Request for Proposals for Local Artists

AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group Arts & Culture Working Group

Request for Proposals

Project Summary

In July 2020 the23rd International AIDS Conference, also known as AIDS 2020, will be held here in the Bay Area, drawing together 20,000 people from all over the world who are involved in the global HIV response—scientists, clinicians, advocates, policy makers, program implementers, and media representatives. The conference will be held July 6 to July 10 at both the Moscone Center in San Francisco and the Oakland Convention Center. (For information about the conference see:  In conjunction with the main conference, which is organized by a set of international entities, a Local Planning Group (LPG) has been formed to develop programming before, during, and after the conference to link the broader Bay Area community to the conference themes and participants and vice versa.  (For information about the LPG, see: As part of that effort, the LPG’s Arts & Culture Working Group is developing a program that will address the conference theme of “Resilience” and highlight “art lost & art created” in the context of the historic HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Bay Area.  We are seeking to build a program with activities taking place in both conference venues, as well as in various locations near the convention centers, such as museums, galleries, and performance spaces. The arts and culture program activities will be free and open to both conference registrants and the general public. 

This RFP solicits applications from local individuals and entities for HIV-associated performances (e.g., music, dance, spoken word, poetry or prose reading, etc.), visual art (film, photography, painting, sculpture, ceramics, crafts, textiles, etc.), and installations to be presented during the conference.

Site Description

The area in the Moscone Center in San Francisco that will be available for arts and culture activities includes a stage, screen and booth space.  The area in the Oakland Convention Center includes booth space only. Booths in both venues typically are about 43 square feet (about 6.5 x 6.5 ft) or 4 square meters (2 x 2 meters) but may be combined to allow for larger space. Space in museums and local cultural centers is being negotiated.  Please note the following:

  • For performances, there will be one small stage available with limited audience seating (and room for standing) in the Moscone Center (San Francisco).  Performances will take place at the same time as many other activities in the overall area provided for the public events, called the “Global Village.” No similar stage will be available in the Oakland Convention Center due to overall space limitations for the Global Village there.  Other performance spaces in the areas nearby the convention centers in San Francisco Oakland may become available, but are not yet confirmed.  
  • The conference insurance does not cover lost or damaged art in any venue we will be using.  Visual and performing artists will have to provide their own insurance for these situations.  Additionally, visual art installations will have to be watched by artists or volunteers during the time they are displayed. 
  • We cannot accommodate very large pieces of visual art or installations that require special move-in, move-out logistical arrangements.  Objects cannot weigh more than 200 pounds; and the artist is responsible for transporting and installing the objects.


Depending upon the number of submissions selected, the venue, and the preference of the artist(s), works may be exhibited/performed for one or more days of the conference—Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10 in either San Francisco or Oakland.  This will be negotiated with each selected artist.


Artists living and working in the Bay Area, whose work explores themes related to the main conference theme of “Resilience(, or engages more generally with the notion of  “art lost & art created” in the context of the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic locally, are invited to apply. Artists living with HIV are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

Selection will be based on the fit of the proposed work of art with the conference themes, the physical requirements of the proposed work in relation to the space available for programming, and the amount of funds available for artist stipends.


We will provide small stipends to selected artists to support the development and execution of their projects.  These will range from $250 to $1,500 depending on the size and scope of the project and the total amount of funds raised. (The larger amount chiefly will be allocated to groups, not individuals.) Stipends will be provided following the event and upon receipt of an invoice, unless otherwise negotiated.  (Details will be provided at the time of selection.)


  • Proposals are due by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on March 31, 2020
  • Proposal will be reviewed by members of the LPG Arts & Culture Working Group
  • Award notifications will be made by April 30, 2020
  • The bulk of the arts and culture activities will take place on one or more days between July 6 and July 10, 2020 

Proposal Requirements

Please submit your proposal through the online system at:

Be prepared to include the following:

  • For film, video, or performances (e.g., dance, music, spoken word, etc.), please include a web link (URL) to the film, video, or performance itself, or to a sample (or samples) that most closely reflect what you propose to present at AIDS 2020.  Dance and music performances should not exceed 30 minutes; spoken word, poetry, or prose performances should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • For works of visual art (e.g., painting, photography, sculpture, installations, etc.) please submit up to 8 images in JPEG format, 5MB image size. 
  • For spoken word or poetry or prose reading, where a film/video of the performer is not available, please submit a Word or PDF document.  Performances should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Plans for a work that will be developed specific to the themes (“resilience” and/or “art lost and art created” in the context of the HIV epidemic) may be submitted and should include sketches, schematics or models sufficient to present the artist’s intent.
  • Sizes, dimensions and weights where applicable.
  • A budget for materials associated with the development and exhibition of the work(s). (Please be aware that the stipend provided may not cover all costs.)
  • A statement about your art and your interest in participating in the local arts and culture program at this conference, no longer than 200 words. Consider these questions for your statement:
    • Why do you want to perform/exhibit your art at AIDS 2020?
    • How does your art/performance fit the conference themes of “Resilience” and/or “art lost and art created” in the context of the HIV epidemic?
  • A current resume or CV (in a Word document).


For questions about the RFP and its application process, please email us at: