Through this Request for Proposal (RFP), the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) seeks to identify a research consultant to conduct a literature review, interview practitioners, and write a report that summarizes the current practices and standards of Healing-Centered Engagement (HCE), primarily with regards to arts engagement and arts-based program design.

Completion date for this project is September 15, 2020.

Project Tasks & Deliverables Overview

The consultant will undertake all of the following:

  1. Create a written summary of findings from a literature review of HCE.
    • Meet with select Arts and Culture staff and engage in a generative discussion about the below questions (see Background) in order to further define the parameters of the literature review
    • Gather, read, and analyze peer-reviewed articles, program evaluations, research reports, and other relevant documents related to healing-centered engagement.
  2. Conduct interviews with at least five and up to eight HCE practitioners or researchers.
  3. Submit and present a final report.

See the documents linked below for more information.


Budget range between $20,000 and $25,000


The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (“Arts and Culture”) advances arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County, which encompasses 88 municipalities and 137 unincorporated areas. Arts and Culture funds nearly 400 nonprofit arts organizations through a two-year $9 million grant program, runs the largest paid summer arts internship program in the country, coordinates the LA County Arts Education Collective, manages the County’s civic art policy, produces free community programs, and conducts research and evaluation to support the field. We envision a region in which arts, culture, and creativity are integral to every aspect of civic life for all people and communities.

Arts and Culture has recently begun providing services based on a Healing-Centered Engagement (HCE) model, driven in part by our Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII). Our CEII work includes increasing access to learning and leadership opportunities for junior high and high school students, particularly students of color, low-income students, LGBTQ+ students, disabled students, current and former foster youth, and adjudicated youth. In 2018, Arts and Culture received a grant from the LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) to partner with the Office of Child Protection (OCP), the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network (AIYN), and DMH to use the arts as a strategy for fostering communities of wellness within public schools. This pilot, the School-Based Healing-Informed Arts Education project, is developing professional development curriculum to strengthen protective factors, cultivate students’ resilience, and build capacity for healing-centered engagement with youth. This work expanded when, in 2019, Arts and Culture received a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Art for Justice Fund to support the launch of an Arts and Youth Development Project, which utilizes several collaborative arts-based strategies to transform the LA County juvenile justice system.

Arts and Culture recognizes that the field of HCE is nascent. We appreciate how arts-based organizations are adapting HCE concepts and have found resonance with much of the literature, and how the community of practitioners is engaged in healing-centered arts-based youth development work. We seek to better understand both the theoretical underpinnings and practice of HCE in order to improve our programs and provide guidance on how it can be utilized in arts programs for youth. Therefore, we seek to hire a consultant to conduct a formal literature review, interview leading practitioners, and write a report that summarizes the current landscape of HCE, primarily with regards to arts engagement and arts-based program design, but also bringing in knowledge from other fields. Findings from this project will be used to inform program design, partnerships, and strategic planning.

Questions that should be addressed in this project include:

  • What is the current state of knowledge of HCE, in any field?
  • What contextually-grounded definitions of HCE are utilized?
  • What are key components of HCE?
  • What are examples of how the field of arts and culture is understanding and incorporating HCE?
  • What is the relationship between HCE and resilience theory, positive youth development, trauma-informed care, youth and community organizing, and other related frameworks?
  • What are the facilitators and barriers, as well as limitations of HCE?
  • What data about HCE is available?
  • What outcomes are being used to measure the impact of HCE programs (both in arts and in other fields), and what have they found?
  • What areas of HCE have yet to be explored?

Selection Criteria and Process

Proposals will be reviewed by staff from Arts and Culture. Proposals will be scored on the following criteria. Consultants who submit the top scoring proposals may be contacted for a phone interview.

1. Relevance of the Principals’ Qualifications and Experience
Up to 300 points
Demonstrated experience conducting literature reviews and expert interviews, and summarizing findings in a clear, concise way that is understandable to a general audience.
A strong background in youth development theory and racial equity lenses.
Demonstrated capacity to employ the foundational competencies of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles.
2. Quality of the Proposed Approach
Up to 350 points
Use of youth development theory and racial equity lenses to interpret the literature and practitioner comments.
Collaborative and flexible approaches for working with colleagues, either remotely or in person, with open and effective communications.
A demonstrated desire to align with Arts and Culture’s goal of using the findings from this project to improve upon systems and services for the benefit of our constituents and employees.
3. Ability to Commit to the Timeline
Up to 100 points
Demonstrated capacity to meet the project deliverables within the defined project period.
4. Cost Efficiency
Up to 100 points
Ability to provide quality service at a reasonable rate.
Budget is adequate to provide high-quality deliverables that align with the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture Re-search and Evaluation Quality Assurance Standards.
5. Participation in County’s Preference Programs
Up to 150 points
If organization is certified for one or more of Los Angeles County’s preference programs listed below, they will receive 50 points for each program:
  • Local Small Enterprise
  • Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise
  • Social Enterprise

Learn more about these programs from the LA County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs.

To Apply

Please submit all of the following items:

  • Up to three-page description of how you would approach this project  
  • Summary of qualifications, up to five pages, including a bibliography of any work published
  • Three work samples

Deadline For Applications

Application materials must be submitted Friday, May 8, 2020 by 5:00 p.m., PDT. Any application materials received after the date and time specified above may be rejected and considered non-responsive.

Please submit materials to:

Matt Agustin, Research Associate.


If you have questions about the proposal process, please email them to Matt Agustin, Research Associate, no later than Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

An FAQ with responses will be posted on The Arts Ed Collective's website at, no later than Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Additional Information

  • Late submissions may not be considered.
  • Arts and Culture reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses received, or initiate contracts through another process.
  • All organizations that submit materials for review will receive confirmation of receipt
  • This request for a proposal 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 proposals 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 in the sole discretion of Arts and Culture or the County of Los Angeles.
  • Consultant selected to enter into a contract with the County of Los Angeles will be required to obtain a county vendor number and must accept the County’s Standard Terms and Conditions. County reserves the right to revise the Standard Terms and Conditions and contracted organizations must accept the then-current version of said terms at the time in which it enters into contract with the Department.
  • This timeline and/or the means by which the services will be delivered by Consultant will be in compliance to any Los Angeles County public health orders to control the spread of COVID-19. Consultant should be prepared to conduct any meetings or presentations over the telephone or online video conferencing applications.

The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the document located here. The document will be updated as new questions arise.