Midtown Viaducts Project in Detroit

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Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) in partnership with the New Economy Initiative (NEI) is seeking proposals to transform the undersides of two viaducts located in Midtown Detroit’s TechTown district with public art and light. MDI is pleased to announce that its Call for Entries is now open.

The Second and Cass Avenue viaducts are two fully operational railroad bridge grade separations located between Baltimore and Amsterdam Streets in TechTown. Originally constructed in 1934, these once magnificent viaducts have been poorly maintained over the years and lack adequate lighting, contributing to unsafe perceptions of the district. This call seeks to give these industrial bridges new life—making them a choice destination rather than a place to pass through.

Accepted proposals will be funded up to $75,000 per viaduct. Applicants may provide proposals for either one or both viaducts. If applying for both viaducts, proposals may treat each viaduct as two separate installations or visually connect the two viaducts with a cohesive design.

Entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

+    Conceives an imaginative transformation of space and conceptual design
+    Combines art and function to create a friendlier environment that promotes use of the space
+    Creates a signature presence for the viaducts that encourages daytime and nighttime interaction
+    Provides adequate and artfully designed lighting
+    Utilizes sustainable building materials and is feasible to maintain
+    Contributes to TechTown’s identity as a hub of innovation

This call is open to all professional artists, architects, designers, design firms and/or teams consisting of these entities located in the following eight southeast Michigan counties:  Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. National and international partners may be included in any given team as long as the project lead can prove residency or physical presence in one of the previously mentioned eight counties. Winning proposals will be selected by a panel of Detroit-based curators and arts professionals.

The closing date for applications is April 30, 2014. The selected projects will be announced in May 2014.

TechTown is a 20-block emerging innovation district anchored by three key institutions in Midtown Detroit—Wayne State University, the College for Creative Studies and the Henry Ford Health System. The Midtown Viaducts Project will contribute to the growing vibrancy of the district and will become a unique destination for visitors.

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