Michigan City Mainstreet Association seeks to commission a mural in the Uptown Arts District of Michigan City, Indiana. Michigan City is a flourishing city on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The city is home to over 30,000 residents and has hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The city center is thriving around a historic, downtown area, known as the Uptown Arts District, consisting of restored buildings dating from the 1800s and more complementary new construction, including housing, shops, restaurants, and performing arts venues.

Public art plays a crucial role in shaping culturally vibrant and sustainable communities. Public art offers community collaboration opportunities for ideas to shape our environment and to influence change. MCMA desires that this mural reflects the racial, cultural, gender, artistic, and overall diversity within our city. MCMA intends to curate multiple murals throughout the UAD, with this project being the inaugural mural.

MCMA seeks to establish a visual look and feel that distinguishes the Uptown Arts District in Michigan City from surrounding communities and helps define & showcase Michigan City’s diverse cultures and residents. We are seeking experienced mural artists with the ability to create and install complex and engaging designs. Applicants are welcome to use Michigan City’s history, signature events, and physical environment as inspiration; however, the final designs must go beyond the simple visual representation of an object or event.

The artist must keep the content of their work free of gratuitous violence, racism, and hateful content. The mural shall not include any logos, advertising, political, or religious messages. Additionally, the artwork may not defame or invade any person’s rights, living or dead, or otherwise harm a third party.


Selection Criteria

  1. The call is open to muralists 18 years of age and older. 
  2. The Applicant must be either an individual or a legal business entity.

Application Process

  1. Prepare all required documents that must be uploaded in PDF format during the Online Application process (See below for required documents)

Required Documents:

  • Autobiography or Biography (250 words maximum)
  • Resume
  • Artist’s Portfolio
  • Artist’s statement regarding their proposed mural concept (1000 words maximum)
  • The mural concept/design utilizing the template provided in Attachment A – Mural Template (See below for download link)
    • This Mural Template is provided so the applicant will know how to configure their artwork design. The Template shows the dimensions and configuration of the available wall space. The artwork design must match the dimensions and configuration shown in the mural template, but the artwork design can be submitted in the format choice of the artist. However,  space on the Template is available to be used by the Applicant for conveying their concept/design. Applicants should provide as much detail as needed to sufficiently portray their vision for the mural artwork.
  1. Fill out the MCMA Mural Application. All applicants must fill out the digital, online application (see below for the link to the application). No other forms of application will be accepted.
  2. Should the Applicant be awarded the prize and mural contract, the Applicant will be notified of this award and will be required to promptly (within 5 days) sign the Artist Agreement (see Attachment B – Artist Agreement which is linked to below) and provide proof of the required insurance.

Note: MCMA reserves the right to decline any and all applications at its sole discretion.

Submittal Deadline & Anticipated Project Timeline

  • All applications must be submitted on or before Monday, March 15, 2021,  at 11:59 P.M.
  • Project Timeline:
    1. February 1, 2021: Press Release & Call for Artists
    2. March 15, 2021: Artist Application Submittal Deadline
    3. April 2, 2021: Award Prize & Mural Contract to Artist (Issuance of Notice of Contract Award)
    4. April 7, 2021: Execute Artist Agreement
    5. April 12, 2021: Early Issuance of Notice to Proceed (Commencement of Mural Installation)
    6. May 1, 2021: Late Issuance of Notice to Proceed (Commencement of Mural Installation)
    7. June 1, 2021: Final Contract Completion Deadline (Completion of Mural Installation)
    8. June 4, 2021: Mural Unveiling Celebration during First Friday Art Walk

Prize / Artist Compensation

The winning Applicant will receive a Prize consisting of a grand total of $5,000.00 from MCMA and the right to enter an agreement with MCMA to complete the mural. The financial component of the Prize is the total amount of money that MCMA will pay the winning artist to complete their proposed mural. This total amount must cover the artist’s fee and all services, materials, insurance, and any other costs associated with completing the mural. Under no circumstances will any additional money be paid to the Applicant to complete the mural.


Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section of this webpage below.


These resources are referred to elsewhere on this webpage and are provided here for your reference and use.

The Mural Template explains the exact dimensions of where the mural will be located. It can be used by the Applicant to convey their mural concept/design, but that is not required. The concept/design that is submitted must conform to the dimensions and configuration shown on the Mural Template.

The Artist Agreement is a draft, sample form of agreement that the Applicant must sign and enter into in order to be paid the money included with the Prize. It has been provided to give the Applicant a clear expectation of what they will need to sign upon winning the Prize. The Artist Agreement is a detailed legal agreement; interested Applicants should review this document carefully in advance of submitting an application. The terms of this Artist Agreement are not negotiable.



  • Please ensure all of your PDF documents are prepared and ready to upload before clicking the link below to start your online application submittal. You cannot complete the online MCMA Mural Application without uploading all of the Required Documents.
  • You will need to have an active Google account to fill out the application. If you already have this account, you can simply sign in to your existing Google account. If you do not already have an account, you will need to sign up for a new account. 


How can I apply?

All applicants are required to use the digital, online “MCMA Mural Application” that is linked to above. The MCMA Mural Application will require the Applicant to upload their resume, portfolio, concept/design, and other documents in PDF format as part of the application process.

What is included in the Prize and when would I receive it if I won?

The Prize includes a total financial payment of $5,000.00 from MCMA to the Applicant. The Prize also gives the Applicant the right to enter into an agreement with MCMA to complete the mural. The Prize money will be paid to the Applicant in response to invoices submitted by the Applicant during the mural installation period. The exact details of how this money will be paid to the Applicant is described in detail in the Artist Agreement. A link to the Artist Agreement is provided on this webpage above. The Prize money is the total amount of money that the winning Applicant who enters an agreement with MCMA will be paid. No other payment to the Applicant will be made.

Who will pay for supplies and rentals needed to complete the mural?

  • The Applicant is required to pay for every item, material, service, insurance, and all other costs associated with creating, procuring, and installing the mural. MCMA will not pay the Applicant more than that which is included in the Prize. The Applicant shall manage, supervise, and contract for all sub-contractors, rentals, and purchases.
  • In other words, the Applicant will be responsible for covering any expenses related to creating, procuring, and installing the mural that may include, but are not limited to, the Applicant’s fee, any Applicant’s sub-contractor or sub-consultant fees, the Applicant’s insurance, paint, primer, paintbrushes, drop cloths, paint trays, paint spray devices, ladders, electronic lift vehicles, cleaning brushes, towels, scaffolding, portable toilets, materials for cleanup, water, shade tent for painting, snacks, drinks, storage, etc.

What kind of insurance will I need to have?

If the Applicant is chosen to be awarded the Prize, they will need to provide proof of insurance before they have the opportunity to sign the Artist Agreement. The required insurance is very important and the Applicant cannot sign the Artist Agreement and receive any payment until after proof of required insurance has been delivered to MCMA.

The insurance requirements will be detailed in the final Artist Agreement, but expected insurance requirements are as follows:

  • General Liability Insurance with coverage limits of up to $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and a maximum coverage limit of $2,000,000.00.

Can I work with others on this project?

Yes, but only a single individual or business entity can be the Applicant, and the Applicant is the sole entity that can receive the Prize. 

Should I apply if I do not live in Michigan City, Indiana?

Yes. MCMA is eager to and would be thrilled to award this Prize to a local Michigan City, Indiana resident that submits a qualified, excellent application. However, anyone interested is encouraged to apply, and all applications will be judged on merit.

What qualifications make for an excellent application?

 Strong applications will demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to paint large-scale art projects independently
  • Professional and technical capacity to plan, coordinate and execute a mural project in collaboration with all project stakeholders
  • Respect and acknowledgment of Michigan City’s social and historical context
  • A developed portfolio
  • Strong, innovative, and effective conceptual skills
  • Strong and effective communication and organizational skills and the ability to exemplify professionalism in every aspect of their work

What is the desired art genre or style?

There is not a specific genre or style that MCMA desires; however, MCMA hopes to see mural concepts/designs that distinguish the Uptown Arts District in Michigan City from surrounding communities and helps to define & showcase Michigan City’s diverse cultures and communities. Applicants are welcome to use Michigan City’s history, signature events, and physical environment as inspiration; however, the final designs must go beyond the simple visual representation of an object or event. We encourage mural concepts/designs that reflect the racial, cultural, gender, artistic, and overall diversity of our City.

Can the windows and doors be painted over?

No. The area that can and must be painted as part of the mural is defined in detail on the Mural Template. You must review the Mural Template prior to submitting an application and ensure that your design/concept conforms to that area shown on the Mural Template.

Why do I have to upload documents in PDF format?

We require that documents be in PDF format because this standardizes all of the applications we receive and makes them easier for our volunteers to compile and review. Additionally, this allows the Applicant to be as creative, formal, or informal as they desire with their documents.

The mural concept/design can be as informal as a cell phone photo of a sketch on a napkin (we don’t recommend this), but the image must be converted to PDF format prior to submittal. Non-PDF format documents are prohibited from being uploaded during the application process.

What if I do not know how to produce PDF documents or if I do not have access to a computer?

If you have this limitation, we encourage you to reach out to us directly to see if there is a way we can help overcome this limitation. See below for contact information.

What if I do not have a Google account?

You will need an active Google account to be able to submit an application online. If you do not already have a Google account, you will be prompted to sign up for one before you can begin the application process. 

What is the different between the Artist and the Applicant?

“Artist” is the title in the Artist Agreement that is given to the individual or business entity that wins the Prize and enters the Artist Agreement with MCMA. The “Applicant” is the individual or business entity that is submitting an application who may be chosen as the winner of the Prize. 

Will MCMA commission future murals?

It is the intention of MCMA to commission future murals to be located throughout the UAD and that this will be the inaugural mural.

What if I have read this whole FAQ and I still have questions?

Please feel free to contact us by clicking here.