Art Center Request for Qualification and Proposals

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On January 16, 2018, the City Council held a Study Sessionregarding the Emeryville Center for the Arts and Culture.At that time, the public was invited to comment on a proposal for Council to consider and approve the release of a Request for Qualifications / Proposals (RFQ/P) to gauge potential private interest and associated financial assistance to construct and operate the facility.

Overall RFQ/P Objectives:

  • Minimize City subsidy while ensuring fiscal sustainability of operations
  • Maximize civic and community arts-based uses of the facility
  • Expedite completion of the project
  • Utilize robust community engagement in developing programming for the facility

Utilize robust community engagement in developing programming for the facility

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The following documents were prepared over the last several years for previous iterations of the Art Center Project and are provided for context and background purposes only. Due to space limitations, the electronic document library is not exhaustive; if additional materials are desired for review, access to hard copy materials may be made available.

Current Status:

In mid-July, the interviews of the Art Center Request for Proposals (RFQP) Phase II qualifying team interviews were held and included the two panels required by the Art Center RFQP – the Art Center Interview Panel (Community Panel) and a Staff Panel. As is typical for Selection Committee appointments, Former City Manager Lehr appointed members of the community to the Art Center Interview Panel. This Blue Ribbon Panel was made up of experts from various fields related to aspects of the Art Center project such as city officials as well as members of the arts and business communities and included:

  • Gail Donaldson Chair, Emeryville Planning Commission, responsible for City Land Use Review and familiar with Planning Entitlement Processes, and Emeryville resident

  • Melody Kozma-Kennedy Professional Exhibitor for the SF Museum of Modern Art, Member of Emeryville Public Art Committee and Emeryville resident
  • Jim Kennedy Vice President, Pixar, VP of Marketing, Pixar Facilities management, Rotten City Emeryville Cultural Arts District Partner and Emeryville business leader

  • Jean Goldman Emeryville Public Art Committee Vice Chair, contributor to Prior Art Center project process, Emeryville business owner and resident
  • Bryce Gaspard Director, Bullseye Glass Resource Center; Professional in Arts Education, creation and operation of Artist Studio Space, Artist Residency/Exhibit Programs, Rotten City Emeryville Cultural Arts District Partner, and Emeryville business leader

  • Elmo Frazer President, SAE Expression College, school facility administrator, and art studio/production facility management, informal partner to the Rotten City Emeryville Cultural Arts District, and Emeryville arts educator
  • Robert Swatt Swatt-Miers Architects, American Institute of Architects Fellow (FAIA) recommended by East Bay AIA as familiar with significant civic projects, Emeryville business owner

MayorJohn Bauters pitched-in by serving as the Community Panel’s meeting facilitator but did not vote or otherwise participate in the formal scoring process.Community Development Director Bryant and Interim City Manager Holgersson served as staff support to the Community Panel and Project Manager Thériault served as support to the Staff panel as well as to the Community Panel, as needed. 

Art Center Interview Panel ("Blue Ribbon" Community Panel)

Members of the Staff interview panel included those responsible for processing of civic facility projects’ technical reviews and financial pro forma analysis and included staff from Public Works, Community Development and the City Attorney’s Office.

Calculations of the two interview teams scores were reviewed by Project manager Thériault. Additional process and financial (construction cost) analysis will be conducted by the City of Emeryville Building Division and Public Works Department teams prior to preparation of the September 17th Council staff report. The report will include attachments consisting of the proposed conceptual designs and the respective recommendations of the two interview panels for their preferred private partner team.

Information regarding the qualifying teams can be found in the “RFQP Phase I Qualification Round - Short List” tab, below. Conceptual proposals prepared by the qualifying teams, and recommendations made by the two interview panels will be brought before Council at their regular public meeting on September 17, 2018. This meeting typically starts at 7:15 pm and is held in the City Council Chambers at 1333 Park Avenue. Copies of the qualifying teams conceptual proposals will be made public and available online on the City Council agenda page 10 days before the meeting. It should be noted that the conceptual proposals are for illustrative purposes, to give the interview panels an idea regarding the teams’ thoughts on design and ability to provide associated and thoughtful financial proposals. The designs to be provided at the September 17th Council meeting may change in part or significantly during the formal Planning entitlement process (as it goes through related public meetings and the public helps to shape the priorities for the formal Art Center design and programming). Please visit the City Council’s agenda page to confirm the meeting date, time, and view the staff report with conceptual proposal attachments when it is available: City Council Agenda 

The staff report and related Agenda materials for the September 17th regular meeting of the City Council should be available by the end of the day on Friday, September 7th.We will update this posting if the meeting date changes.




DTSC Certification

EnvirStor Summary

Research Materials:

Benchmark Study

Focus Group Report

Articles re. Community Art Facilities

Task Force-Visioning Workshop

Design/Plan Background

Art Center and Cultural District Needs

Building Plans and Existing Conditions

Design Review / Use Permit Staff Report


Capital Improvement Project Budget

Organizational Structure

Prior Operating Documents

Business Plan

Fundraising Feasibility Study

Strategic Plan

RFQP Phase I Qualification Round - Short List

This list indicates the initial partnerships that have been deemed the most qualified to move forward to Phase II of the Art Center RFQP process. As articulated in the RFQP, the short list of teams was chosen based on Overall Objectives & Key Elements and through the application of Selection Criteria in the RFQP Click here to review the list of teams who have been qualified to move forward to Phase II of the RFQP process.

Art Center - Listening Session Invitation 

Developers, Construction companies, Art Administrators, and Non Profits were recently invited to submit their qualifications for the rt Center Request for Qualifications and Proposals to establish a public/ private partnership. The partnership is intended to both expedite the project and to address long term Art Center operations costs. The City is inviting three of the teams that passed the Qualification rounds to meet with the public on May 22nd in the evening to listen to the public's expectations and desires for the Art Center project moving forward.

Art Center Listening Session