Morgan Hill Place Branding Partnership Opportunity

Supporting Morgan Hill Businesses and Community Through Streetscape Activation

Application Opens in new window

The City of Morgan Hill invites artists, designers, landscape architects, businesses, and community organizations to submit proposals for streetscape activation projects through art, landscaping and beautification projects that are visible and enjoyable from the public right-of-way. The purpose of the Morgan Hill Place-Branding Partnership Opportunities is to enhance the public space, support businesses and community through placemaking activation and beautification. Applicants are encouraged to partner with businesses and non-profits or organizations to create community as well as leverage funds and manpower.

Eligible improvements are those that enhance spaces viewable from the public right-of-way. Projects could include parklet enhancements, landscaping, lighting, murals, pop-up-parks, creation of new public space or activation and enhancements of existing parks, plazas, and public spaces.

Grant funding will pay for materials, project signage and limited professional fees. Applicants should try to match requested funding with in-kind donations, labor, and partnerships. The City will work with stores and companies that could offer discounts and/or sponsor projects and other businesses.

Grants are in the amount of $100 up to $2,500 and will be reviewed based on merit, need, matching funds and overall impact to the public space. Applications will be reviewed by a committee made up of representatives from City of Morgan Hill, community organizations, businesses, and Library, Cultural and Arts Commission Representatives (LCAC).

Context and Background

Downtown Morgan Hill has a long history. The historic El Camino Real was established in the 1700’s, and the town of Morgan Hill emerging at the dawn of the 20th century. The older buildings and layout of Downtown evoke that history, and the community members often speak with pride of their Downtown and its charm, regularly dining in its restaurants and lingering at the sidewalk cafes. The Downtown is a hub of activity. The site of the Caltrain station and a departure point for express buses and corporate buses, Downtown connects the talented Morgan Hill workforce with major Silicon Valley employment centers. Business centers employ the majority of the 17,000 employees who work locally, and both these centers are located within a mile of Downtown. Downtown is flourishing with investment, new mixed-use projects, a boutique hotel under construction, entertainment venues, a burgeoning restaurant scene, a growing public art amenities, new parks, plazas, and trails that make Downtown a more walkable, bike friendly destination. 

A new Tourism and Destination nonprofit organization, Visit Morgan Hill, was formed in 2019 to promote Morgan Hill. The area is home to dozens of premium wineries, farms, parks, trails, lakes, and golf courses. Morgan Hill is also home to Specialized Bicycle Components and has hosted the Amgen Tour of California Bike Race two years in a row.

Recent public art installations include a glass staircase that glows like a lantern at night and resembles the Poppy Jasper stone, a 10x10 foot tarantula made of motorcycle headlights, a playful crosswalk that showcases the local wild life amidst the grapevines, a colorful metal installation that represents the valley in between two mountain ranges made of bicycle wheels, a bronze family of deer, an aluminum steel tree with rotating baskets, murals, decorated utility boxes, and colorful bicycle racks.  

Leveraging Resources

Applicants are encouraged to work with partners who can provide in-kind support in the form of materials, labor or project maintenance, or financial support to assist in the creation and/or maintenance of the project.

Arrangements for Installation*

  • Easement on private or public land
  • Sidewalks, median islands, public buildings
  • Fences, retaining walls, bridges, walkways
  • Private buildings, vacant windows, parking lots

*an encroachment permit may be required from the City if the installation is in City’s right-of-way and/or permission from the property owner.

In-Kind Support and Partnerships

The City of Morgan Hill encourages applicants to seek out in-kind or financial support from local businesses and organizations. Projects could employ recycled materials, agricultural implements, and industry off casts that represent Morgan Hill’s past, present, and future. More information to come on potential partnerships, discounts, available walls or spaces for activation.

The Grant Process

Email completed applications to Hilary Holeman at hilary.holeman@morganhill.ca.gov. First round of grants will be awarded August 3, 2020. Additional rounds may be available pending interest, size of funding requests and sponsorships.

Application Review 

A team representing the community at large will review the proposals. The Representative Review Team will include individuals from the Library Culture and Arts Commission, Morgan Hill Community Foundation, Morgan Hill Downtown Association, Chamber of Commerce, Visit Morgan Hill, and staff from the City of Morgan Hill.

Submission Requirements

  • Submit grant application (attached) including project description, location, amount requested, sketches, photographs, and other supporting information
  • Commitment to fabricate, install and maintain installation
  • Maintenance requirement (if any) with provision for long term maintenance commitment
  • Commitments or partnerships to support costs of the fabrication, community and public relations engagement and collaboration

Selection Criteria

  • Aesthetic quality of proposed art
  • Potential to build community identity and recognition for the community of Morgan Hill
  • Community engagement
  • Originality
  • Feasibility
  • Strength of team
  • Partnerships, in-kind support, or matching funds
  • Longevity of project
  • Impact to the community and surroundings
  • Ability to quickly complete project
  • Artist’s past work
  • References on work and prior creation of public art
  • Responsiveness to project scope of work
  • Support of local business

Special Considerations

  • Upon issuance of the grant award, a grant agreement will be provided for review and signature by the awarded applicant. City staff will work with the applicant to address specific considerations anticipated in the installation, access to the site, etc.
  • Applicant will be responsible for providing a plan for the long-term maintenance of the installation, which should address maintenance costs.
  • The art will remain the property of the artist, but must be displayed for a minimum of 12 months

Schedule

Request for Proposal Released

July 15, 2020

First Round of Awards

August 3, 2020

Second Round of Awards

August 17, 2020

Installation

Installation shall begin within 15 days of grant award


Eligible Improvements:

The purpose of the Morgan Hill Place-Branding Partnership Opportunities is to enhance the public space, support businesses and community through placemaking activation and beautification. Applicants are encouraged to partner with businesses and non-profits or organizations to create community as well as leverage funds and manpower.

Eligible improvements are those that enhance spaces viewable from the public right-of-way. Projects could include parklet enhancements, landscaping, lighting, murals, pop-up-parks, creation of new public space, activation of existing parks, plazas, and public spaces.

Grant funding will pay for materials, project signage and limited professional fees. Applicants should try to match requested funding with in-kind donations, labor, and partnerships. The City will work with stores and companies that could offer discounts and/or sponsor projects and businesses.

Ineligible Improvements:
Ineligible Improvements include furniture such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, awnings, business signage, or existing improvements.Application Opens in new window

For questions about the application contact Hilary Holeman: hilary.holeman@morganhill.ca.gov or (408) 310-4656