RFP: Planning Consultant Services for Public Arts Master Plan

Closed June 23, 2023, 01:00 PM


The City of Merriam, Kansas is seeking proposals from qualified consultants with specific experience in public art master planning for the purpose of developing the first Public Arts Master Plan for the City of Merriam. The selected consultant will work in conjunction with City staff and Merriam’s Public Art Committee to gather and utilize broad public involvement in the creation of the Merriam Public Arts Master Plan.

Proposals should include information demonstrating experience in public arts planning and community outreach, as well as the information requested in this RFP. The goals of the Public Arts Master Plan are to assist the City in establishing an approach to public art, to develop guidance for the City's Public Art Program, to identify key locations for public art placement through Merriam, and to set priorities for public art with the City. The Public Arts Master Plan should identify a unified community vision, establish a plan for potential selections and placement of public art throughout the community, and strive to educate the public about the role public art plays in the community. The Public Arts Master Plan will provide direction to the City on the planning and processes necessary to develop, administer and maintain a Public Art Program.


Merriam is located along I-35 in Northeast Johnson County, Kansas. Just eight miles south of downtown Kansas City, Merriam is a welcoming, peaceful, tight-knit community with just over 11,000 residents. It is also home to many car dealerships, Ikea, and several local businesses located in downtown and around the City.  

Our residents enjoy a wide variety of amenities and services including beautiful tree-lined streets, walking trails, plentiful parks, a new state-of-the-art community center, public art and abundant events. With affordable housing in safe neighborhoods, an award-winning school district, and a convenient location, Merriam home to those who want the convenience of living close to downtown Kansas City and enjoying the quiet of the suburbs. Please review the City’s Comprehensive PlanDowntown Merriam Corridor Plan, and the Merriam Connected Corridor Plan for more information about the City’s future planning efforts.

The City is seeking to develop its first public art master plan to help guide the work of the Public Art Committee. The Ad Hoc Public Art Committee is a group of eight residents along with two council members who serve in an ex officio capacity. The Committee first formed in 2014 to make recommendations to Council on funding allocated through the City Budget for public art. The funding was programmed for five years and once exhausted, the ad hoc committee disbanded. During that time, the committee commissioned four sculptures that were installed in or near downtown Merriam and at the new Community Center. The Committee has reconvened recently and includes three original members and seven new members. The Committee serves as a recommendation board to the Council on public art procurement and planning. 


The final Public Arts Master Plan shall include, but is not limited to, the following key elements:

  • Establish a vision, values, and goals for the Public Arts Master Plan;
  • Provide recommendations for site placement of permanent and temporary public art. This includes reviewing and becoming familiar with existing policies, local codes and planned future developments;
  • Identify clear goals and action strategies that include both short-term and long-term priorities, estimated budget and costs, and clear implementation dates;
  • Outreach to and engagement of the Merriam community, including a diverse range of stakeholders;
  • Provide a thorough inventory and assessment of the City's cultural assets and opportunities;
  • Recommended public art guidelines, policies, and processes;
  • Recommended policies and programs related to the implementation of the mission, vision, and goals for the Public Arts Master Plan, including temporary and permanent physical art grants, cultural art grants, and other programs;


The following items can be included as an add alternative in the bid:

  • Identification of potential funding models for public art; and
  • Establish standards for maintenance, upkeep and replacement.

Final deliverables and schedule may be negotiated with the successful firm; however, it is anticipated that the final delivery of all work products will be completed by January 15, 2024. The final product will be presented to City Council and the Public Art Committee.


The City looks to the Consultant Team to present a high-quality scope of work and cost-effective fee proposal, with a maximum budget of $29,500. Each proposal shall include the following in order:

  1. Firm Description: Provide a brief description of the firm including firm size and areas of specialization, location of corporate headquarters, and location of office proposed to handle this project.
  2. Project Team: Provide names, resumes, and office locations of key staff assigned to this project. Each team member's education and qualifications shall be listed. Clearly identify the project manager. Resumes should be included in the Appendix.
  3. Project Understanding: Provide a statement summarizing how the consultant and/or project team is particularly qualified for this project.
  4. Scope of Services: Describe the consultant's approach and technical plan for accomplishing the work listed herein.
  5. Project Schedule: The consultant shall provide a schedule, itemized by task, for completing the scope of work.
  6. Project Budget: The consultant shall provide a proposed budget itemized by task and total project cost stated as a firm fixed fee. Labor and direct costs should be identified by task. Hourly rates for project staff shall also be provided.
  7. Comparable Projects: Provide a description of at least three (3) related projects and the roles of each key staff member in each project.
  8. References: Three (3) references, including current contact name and phone number for similar projects. References should be included in the Appendix.
  9. Appendix A: Proof of ability to comply with and maintain the insurance limits included as Exhibit A for the duration of the project.
  10. Appendix B: Acceptance of or requested changes to the Standard Professional Services Agreement included as Exhibit B.

Submit one digital copy of the proposal containing the required information discussed above. 

The deadline for submitting a proposal is 1:00 p.m. CST, Friday, June 23, 2023.

Proposals become the property of the City. Proposals shall be submitted to:

Chris Engel
City Administrator
City of Merriam


The City will review and evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated responsiveness, approach, and methodology of the proposal.
  2. Demonstrated capacity of the project team to complete the proposal as submitted.
  3. Familiarity with Merriam and Johnson County, Kansas.
  4. Proposed schedule for project management and completion.
  5. Reasonable and competitive cost of the proposal.

Upon completion of the review period, the City may notify the consultant(s) whose proposal will be considered for further evaluation and consideration. All consultants so notified may be asked to make presentations in an interview. The successful consultant will be selected in accordance with City procurement policies based on qualifications and anticipated costs. The final scope and fee will be negotiated with the selected firm upon notice of selection. If the proposed firm and the City cannot negotiate an acceptable scope and cost, the second firm will be contacted and will enter into negotiations. Once the final scope and fees are accepted by both parties, the successful consultant will enter into a Professional Services Agreement with the City and provide the City with all required documents including a Kansas Tax Clearance letter. 

The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals at its discretion, and to waive any irregularity.


The following is the City's tentative schedule for the selection of a consultant:

Friday, May 25, 2023 — RFP Release Date

Thursday, June 15, 2023— Deadlines for Submittal of Questions

Friday, June 23, 2023 at 1 p.m. — RFP Response Submittals Due to City

June 23 - 29, 2023 — Selection Committee Review

June 30, 2023 — Notification of Finalists

July 6-10, 2023 — Finalist Interviews 

July 14, 2023 — Anticipated Award of Professional Services Agreement


download rfp

This RFP information and submission requirements can be downloaded as a PDF. 

RFP: Public Arts Master Plan Consultant(PDF, 64KB)

Exhibit A: Standard Insurance Requirements(PDF, 154KB)

Exhibit B: Professional Services Agreement(PDF, 632KB)

Addendum 1 - Q&A(PDF, 37KB)


Questions pertaining to this RFP shall be in writing and directed to Chris Engel at cengel@merriam.org. The deadline for questions is 1:00 p.m. CST, June 15, 2023.