Open Call for Proposals

Submissions open March 1, 2016 to Noon April 1, 2016

Download the RPF (PDF)

Project Goals | Festival Theme | Eligibility | Selection Criteria
Award Requests | Responsibilities and Scope of Work
Submission Materials | Terms | Schedule | Contact Information

Help us bring the concept behind the River Balcony to life with your ideas for making this future pedestrian path a vibrant destination and premier opportunity to connect to the Mississippi River.

The River Balcony, a 1.5-mile public pathway planned for the downtown Saint Paul river bluff edge from the Science Museum to Union Depot, will provide opportunities for visual and physical connections to the Mississippi River, as well as places to enjoy public art, performances, a meal and a beverage.

Find out more about the City’s long-term vision of the River Balcony as it relates to the Great River Passage Plan here.

From March 1 until April 1, local and national citizens and organizations are invited to submit innovative ideas to turn the River Balcony into a more engaging place for people to connect to the river and with one another, as part of the festival.

The Prototyping Festival is hosted by Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation, with support from the City of Saint Paul, Public Art Saint Paul, and the CapitolRiver Council. Funding is provided by the Knight Green Line Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Additional support provided by Public Art Saint Paul, Saint Paul EcoDistrict, Exeter Group, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and Science Museum of Minnesota.

This is a RFP for creative ways to bring the River Balcony to life. $25,000 is available for ideas to create installations and programming, or “prototypes,” that demonstrate how your idea will work. Prototyping is the use of art, design, and social engagement to envision what a space can become and how it can serve a different role in our community.

On Saturday, September 10th from 2:00pm to 6:00 pm, the River Balcony will come alive with these ideas. Its sidewalks, plazas, parks and pathway will be filled with temporary installations and programming including spaces for vibrant interaction, dynamic performance, restorative relaxation, and more.


Your project should raise public awareness of the River Balcony and meet at least two (2) of the following goals:

  • Build awareness of the connection between the river, city and river valley by taking advantage of or highlighting unique features or qualities of the site
  • Engage people to come together in a shared public space
  • Connect people with the Green Line in downtown Saint Paul


River City: Your project should help people envision a strengthened relationship between the City and the Mississippi River through:

  • History: city development, river industry, Native Americans, communities
  • Culture: communities, businesses and arts
  • Environment: the valley transect from the bluff to the river, the Mississippi River system and the watershed


Project submissions are open to public.

Project submissions can be from individuals or teams.


Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Feasibility: Will the project be implemented on schedule?
  • Project Goals: Does it raise public awareness of the River Balcony and meet at least two (2) project goals?
  • Festival Theme – River City: Does it help people envision a strengthened relationship between the City and the Mississippi River?
  • Sense of Place: Does it create a memorable experience that engages people with the river, the city and each other? Does it help envision what a space can become and how it can serve a different role in our community?
  • Location: See festival map. Does it take advantage of a unique site-specific quality or feature to create an experience that cannot be duplicated in another location?


Award requests will be accepted for $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 proposals.


The scope of work for winning submissions includes:

  • Design the proposed prototype.
  • Construct prototype and/or supervise the construction by others.
  • Coordinate project changes and installation time with the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation.
  • Provide relevant documentation for project updates and permitting, press releases and participation in media events. There will be a public announcement of winners at the City of Saint Paul River Balcony Master Plan Community Meeting with adjoining press releases. Winners will be profiled on the project website, interviewed through the implementation process and showcased in materials during the festival.
  • Provide staffing of the prototype for the duration of the festival. Each prototype must have someone available to engage with festival-goers, answer their questions, and help them get the most out of your prototype.
  • Dismantle and remove the prototype after the festival. Sites must be cleared by 8:00 pm on Saturday, September 10th (this time is subject to change).


Electronic submissions preferred.

Submissions must not exceed 9 (8.5” X 11”) pages (including project map).

Please save your application as a single PDF (LastName_FirstInitial.pdf) no larger than 3 mb in the following order:

  • Cover sheet providing Project Lead’s name, Project Title, contact information, and a listing of project team members with their project roles. (1 page)
  • Description of a proposal narrative (or story) and indication of how it meets the criteria. (2 pages)
  • Drawing of the proposal (1 page)
  • Indication of the installation location on the attached project map (1 page)
  • Project Lead CV (not to exceed 2 pages)
  • (2) Examples of previous work (not to exceed 2 pages)

Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

E-mail completed applications to no later than Noon CST on April 1, 2016.

Paper proposals must be received by noon on April 1, 2016. They may be delivered or sent to:

Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation
Attn: Tracey Kinney
25 W 6th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102


The Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation (SPRC) retains rights to document and share images and information about any work produced as a result of the River Balcony Prototyping Festival.

SPRC reserves the right to require modifications to the submissions’ award request, proposal and set a location to best meet the criteria of the RFP and the goals/logistics of the festival.


Submissions open Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Give and Take
(Information session)
March 10, 2016 from 5:00-6:30
Public Kitchen + Bar
229 6th St E, St Paul, MN 55101

To register, visit http://rbpfgiveandtake.eventbrite.comDeadlineNOON CST on Friday, April 1, 2016
Submissions received after this time will not be considered.Notification of WinnersMid-April an email or other correspondence will be sent to notify submitters and a public announcement at the River Balcony Master Plan Community Meeting.InstallationSaturday 9am – 1pm, additional accommodations can be provided if needed.FestivalSaturday, September 10 from 2:00pm-6:00pm


For more information on the River Balcony Prototyping Festival contact Tim Griffin at or 651-293-6860.

To learn more about the River Balcony Master Plan, visit