timeline

Approval from Officials, City, Fitchburg Cultural Council and FSU

$2,500.00April 21, 2023

Certificate of Insurance from the artist identifying artist and City as insured[KS1] . Confirmation of fabrication date, date of installation, and fabrication/installation company to be used. Installation must be completed by a licensed and insured sign manufacturer/installer.   

$: $500 + fabrication costs documented by estimate from sign fabricator/installer. The City has conferred with the property owner and has an agreed upon installation method. The City will work with the artist to ensure this method is followed as noted in Deliverable 2.   May 5, 2023
4. Confirmation of permit to install by installation company. The installation company will apply for the permit, artist will coordinate this with the installation company and confirm with City. The artist only needs to inform the City that the permit application has been obtained, it does not need to apply for the permit directly.$1,000.00 + installation costMay 26, 2023
5. Installation and Inspection: Artwork fabricated according to design. Site(s) prepared for art. Successful Installation. Sign off from City Authorities, (inspection of proper installation)balance of $10,000.00 less $500.00June 15, 2023
6. Instruction/Plan for de-installation at the end of its useful life

$500.00June 30, 2023

Main street studios


  • February 21, 2023: Call for Artists released
  • March 14, 2023: Submissions due
  • March 28, 2023: Artist selected/awarded
  • April 11, 2023 Artist Grant Agreement signed, community engagement plan and timeline submitted
  • April 21,2023: Final design and approval
  • May 5, 2023: Insurance certificate provided and Confirmation of fabrication date and date of installation.
  • May 26, 2023: Confirmation of permit to install by installation company
  • June 15, 2023: Installation and Inspection
  • June 30, 2023: Final payment completion

Artist Selection

Selection Committee: 

 The artist selection committee includes a City official and members of the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance, Fitchburg State University, and the Fitchburg Cultural Council.  The committee will review all applications and select one artist/artistic collaboration to carry out this project.

The selection committee will notify all submitting artists of their decision by March 28, 2023.

The City’s Community Development and Planning Department Representative will serve as the Project Liaison between the committee and the Artist. City officials and the committee will review the designs and may make recommendations and suggestions regarding final design and installation requirements.  Artist and Representative must come to agreement on any design changes prior to signing an agreement.

Artist will be selected based on the following criteria:


A complete application must be submitted on-time based upon stated deadline, and must include all required information.  Incomplete or unreadable submissions will not be accepted

Artist will be selected based on the following criteria.

Artist must:

  • Reside in Massachusetts.
  • Demonstrate experience creating and delivering digital art files in the scale proposed. (Artist is not required to have experience coordinating banner fabrication.)


Project Design must:

  • Reflect the variety and diversity of art and artists in our Fitchburg community and/or invite the public to think about what types of art they would like to see in their community.
  • Be original, previously unpublished, and free of copyright restrictions.
  • Be feasibly constructed and installed by a licensed and insured installation company.
  • Be appropriate for public display- i.e. content should be “all ages” appropriate.  
  • Not feature any commercial, political or religious content.

Priority will be given to:

  • Artists that include an interactive element that engages the community (e.g. a QR code that the public can interact with).
  • Artists who work with and/or who are in relationship with the diversity of the communities in Fitchburg.


Application Requirements:

  • Artist contact information: Artist’s Name, Email, Mailing Address and Phone Number (Link to social media and/or website is optional)
  • Artist Bio. (Resume/CV and/or list of relevant work experience is recommended, but not required)
  • 3 relevant work samples
  • At least 1 image (up to 8 files) of the proposed design for the banners (2MB maximum size per file)
  • Artist statement explaining the proposed design, i.e. How does your design reflect the variety and diversity of art and artists in our Fitchburg community and/or invite the public to think about what types of art they would like to see in their community?
  • 2 references that can speak to your relevant artistic and/or professional experience (Name, Phone, Email, Affiliation to you)

Sample Artist Agreement: /DocumentCenter/View/10786

Applications must be submitted through the online form by March 14, 2023: 

Link to Application: