The Arts Commission, the LA County Probation Department, and the LA County Office of Diversion and Reentry seek an artist or organization to establish an arts-focused approach to client care by working with clients, county staff, and community-based organizations located in the Reentry Center of the new Probation office at 3965 South Vermont Avenue.


The LA County Probation Department (Probation) will open an area office at 3965 South Vermont Avenue in June 2019. A new community Reentry Center will be located on the third floor of the building and operated in partnership with the LA County Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR). The center will provide services to those who are on adult felony probation, their families, and the community.

The Arts Commission, Probation, and ODR seek an artist or non-profit organization to be physically located at the Reentry Center as a long-term strategy for embedding the arts into client healing, socio-emotional development, job skills training, and family reunification.

Most art instruction workshops, rehearsals, and performances/exhibitions for clients will be coordinated by the artist or organization and will take place on dates and times as determined by the collective which could include evenings and weekends. Some instruction may take place Monday through Friday during office hours (8AM-5PM) as appropriate within the shared 3rd floor open floorplan.


Adult clients and family members will have opportunities to create and build skills in the arts, as well as to produce and participate in performances/exhibitions in multiple arts disciplines, such as dance, music, theater, visual arts, creative writing, and spoken word.

Over time, participants will:

  • Engage in participatory arts learning, gain skills in an art form, create original work, and tap into creative expression;
  • Enhance cognitive, linguistic, social-emotional, and civic development;
  • Envision positive pathways to college or careers and attain both the knowledge and skills needed for success and employment in the creative economy;
  • Develop relationships with artists and community-based arts organizations that will aid in continuing their artistic pursuits through mentorships, internships, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities;
  • Be empowered to engage in arts and culture in their communities.

In addition, the arts will be used to establish a creative, collaborative culture across the Reentry Center via ongoing professional development and opportunities for staff engagement in the arts.


Phase 1 (July, 2019 - February, 2020): Planning and Prototyping

The selected artist or organization will field test and refine various approaches for supporting clients and staff through multiple arts disciplines:

  1. Establish a presence in the office space alongside County agencies and other community-based organizations on a part-time or possibly full-time basis, depending on available space and program needs
  2. Prototype/field test various models for ongoing client engagement in trauma-informed arts instruction that addresses client (and family) wellness in addition to job skills training across multiple arts disciplines, refining methods and practices to improve outcomes and impact
  3. Launch a cross-agency collaboration with training(s) in arts-based trauma-informed care for all employees working in the new facility, including staff from Probation, ODR, and community-based organizations
  4. Prototype/ field test various models for ongoing staff participation in arts-based professional development and self-care across multiple arts disciplines

Phase 2 (February - July, 2020): Implementation

If successful, the selected artist or organization will then:

  • implement consistent programming and services based on promising practices identified after an assessment meeting with LACAC, Probation, ODR and other stakeholders;
  • continue to refine methods and practices to consistently achieve high outcomes and impact over time.


This residency is open to artists or organizations based in LA County. The artist or organization must be available to be onsite at the Reentry Center on the 3rd floor of the new Probation office at 3965 South Vermont Avenue on a part-time flexible schedule that includes evenings and weekends.


The all-inclusive budget of $60,000 for one year will be divided into two phases: (1) Planning and Prototyping and (2)Implementation. The budget will be divided as follows:

  • $40,000 covers the artist or organization fee including oversight of development and execution of community-specific engagement, activities, working with staff, and CBOs, as well as art making. This also includes all expenses associated with travel, mileage, and parking for both phases.
  • $20,000 covers all costs such as hiring artists or other consultants, art materials, and equipment.

After successful completion of Phase 1, the artist or organization may be asked to complete Phase 2, contingent on review by the key stakeholders. The selected artist or organization will be asked to track its hours and activities provided at the Center as part of interim and final reports.

Criteria for Selection

This project requires a deep commitment. Artists or Organizations must be driven by collaborative work and a long-standing commitment to community engagement and working with those who have been impacted by the justice system. They must be able to present a track record that demonstrates their ability to align creative practice with social and public need.

To assure that the goals of the project are met, applicants will be required to participate in a competitive selection process. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of stakeholders and evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Experience working collaboratively and engaging with diverse stakeholders;
  2. A broad range of creative skills or programming history applicable to the development and execution of a multi-disciplinary program, such as: social practice, music, visual arts, dance, creative writing, spoken word, and theater instruction, as well as exhibition/performance. Knowledge of A/V and lighting systems to support program activities is a plus, but outside consultants may be hired, as needed, to address these areas;
  3. Experience working with communities impacted by the justice system;
  4. Basic knowledge of the diverse services provided by the LA County Probation Department and ODR, as well as an eagerness to learn more.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of County staff, project partners, community stakeholders, and local residents. The committee will evaluate applications to select the finalist.

How To Apply

Applications must be received via Dropbox link (not shared files or folders) at no later than May 31, 2019 | 10:59PM PST.

NOTE: Any application materials received after the specified date and time will be rejected and considered non-responsive.

All applications must include the following:

  1. A two-page letter of interest addressing the following, including (where possible) examples of where you have done the kind of work you are describing:
    Only letters that specifically address these points will be considered:
    1. Why this project in particular interests you;
    2. Your experience with engaging diverse populations in creative, collaborative processes and arts programming. Please share examples;
    3. Your experience working with adults on probation, justice-involved individuals, their families, and/or social services staff that support them. Please share examples;
    4. Your knowledge of/experience in arts-based, trauma-informed practices, and how you or your organization is a reflection of the communities served;
    5. How art can serve as a catalyst for change;
    6. Describe your proposed approach to completing the scope of work and goals of this project and provide specific details; and
    7. What skills do the principal(s) and/or staff have that would aid in the completion of the two Phases of this initiative, and what is your plan to enlist partners and/or consultants to fill in areas where your skills may be lacking?
  2. Resumes for all principals.
  3. Three work samples, including jpgs, videos, or presentations.
  4. List of three professional references, with title, phone, and email addresses.


RFP Issued May 6, 2019
Deadline to reply May 31, 2019
PCC Selection June, 2019
Project Dates July, 2019 - July, 2020


  • Do not send original artwork.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • If artists are applying as a team, the team must be declared at the time of application in the letter of interest. Teams must include resumes for all team members with application. Please submit a minimum of five images per team of completed or proposed projects, not per artist.
  • The Arts Commission reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses received, or commission an artist through another process.
  • All artists who submit their materials for review will receive written notification of the results of the selection process, including identification of the selected artist(s).
  • This request for qualifications does not constitute an offer to contract or a promise for remuneration, recognition, or any other thing. Submission of any materials in response to this request for qualifications will not constitute an express or implied contract. The information contained and/or any program or event described herein may be changed, amended, modified, canceled, revoked, or abandoned without notice at any time and for any reason at the sole discretion of the Arts Commission or the County of Los Angeles.
  • Artists will not be eligible for more than two County projects at any given time.
  • Priority will be given to artists who have had no prior commission of the same or greater budget with the LA County Civic Art Program.
  • If an artist is selected for the Artist-In-Residence, that artist will be required to enter into a contract with the County of Los Angeles. Because the Artist-In-Residence will partially take place on County property, artwork will be located on public property, and because the County of Los Angeles is a public entity subject to laws, rules, and regulations which are not necessarily applicable to private persons or companies, the Arts Commission has prepared a form agreement for use in connection with artwork commissioned for the Civic Art Program. If an artist is selected, that artist acknowledges that they are willing and able to enter into a contract in the form made available on the Arts Commission website. The Arts Commission reserves the right to revise or change its form agreement at any time, for any reason, and to require artists to use the revised form for contracting purposes
  • The artist is required to carry General Liability Insurance for 1 million and indemnify the County and Automobile Insurance meeting California minimum standards throughout the duration of the Artist-In-Residence.
  • The artist will submit to a background check prior to start of the Artist-In-Residence, and participate in an County on-boarding process (including but not limited to County policy on equity, sexual harassment prevention, and other training as necessary).

Have Questions?

For questions, please contact Caroline Kerrigan Lerch, Civic Art Project Manager at (213) 202-5941 or

For additional information about the Civic Art Program, please visit the Civic Art Program online at


Download the full RFP as a PDF.