Purpose of RFP

The Arts@MSP Program, a partnership between the Airport Foundation MSP (Foundation) and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), requests qualifications from performing artists and arts organizations (Artists or Organizations) whose work reflects the rich diversity of the Upper Midwest to showcase their unique talent at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP).

The purpose of this RFP is to retain Artists and Organizations to propose and present performing arts activities at MSP, and to work collaboratively with Arts@MSP staff to ensure the work is appropriate for the airport environment and that it acheives the goals of the Program.

Intent and Goals of Performing Arts Program

Minnesota and the surrounding region are home to many exceptional performing Artists and Organizations. The Performing Arts component of the Arts@MSP Program provides ongoing opportunities for these Artists and Organizations to showcase their unique talents at MSP. Performances will help satisfy many Program goals, especially in their ability to provide:

  • A welcoming atmosphere at MSP;
  • Thought provoking and memorable experiences for airport users;
  • Incentives for passengers to use MSP;
  • Activities that promote participation in and raise awareness of the arts in the community;
  • A venue with international exposure for regional artists; and
  • Support to artists and arts organizations.

Performing Arts Locations

Performances may not interfere with the airport's primary function of getting people to their destinations safely and efficiently. Dance, theater, storytelling, and other performing arts that require captive stationary audiences are best suited for areas that can be sectioned off from passenger traffic and do not impede traffic flow. These types of performances may be most appropriate for and integral to special airport events or stages.

Music is more easily adapted to transitory audiences and can be performed in many locations without interfering with regular airport activities. Potentially, live music performances at MSP may be heard by millions of people annually. Passengers moving through the airport as well as those who stop to listen may benefit from and enjoy the experiences equally.

Live performances will be scheduled year-round in select airport locations, especially during peak travel times. The depth of performing arts offered will highlight regional talent and become more extensive as the number of participating artists increases.

Performances at MSP will be scheduled for specific locations in either pre-security or post-security areas of the airport. In some cases, Artists will stroll through the airport while performing or move to several different locations for brief performances. All performance locations in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will be approved by MAC staff.

Currently, the MAC is developing three permanent performance spaces in the Main Mall of Terminal 1 to significantly broaden the range and reach of performing arts activities offered through the Arts@MSP Program. On the north and south ends of the space, audio cases and equipment will be installed for instrumental performances, and a Steinway concert grand piano will be located in the seating area outside of the newly-renovated Main Mall Food Court.

In Terminal 2, the Program has a Kawai baby grand piano near Gate H12, and also hosts instrumental performances in the space. 

Selection Processes and Partnerships

All Artists and Organizations performing at MSP will be from or have strong connections to the region. This is in keeping with Arts@MSP Program goals to provide activities that promote participation in and raise awareness of the arts in the community and to provide a venue with international exposure for regional Artists. To showcase the variety and depth of regional performing arts and provide fair access to all artists, the annual calendar will rotate to allow performances by Artists who have not previously performed at MSP.

Traditionally, community and school groups have been invited to perform at MSP at certain times of the year. The Arts@MSP Program encourages local arts and community Organizations interested in performing at MSP to submit their ideas for performances through this RFQ.

Arts@MSP staff will develop and maintain a list of potential Artists and Organizations through the applications submitted to this opportunity. The Performing Arts Subcommittee of the Arts and Culture Steering Committee meets twice annually (mid-summer and mid-winter) to review applications. Selected Artists are submitted to the Arts and Culture Steering Committee for final approval.

Any Artist or Organization included in the annual calendar will be assessed on its:

  1. Appropriateness for the MSP airport audience;
  2. Alignment with overall Program goals;
  3. Professional qualifications;
  4. Scheduling availability; and
  5. Associated costs.

Contracts and Agreements

All performing Artists and Organizations must agree to terms specified in written contracts. Contract terms will vary depending on the type of performance art involved and the location of the performance. All performances will have sound level restrictions and may be ended at any time if deemed disruptive in the terminal environment or inappropriate for the airport audience.

Artists and Organizations may be authorized to sell or distribute performance-related materials. All sales or promotional activities must be preapproved and authorized by the Arts@MSP Program staff and must adhere to all MAC guidelines.

All Artists performing in the post-security areas of the airport will be screened for security purposes. Any personal equipment used during performances will also be screened. Artists selected to participate in the Weekly Performance Series will be required to pass a 5 – 10 year background check and maintain badge holder privileges.

Click here to view a sample Performance Agreement.

Equipment and Supplies

Basic equipment and supplies for performing Artists will be provided, including mobile sales units, sound reinforcement equipment, and other standard equipment. Equipment built for use by performing Artists will be maintained by the Foundation. Stages and other structures built specifically for the Arts@MSP Program and incorporated into airport buildings will be maintained by MAC.

Performance locations may have different technical provisions. Information about these provisions may be obtained from Arts@MSP staff prior to booking. Performers are responsible for providing their own musical instruments or approved props. Storage space will be provided as available. Pianos are owned by the Foundation. Qualified pianists may have use of the pianos for scheduled performances.

Funding and Public Relations

The Foundation will fund general expenses for performing arts activities through its annual Arts and Culture operating budget. This includes personnel, supplies, basic equipment, and public relations expenses. Rotating exhibits will be promoted through various means including social media, digital signage throughout MSP, public and private receptions, the Foundation and MSP websites, and feature articles in internal publications. Community art publications will also be used to market select exhibits and advertise the exhibition calendar. When appropriate and feasible, the Foundation or MAC will generate publicity through the local and national media to attract attention to MSP and promote exhibits.

Information Contact

All questions regarding this RFP should be submitted in writing to the information contact listed below:
Ben Owen
Director, Arts@MSP
Airport Foundation MSP
4300 Glumack Drive, Suite C3405
Saint Paul, MN 55111