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Mayor's Office

Posted on: May 15, 2019

City Seeks Interested Applicants to Create MLK Memorial in Portland

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The City of Portland announced today that it is seeking qualifications from interested applicants for the creation of a memorial to honor Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Portland. The RFQ is available here and interested applicants have until June 26 to submit their qualifications. The MLK Recognition Task Force, appointed to consider how best to recognize and acknowledge Dr. King’s life and work, determined it was best to site a memorial in an open area on the Bayside Trail located in the West Bayside neighborhood. The City has allocated $100,000 for the creation of the memorial. 

The City Council’s Sustainability & Transportation Committee established the MLK Memorial Selection Committee to oversee the RFQ and RFP process. The Committee, co-chaired by Councilor Jill Duson and Reverend Kenneth Lewis, will choose up to three finalists to move on to the proposal phase. 

“I’m excited and honored to Co-Chair the final process to select and site a fitting recognition to acknowledge and honor Dr. King and his life’s work,” said Councilor Jill Duson. “I’m confident that we will receive a lot of interest from artists inspired by his legacy.”  

“A monument to the life and legacy of Dr. King will serve as a special place of reflection and inspiration for all Maine people,” said Reverend Kenneth Lewis, pastor of the Green Memorial AME Zion Church in Portland. 

The memorial is intended to inspire visitors to reflect on Dr. King’s life and the values he espoused, prompting everyone to consider how they can contribute to realizing his vision of an equitable and fair society. The City encourages proposals that can offer a programmatic element so that it is more than just a plaza or statue. 

This RFQ is open to all artists, architects, landscape architects, or teams engaged with public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. Artists from the Portland area are encouraged to apply. 

Applicants are asked to submit:  

  • Artist Information, including bios, preferred pronouns, resumes/CVs 
  • Artist statement 
  • Project vision explicating artist’s conception of the memorial's significance for Portland and its visitors from around the world, now, and in the future 
  • Past work samples (up to 10) with an annotated image list* 
  • List of references 

*Please note the Committee is not requesting full design work at this stage. 

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