The LA County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) Civic Art Program seeks an artist or artist team to create an artwork to recognize the women and events surrounding the practice of coerced sterilization at the LA County + USC Medical Center in the 1960s and 70s. The opportunity is for an exterior imbedded floor and/or 3-dimensional artwork in the upper courtyard. The historic LA County + USC Medical Center is one of the largest public hospitals and medical training centers in the United States, and the largest single provider of healthcare in LA County.


On August 7, 2018 the LA County Board of Supervisors apologized to more than 200 women who experienced coerced sterilization at the LA County + USC Medical Center. In their apology, it was conveyed that coerced sterilization is a shameful part of America’s history, as it was used as a means of controlling the growth of undesirable populations such as immigrants, people of color, poor people, unmarried mothers, the disabled, and the mentally ill. The practice was wide-spread, as federally-funded sterilization programs operated in 32 states throughout the 20th century.

Throughout the 1900s, California had one of the most active sterilization programs in the nation. Research indicates that the majority of these sterilizations were done on women and girls and disproportionately impacted Latinas, who were 59% more likely to be sterilized than non-Latinas.

Eugenic sterilization programs are now recognized as a major human rights abuse. Regretfully, LA County also participated in questionable sterilization practices between 1968 and 1974. Although the women who were subjected to these sterilization procedures provided written or oral consent, there is a question as to whether, due to possible language and cultural barriers, the consent was truly informed. Over 200 women who delivered babies at the medical center, the majority of whom were low income and born in Mexico, were possibly coerced into getting postpartum tubal ligations. At least some of the women were not aware they had been sterilized, and only learned that they had lost their reproductive rights during subsequent doctors’ visits. The Board of Supervisors found it to be significant and necessary to acknowledge the irreparable harm inflicted onto the women who were subjected to these coerced sterilizations at LA County + USC Medical Center, and to their families.


Goals and Location of Artwork

The selected artwork will recognize the history of coerced sterilization at LA County + USC Medical Center and convey the County’s sincere apologies to the women and families that were harmed by the County’s practices. Engagement with the survivors and their families is integral to this civic artwork. During the development of the final design, the artist will participate in an engagement process to inform the artwork concept and inspire a sense of community ownership.

The ideal artwork will reflect a respectful and contemplative presence through a floor artwork and/or a 3-dimensional sculptural element. The artwork materials must be durable with a minimum estimated 25-year lifespan. All artwork must take into account the broad age range of the visitors in regards their safety, and be easily maintainable. The artist or artist team for this artwork will be responsible for design services, fabrication, and installation.

The artwork location is within a circular seating area located between the historic and new medical center buildings.


The all-inclusive artwork budget is $80,000. This budget includes artist fees, liability insurance, artist travel, and all costs associated with the design, engineering, fabrication, permitting, delivery, and installation of the artwork.

Project Schedule

Date Event
June 25, 2019 RFQ Process Workshop (optional)
July 25, 2019 Deadline for RFQ Submissions 5:00 pm PST
Summer/Fall 2019 Finalists Interviews/ Three Artists Selected to Develop Proposals
Fall 2019 Artist and Artwork Proposal Selected
Winter, 2020 Artwork Final Design Complete
Winter, 2020 Fabrication Start
Spring, 2020 Artwork Installation Complete


This civic artwork is open to professional artists residing or working within LA County that have had experience with permanent public art projects. Artists who have not had permanent public art project experience are encouraged to apply in artist teams with the appropriate experience. Artists who have artwork in the County’s Civic Art Collection will be eligible if this project has a higher budget than the previously commissioned project or if the artist has not done a civic art project with the Arts Commission for five years.

Selection Criteria

The LA County Department of Arts and Culture Civic Art program strives to create artworks which reflect aesthetic and technical quality, innovation, site-specificity, and civic engagement. The selected artist or artist team will be required to participate in a rigorous design process. This process includes research through site visits and design meetings, conservator review, structural engineering, budget tracking, and timeline management.

Artists will be selected on the basis of their qualifications, as demonstrated by the quality of their past work and suitability of their artistic expression for this particular site. Artist applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Artist Selection Criteria
  • Proven artistic merit and strong professional qualifications that demonstrate the artist’s ability to achieve the guiding principles of the Civic Art Program: aesthetic and technical quality, innovation, site specificity, civic engagement, and the ability to transform a space/user experience
  • Ability to create artwork for the location as indicated in this RFQ
  • Artist or artist team demonstrate ability to effectively assess the spatial and technical conditions of an architectural space and propose an integrated, easily maintainable, permanent artwork
  • Experience completing a prior public artwork or completing artwork utilizing permanent materials such as metal, stone, tile, or concrete
  • Artist or artist team to demonstrate ability to execute project within project timeline
  • Artist to demonstrate ability to work within the given budget
  • Artist or artist team to demonstrate ability to work with a multidisciplinary team, (for example: government agencies, architects, and engineers)
  • Artist or artist team must demonstrate affordability of project in preliminary budget and final budget prior to fabrication
  • Artist or artist team demonstrates prior project(s) completed within budget projections

-Only artists who meet these criteria should apply-

RFQ Process Workshop (Optional)

Artists’ Civic Art Application Process Workshop

Artist Civic Art Application Process Workshop
June 25, 2019 | 6:30PM - 7:30PM
LA County Department of Arts and Culture

Potential applicants are invited to discuss the RFQ process with LA County Department of Arts and Culture Civic Art Program staff at the Artists’ Civic Art Application Process Workshop. This workshop will cover the application process and strategies for successful portfolio submissions for a range of upcoming Civic Art opportunities. Questions raised in the workshop will be posted publicly on the Arts Department website by July 8, 2019.

To Apply

Application materials must be received on or before July 25, 2019 | 5:00PM PST. Any application materials received after the date and time specified above will be rejected and considered non-responsive, and returned to the Artist unopened.

Submit the following materials:

  1. Resume including name, mailing address, phone number(s), fax, email, and web page (if applicable). Include a team bio if applying as an artist team. Resume should not exceed three pages.
  2. A maximum two-page letter of interest, addressing:
    • Why this project interests you;
    • What role do you think public monuments or markers can have within a social justice context?
    • How you have worked with a government agency, designers, and/or with a community engagement process to develop an artwork;
    • Your experience with restricted site conditions, strict technical constraints, and materials requirements, including specifications for size, strength, and engineering capacities;
    • Your artistic practice, your sources of inspiration, and your method for developing high quality, innovative, and timelessly meaningful artwork;
    • For artist teams: your respective roles and history of collaboration;

    -Only letters which specifically address these points will be considered-

  3. Up to ten images of your relevant work (refer to Artist Selection Criteria)
    • Submit digital images in JPEG format, PC compatible, no larger than 1920X1920 pixels resolution (do not zip or stuff your files). NOTE: Each image must be unlocked and downloadable;
    • Label each image with artist’s last name, first name, and a two digit number which corresponds to the annotated image list (for example: JonesJane01, JonesJane02);
  4. An annotated image list, that indicates:
    • Title, date, medium, and dimensions;
    • Location of artwork;
    • Brief project description (maximum 100 characters);
    • Project budget;
    • Commissioning agency or client, and project manager (if applicable);
  5. Three professional references, with title, phone and email addresses included.

The preferred method for submitting materials for the RFQ is to upload your files to a file sharing service such a Dropbox.

DropBox Link Instructions:

  1. Sign in to, or sign up for an account if this is your first time using Dropbox.
  2. Create a folder using the following naming convention FirstInitialLastName-Application (example: JJones-Application). If you are applying as a firm, use your firm’s design instead of FirstInitialLastName (example: JonesStudio-Application).
  3. Upload the files per our application materials guidelines.
  4. Once you have created your folder and uploaded your application materials, share viewing privileges with Arts and Culture by hovering your cursor over the folder you want to share and click Share.
  5. The next prompt or pop up screen will ask if you want to create a link (if you haven’t already designated your folder from the start as a Shared Folder). If a link hasn’t been created, click Create a link. If a link was already created click Copy link.

Do not send the requested materials as attachments to an email. Instead, copy the link to your clipboard and paste it to the body of an email addressed to:, SUBJ: LA County + USC Medical Center.

Selection Process

This Project Coordination Committee (PCC) is composed of an Arts Deputy, an Arts Commissioner, a representative from the Department of Health Services and from the LA County + USC Medical Center, and two arts professionals. The Civic Art program staff serves as a non-voting advisor to the PCC. Artists should send images that can be understood by an audience that is not professionally versed in the arts. Artists should not send art proposals in response to this RFQ.

The civic artist will be selected through a two phased process:

  1. Artists’ responses to this RFQ will be evaluated anonymously by the PCC with facilitation by the Civic Art Project Manager. Up to three finalists and one alternate will be shortlisted for the second phase.
  2. Finalists will be invited to develop a conceptual design proposal and presentation to the PCC. With guidance from the Civic Art program, the PCC will review artist applications, conduct finalist interviews, select the artists or artist teams, and review the project from design development through artwork installation.


  • 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).


Project Coordination Committee
Representatives from involved County departments, the Chief Executive Office and the Department of Arts and Culture.
The work as ultimately conceived, designed, fabricated and installed by the Artist after consultation with and approval by the Project Coordination Committee and applicable jurisdictional agencies.
Artist Team
A professional collaboration of individual artists and consultants who do not necessarily operate under a single entity.

Have Questions?

For questions about this RFQ, please contact Pat Gomez, Civic Art Project Manager, at


Download the full RFQ as a PDF.

June 25, 2019 | 6:30PM - 7:30PM
LA County Department of Arts and Culture