Statue Honoring Dr. Maya Angelou San Francisco Library, Main Branch (REISSUE)

Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission (the “Commission”) invites artists and artist teams residing in the United States to submit qualifications for a sculpture honoring Dr. Maya Angelou at the San Francisco Main Library. Artists that have previously applied to the Dr. Maya Angelou Sculpture Project RFQ issued in November 2018 will automatically be considered for this project and do not need to re-apply, but may re-apply if they wish. If you are re-applying with new or updated materials, please indicate that on your application in the Letter of Interest section.

Finalist Honoraria:       $2,000 plus travel allowance up to $1,500 for out of town artists

Artist’s Contract: The artist’s contract for artwork will be up to $250,000, inclusive of all artist's fees, and associated expenses for design, structural engineering, fabrication, insurance, transportation and consultation during installation.

Installation Allowance (under a separate contract between the Commission and an art handler): $30,000

Project Description

On October 16, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance affirming San Francisco’s Commitment to 30% female representation in the public realm by the year 2020. The Ordinance recognizes that although 51% of the population is female, women are woefully underrepresented in sectors of public and private leadership roles, and their historical contributions are inadequately recognized in public statues and memorials.

The Ordinance urges San Francisco to meet and exceed that minimum threshold of female representation by recognizing the contribution that women have made to San Francisco and the world and urges all City departments to endeavor to achieve at least 30 percent non-fiction female representation in the public realm through works of art on City property, names of streets and right-of-ways, parks, public buildings and department websites and publications.

The first of these projects has been identified by the Board of Supervisors as an artwork honoring Dr. Maya Angelou in recognition of her many accomplishments including breaking the color and gender barriers by becoming San Francisco’s first African American female streetcar conductor, an award-winning author and poet, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and a civil rights leader.

SITE: The artwork will be located at the main branch of the San Francisco Library, which is located at 100 Larkin St., in the Civic Center Complex, facing City Hall.


  • To honor Dr. Maya Angelou with the creation of a 3-dimensional statue depicting Dr. Angelou, one of the most significant literary artists and activists of our time.
  • The artwork will be an ever-present role model and inspiration to girls and young women.
  • The proposed statue will be a means of expressing the value the City places on the contributions and achievements of all women.
  • While most monuments in the City that depict historic individuals honor white men, the sculpture of Dr. Maya Angelou will begin to redress this imbalance by honoring a woman of color.

Selection Process

Stage 1. Prequalified Artist Panel: After the application deadline, the Arts Commission staff will establish an artist qualification panel to screen the applicants to establish the pool of artists best qualified to execute the project as evidenced by examples of past work. Review criteria will include artistic excellence as evidenced by skill in portraiture and ability to capture the spirit of the subject.

Stage 2. Review Panel Initial Evaluation: The Dr. Maya Angelou Sculpture Project Review Panel will review the list of qualified candidates. The Review Panel will consist of a representative of the Library Commission, a representative from the Commission on the Status of Women, an Arts Commissioner, and outside arts professionals and community representatives.

The Review Panel will evaluate the applications generally in accordance with the criteria itemized below and identify three finalists (These three finalists are part of a S.F. Admin. Code 24(c)(1) pool), who will be invited to develop conceptual site-specific proposals after attending an orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $2,000 for development of a conceptual design proposal, plus the reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses up to $1,500.

Stage 3. Public Comment: The finalists’ proposals will be displayed at the San Francisco Main Library for written public comment prior to the final selection panel meeting. The proposals will also be posted on the Arts Commission website.

Stage 4. Review Panel Finalist Evaluation: The Review Panel will reconvene to evaluate the finalists’ proposals in an interview format; out of town artists may attend in person or choose to participate via Skype.

The Review Panel will submit the three finalists’ proposals to the Arts Commission who shall then select and approve the winning proposal. At the time of such submission the Review Panel will recommend one proposal to the Arts Commission.

Stage 5. Arts Commission Approval: The three finalists’ proposals and the Review Panel’s recommendation will be submitted first to the Visual Arts Committee, a subcommittee of the Arts Commission, and then to the full Arts Commission for approval by Resolution.

Public Meetings: All Arts Commission meetings and Public Art Review Panel meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Arts Commission website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. To check the meeting schedule for public art projects, please go to our website at: https://www.sfartscommission.org/calendar


  • Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline.
  • Artwork examples submitted represent the artist’s own original creative work.
  • The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation and originality, as evidenced by professional quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills, techniques; professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communicate a unique vision or perspective.
  • The artist’s work exhibits skill in portraiture.
  • The artist’s work is judged to be appropriate to the goals of the project.
  • The artist's professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries, and/or non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions; participation in artist-in- residency programs, or other related activities indicative of a professional art practice.
  • The artist is available to participate in the design, approval and implementation of the project as required.
  • Assessed ability to meet project deadlines and to perform work in a timely and professional manner.

How To Apply

Applications are available through SlideRoom, an online application system for calls for entry. There is no charge to artists for using SlideRoom. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur.

Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered will not be considered.

Applications will not be accepted after February 24, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (PST) deadline.

Please note that if you already applied for the previous Dr. Maya Angelou RFQ, you do not need to resubmit an application. You will be considered in this RFQ, unless you request to withdraw your application. You may re-apply with new or updated materials, if you wish. If you are re-applying with new or updated materials, please indicate that on your application in the Letter of Interest section.

Application materials must include:

1. Resume

  • 25,000 characters maximum.
  • If you are applying as a team, please include your team/studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes (one right after the other) of each team member into one document.

2. Letter of Interest

  • 5,000 characters maximum.
  • This should be a summary of your artistic focus and professional career, especially as your background relates to your qualifications for this project. Do not make a specific proposal for this new commission.

3. 10 images of previous work

  • SlideRoom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1500 x 1500 pixels.
  • For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.

4. Image descriptions

  • When you upload your images, SlideRoom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.​

Go to the Arts Commission website and check out our "How to Apply to Calls" for helpful tips on how to submit the most competitive application. 

Contact SlideRoom technical support: Available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (CST) support@slideroom.com 

Contact Arts Commission staff: Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org, or 415-252-2249. Please note that Arts Commission staff will be available to answer questions about this call for proposals until 5 p.m. (PST) on the deadline date, February 24, 2020.

The Policies and Guidelines for the Civic Art Collection on the Arts Commission apply to this RFQ..

The issuance of this RFQ does not constitute an agreement by the Commission that any contract will actually be entered into by the City. The Commission expressly reserves the right at any time to:

  1. Waive or correct any defect or informality in any response, proposal, or proposal procedure;
  2. Reject any or all proposals;
  3. Reissue a Request for Qualifications;
  4. Prior to submission deadline for proposals, modify all or any portion of the selection procedures, including deadlines for accepting responses, the specifications or requirements for any materials, equipment or services to be provided under this RFQ, or the requirements for contents or format of the proposals; or
  5. Procure any materials, equipment or services specified in this RFQ by any other means.

Project Timeline

Application Deadline
February 24, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (PST)

Stage 2: Review Panel Initial Evaluation
March 2020

Stage 3: Public Comment
May 2020

Stage 4: Review Panel Finalist Evaluation
May 2020

Stage 5: Visual Arts Committee Approval
May 2020

Stage 5: Full Commission Approval
June 1, 2020

Artist under contract
Summer 2020

Anticipated Completion
December 2020


Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in the United States. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

April 26
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

April 18
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

April 19
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

April 18
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting