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Posted on: August 8, 2019

City Announces Finalists to Create MLK Memorial in Portland

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The City of Portland announced today that three finalists have been selected from the RFQ phase to move forward to the RFP phase to create a memorial to honor Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Portland. The finalists are:  Robert Katz, Augusta, ME; TJD&A Landscape Architects, Yarmouth, ME; and Ironwood Design Group, Newmarket, NH. The memorial is intended to inspire visitors to reflect on Dr. King’s life and the values he espoused, prompting everyone to consider how they can contribute to realizing his vision of an equitable and fair society.
The MLK Memorial Selection Committee issued an RFQ in May 2019 to seek interested applicants for the creation of a memorial. The submissions were due at the end of June, and nine submissions were received. The Committee met on July 22 to review the submissions and choose up to three finalists to move forward with the RFP phase. The City has allocated $100,000 for the creation of the memorial and the three finalists will each receive $2,500 to develop their proposals.

“I want to thank the artists and designers who took the time to respond to our RFQ. We received several quality submissions, and I look forward to seeing and reviewing the fully developed proposals from the finalists,” said Councilor Jill Duson, Co-Chair of the MLK Memorial Selection Committee. 

“A monument to the life and legacy of Dr. King will serve as a special place of reflection and inspiration for all Maine people,” said Reverend Kenneth Lewis, pastor of the Green Memorial AME Zion Church in Portland, and Co-Chair of the Selection Committee. “I encourage the public to attend the presentations on November 14.” 

The RFP phase of the process asks the finalists to develop proposals that include a written project statement, visuals, models, schedule, and budget, followed by an in-person interview and presentation on November 14, 2019. 

After reviewing the materials and candidate presentations, the Selection Committee will recommend a winning artist, which is expected to be announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20, 2020. 

About the Process

The MLK Recognition Task Force was appointed to consider how best to recognize and acknowledge Dr. King’s life and work, determined it was best to site a memorial in an open area on the Bayside Trail located in the West Bayside neighborhood. 

The City Council’s Sustainability & Transportation Committee established the MLK Memorial Selection Committee to oversee the RFQ and RFP process. The Committee, co-chaired by Councilor Jill Duson and Reverend Kenneth Lewis, were tasked with choosing up to three finalists to move on to the proposal phase. 

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