Make Room For 11 Paid Artist Commissions in Washington, DC

Make a statement about America's high-rent crisis and receive a $1,000 honorarium and more.

Make Room
Paint a distinctive fiberglass door as part of a public art display in Washington, DC.

In September 2017, the entire US Senate acknowledged the devastating impact of the rent-affordability crisis for millions of hardworking Americans by unanimously approving Senate Resolution 312 and designating September 2017 and 2018 as National Month for Renters.

Make Room, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working to address the rental housing crisis in America, will commission 11 individual artists from across the nation to participate in the creation of a world-class public art exhibition in Washington, DC, called “The Doors of Make Room,” as part of National Month For Renters.

Each of the 11 artists will paint a distinctive fiberglass door to be exhibited as part of a public art display in Washington, DC. “The Doors of Make Room” will be displayed on the streets of the nation’s capital in 11 different public and private spaces, including high tourist and/or traffic locations, from September 14 to 25, 2018.

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How It Works:

“The Doors of Make Room” will culminate with a reception at Fathom Art Gallery in Washington, DC, on Sept. 26, for an evening of awareness of the 11 million families who spend more than half their income to rent. This event will include local leaders, housing organizations, sponsors and press to further raise awareness of this important social cause.

The fiberglass door will be the canvas upon which each artist will paint their design. Each door will be made by constructing a mold and then crafting a door, 7 feet high by 3 feet wide, from that mold. The door mold will then be dried, cured and base-coated to prep for painting by the artist. Upon completion of painting, each door will be coated with a special protective finish and adhered to a 2-foot-high concrete base. A plaque containing the artist’s name, title of door, and sponsor (if applicable) will be mounted to the base. Artists will be given 72 hours to execute their design, in person, at a professional work studio in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area that will be provided by one of Make Room’s partner organizations.

Individual artists with professional and/or emerging qualifications are encouraged to respond to this RFP. Artists may submit up to three (3) designs in the form of two-dimensional drawings, renderings or paintings. Artists must be able to replicate their design in the two-dimensional format covering the entire door within the 72 hours provided.

Each artist will receive a $1,000 honorarium and up to $450 for supplies, covering their design fee and all costs associated with execution and materials. For the painting process, Make Room will additionally cover travel, accommodation and meals for each artist as well as provide a professional work studio through one of its partner organizations.

Transportation of each door to and from all locations will be covered by Make Room, its partner organizations and sponsors. Each artist will be provided photographic documentation of their door for their portfolios and websites.

The Clyde Fitch Report is both a media and administrative partner for “The Doors of Make Room.”

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  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 — Release of RFP
  • Friday, April 27, 2018 — Online entries accepted
  • Friday, June 8, 2018 — Submission deadline for proposals
  • Friday, June 22-29, 2018 — Proposal review process
  • Monday, July 9, 2018 — All finalists notified
  • Mid-August TBD, 2018 — Project execution

Selection Criteria:

Make Room will convene a Selection Committee representing diverse interests and professional expertise to review proposals and qualifications of the applicants that respond to this RFP. The committee will use the following criteria in selecting the 11 individual artists for the project, which candidates should address in a short letter of interest:

  • Artistic excellence and innovation as evidenced by past work samples to be submitted.
  • Ability to work within a condensed and aggressive timeline.
  • Creativity and the ability to animate public space.
  • Manner in which the artist interprets cultural, social and aesthetic intersections.
  • The goal of the completed piece — to engage the local community and visiting public.

Applicants’ short letter of interest should communicate how they will connect with the issue or represent the groups impacted the most by the rental housing crisis in America, including women, children, millennials, seniors, veterans, African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos.

All submitted Entries will be judged by a panel of Sponsor-specified judges, based on the following judging criteria:

  • Artistic excellence and innovation as evidenced by past work samples to be submitted (15%);
  • Ability to work within a condensed and aggressive timeline (5%);
  • Creativity and the ability to animate public space (20%);
  • Manner in which the artist interprets cultural, social and aesthetic intersections (35%);
  • The goal of the completed piece, to engage the local community and visiting public (25%_).

The top eleven (11) highest-scoring Entries will then be declared the finalists, subject to verification.

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Submission Requirements:

Please submit the following materials online in a zip file:

  1. Completed application form. Please include full legal name(s) (and other professional name as applicable), mailing address, daytime phone, evening phone, email address, website and social media handles.
  2. Short letter of interest addressing how you meet selection criteria (no more than 500 words).
  3. Resume.
  4. Biography of no more than 250 words.
  5. Up to three (3) design proposals.
  6. No fewer than three (3) and no more than five (5) digital images of previous work. Please submit high quality jpgs only. Do not embed images into PowerPoint or PDFs.
  7. Image list (title, year, medium, dimensions) corresponding to submitted images.

Deadline for Submission: Friday, June 8, 2018, 6pm EST.

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How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted here (or you can place the following link into your browser: 

Please feel free to contact Kashe Mowatt of Make Room ( with any questions.

About Make Room:

Make Room, the nation’s leading organization working to address the rental housing crisis in America, gives voice to struggling renters and elevates rental housing on the agendas of our nation’s leaders. Our mission is to expose the human suffering and societal costs of the rental housing crisis and to advocate for bold solutions to end housing insecurity for 11 million households nationwide.  We advocate for better policies, share personal stories of people struggling to afford their rent, and connect them to our nation’s leaders through our online digital platform.

No Purchase Necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 or older as of date of entry who are professional and/or aspiring artists. Void where prohibited. Begins at 12:00 AM ET on April 27, 2018 and ends at 6:00 PM ET on June 8, 2018. Limit one entry per person/e-mail address. By submitting an entry (or being determined a winner), you hereby irrevocably assign all rights to Sponsor for the entry and if determined a winner, the Design. You further waive all “moral rights” in and to the entry and Design once submitted. Sponsored by Make Room, Inc. For complete details, see Official Rules.