Request for Proposal
Santa Monica Airport Arts Studios Program

The City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals to manage the Airport Arts Studios program at the Santa Monica Airport. We are looking for individuals or organizations who will expand the current arts uses at the Airport and provide robust services to individual artists throughout the community. The management will oversee artist selection processes, programming, coordination, and strengthening the Airport artist tenant network in collaboration with the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs. This is a terrific opportunity for arts professionals who are dedicated to supporting individual artists and interested in growing the arts campus at the Airport.

Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2018. Interested applicants are also encouraged to take advantage of a site tour, which will be held at noon on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

To view the full RFP, which includes the submission requirements, contract amount and review criteria and other requirements, go to: (Please note that you must register with Planet Bids to download the RFP.)


The Airport is home to the largest concentration of artists working in Santa Monica with 50 artist studios spread throughout several airport hangars. The Airport Artist Studios are viewed as a vital asset to the city to ensure that artists can continue to have a presence in Santa Monica as cost of living continues to rise. There is a long and rich tradition of artists working at the Airport going back to the 1950s, with many notable artists based in studios there over the decades.

Today, the majority of the studios are housed in one main hangar that is currently operated by the Santa Monica Art Studios, a private partnership. This hangar also includes a large 2,000 square feet of gallery space. The other 18 studios, outside of the main hangar, are managed separately by the Santa Monica Airport Administration in consultation with the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs.

In March 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a policy to prohibit subleasing at the Airport, which required a change in the current leasing arrangement. Artists will now lease directly from the Airport Administration with a portion of the rents being set aside for management and programming of the Airport Artist Studios. As a result, this request for proposals is being issued for the City to contract with an individual or firm to serve as the Management.

For more context about the history, opportunities and challenges, and recommendations for the future management of the Airport Artist Studios, proposers should read the Findings & Recommendations from the May 2018 Airport Artist Studios Planning Process:


Management will oversee all aspects of the operations of the Airport Artist Studios as further described below including programming to serve the artist tenants, non-tenant artists, and the general public. Note that this scope of work does not include property management (such as administration of the individual leases and building maintenance), which will be handled by the Airport Administration.

Management will report to Cultural Affairs regarding the programming and will work in coordination with the Airport Administration regarding the oversight, selection, and coordination of the tenants.

This is a contracted position and could be filled by one or multiple individuals and/or a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Management will oversee the following:

Artist selection:

  • Develop and oversee a process for selecting new tenants for the Airport Artist Studios as studios become available. The process should include specific criteria for selecting artists and be guided by the Recommendations to:
    • Prioritize: 1) artists who are actively pursuing their career/practice, 2) increasing diversity in all respects, and 3) artists with a demonstrated need for work space, over traditional notions of artistic excellence
    • Utilize an independent selection panel
    • Offer each tenant an opportunity for feedback on a regular basis
  • Coordinate with the Airport Administration to onboard new tenants


  • Develop and offer programming to provide growth opportunities for artists (both tenant and non-tenant), attract patrons, and enrich the general public. Such programming may include:
    • Exhibitions of tenant artists including an ongoing opportunity for tenants to exhibit on the walls outside their studios
    • Public programming in the gallery and common spaces such as exhibitions of tenant and non-tenant artists, lectures, artist talks, multidisciplinary performances, and open studios
    • Temporary artist residencies
    • Professional development such as workshops, peer-learning, and/or mentorship
    • Hands-on arts workshops for the public taught by tenant and non-tenant artists


  • Lead efforts to coordinate with other arts tenants at the Airport. This could include:
    • Lead or partner on the planning and execution of the Annual Airport Art Walk
    • Maintain a shared event calendar to avoid conflicting events and parking/traffic challenges at the Santa Monica Airport
    • Facilitate regular gatherings to build community
    • Joint marketing
    • Joint exhibits and workshops
    • Explore deeper partnerships with other arts tenants
  • Represent the voice of the arts program and artist tenants at Airport meetings and gatherings

Tenant Relationships:

  • Ensure that all current tenants are made to feel welcome during the transition
  • Implement opportunities for dialogue with the tenants such as a quarterly town hall or other regular meeting
  • Foster a harmonious environment and help resolve any conflict between tenants
  • Encourage collaboration and self-organization among the artists
  • Work closely with Airport Administration to advocate for and address any tenant concerns


  • Meet annually with Cultural Affairs to set shared goals, objectives, and deliverables for the year
  • Provide regular reports to Cultural Affairs including progress toward goals and financial information
  • Meet periodically with Cultural Affairs as needed to advance shared goals

To view the full RFP, which includes the submission requirements, contract amount and review criteria and other requirements, go to: (Please note that you must register with Planet Bids to download the RFP.)