City of Reno

Staff Report

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Approval of Award of Contract for RFQ #2020-02 for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town Grant Community Engagement Consultant to Forecast Public Art beginning September 12, 2019 and ending December 31, 2020, in the amount of $20,000 for the term of the contract, based on the Reno Arts and Culture Commission's recommendation. (General Fund)


Department:City Manager - Special EventsSponsors:
Category:Bid | Rfp | RfqProjects:Other

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation:  Staff recommends approval of the Reno Arts and Culture Commission's recommendation of Forecast Public Art to be awarded contract for RFQ #2020-02. 


Proposed Motion:  I move to approve the Arts & Culture Commission's recommendation.

Staff Report Formal Body

Summary: The City of Reno issued a request for qualifications for an NEA Our Town Grant Community Engagement Consultant on the City’s website from July 22, 2019 until August 9, 2019.  Staff received six proposals with Forecast Public Art as the most qualified and the most responsive to the scope of work requested for $20,000.  The Reno Arts and Culture Commission (RACC) approved staff’s recommendation of Forecast Public Art at their September 10, 2019 regular meeting.  The RACC recommends awarding Forecast Public Art a contract with a start date of September 12, 2019 and end date of December 31, 2020.


Previous Council Action:  On April 24, 2019, Council accepted a Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for an Our Town Grant to support artist-led community design workshops and the creation of public art celebrating the Fourth Street District in Reno for $100,000.


Background:  The City of Reno requested the community engagement consultant for the NEA Grant as staff does not have the capacity to do the wide scale community outreach required by the NEA for an Our Town Grant.  During the April 24, 2019 Council Meeting, Council was asked to approve the RFQ chosen by the consultants.  This agenda item is to fulfill that request. 


Discussion:  Forecast Public Art is a Minnesota-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1978 whose mission is to activate people, networks and proven practices to advance the transformational power of arts in public life.  Although Forecast is not a local” organization, they proposed to use people, places and resources on or near the Fourth Street corridor and invest in the Reno community.  They proposed to bring forward meaningful questions to the public where their input can shape results and they were the only applicant with direct community engagement and large-scale public art planning experience.  Forecast also outlined a very compelling two-year in person engagement planfour open houses in the fall of 2019; three pop-up meetings in fall 2019 or spring/summer 2020; three to four neighborhood/business meetings; hiring a local neighborhood liaison and also will provide a report from all activities for the City to use to program public art on Fourth Street as a part of the full grant process – additional details on their proposal can be found attached to this staff report. They also provided an additional option for mapping, surveys and project website for an additional $15,000 - staff is not recommending this additional expenditure at this juncture but may extend the contract if these services are beyond what the City’s grant partners - The Generator and Nevada Humanities can provide.


Nevada Humanities have also suggested that staff research hiring a historian to assist with updating the community stories on as well as providing expertise with historical markers that were also included in the list of capital improvements that the grant could provide. If the City contracts with a historian, staff envisions that part of the project to occur in spring/summer 2020.


The six applicants for the Community Engagement Consultant RFQ were given full consideration.  Forecast Public Art was the most qualified and the most responsive to the scope of work requested for $20,000.


Financial Implications:  Funds are budgeted in the Room Tax Fund for the contract award amount of $20,000 in the Reno Arts and Culture Commission’s budget.  The City still will need to match the $100,000 NEA Grant with $80,000 from the Room Tax Arts Commission Fund, which has already been set aside in the Reno Arts and Culture Commission Budget.


Legal Implications:  Legal review completed for compliance with City procedures and Nevada Law. NRS 268.0962(2)(b) allows City Council to expend Room Tax proceeds to advertise the resources of  the City which are related to tourism, including available accommodations, transportation, entertainment, natural resources and climate, and to promote special events related thereto.