MLK Memorial Selection Committee

The next MLK Memorial Selection Committee meeting is Tuesday, March 3 at 5:30 PM in Room 209. The Robert Katz team will present their redesigned memorial proposal. 

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View All Agendas and Minutes

about the project

The Portland City Council established the Martin Luther King Recognition Task Force t
o consider how the life and legacy of the Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may be best acknowledged and recognized, in the form of renaming a street, park or similarly situated public space, by the City of Portland. In searching for an appropriate location, it was determined by the Task Force to have the Memorial in an open area on the Bayside Trail located in the West Bayside Neighborhood.

The members appointed by the City Council offered their recommendations to the Sustainability and Transportation Committee (S&T Committee) for review and consideration. The Sustainability & Transportation Committee voted affirmatively to accept this recommendation and establish the MLK Memorial Selection Committee. The MLK Memorial Selection Committee is overseeing this RFQ and RFP process, and will present its recommendation to the S&T Committee for its consideration. Any recommendations by the Sustainability and Transportation Committee will be taken up by the full City Council for final approval.

The City has allocated $100,000 from the recent sale of a property for the creation of this memorial. Additional funds may need to be raised to complete the winning selection.

about the committee

The selection committee is co-chaired by City Councilor Jill Duson and Reverend Kenneth Lewis of the Green Memorial AME Zion Church in Portland.

Additional committee members include:

  • Regina Phillips, MLK Recognition Task Force Member
  • Christina Richardson, Artist & Citizen
  • Pam Cummings, Abyssinian Meeting House Board President
  • Kara Wooldrik, Portland Trails
  • Ethan Hipple, City of Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department
  • Lin Lisberger, Artist & Public Art Committee Board Member
  • Cyrus Hagge, Citizen
The staff liaison is Jessica Grondin, Director of Communications.

about the request for qualifications (RFQ)​

The RFQ was issued on May 15, 2019. The deadline for applicants to submit their materials is June 26, 2019.

Competition Theme

The memorial is intended to inspire visitors to reflect on Dr. King’s life and the values he espoused, prompting each of us to consider how we can contribute to realizing his vision of an equitable and fair society. The City encourages proposals that can offer a programmatic element so that it is more than just a plaza or statue.


This RFQ is open to all artists, architects, landscape architects, or teams (hereinafter referred to as “the Artist”) engaged with public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. Artists from the Portland area are encouraged to apply.

The MLK Task Force selected the memorial location - a public plaza on the Bayside Trail between Franklin Street, Marginal Way, and Somerset Street.

This location was also suggested during the Bayside Trail Public Art Master Plan, which was developed in 2010, and included a description of the MLK memorial area: The Martin Luther King Memorial Area   Between the Pearl Street Extension and the Franklin Arterial, a large, sculpted open space provides multiple opportunities, including

Anticipated Process

Stage 1:  Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Applicants are asked to submit:  

1. Artist Information, including bios, preferred pronouns, resumes/CVs

2. Artist statement

3. Project vision explicating artist’s conception of the memorial's significance for Portland and its visitors from around the world, now, and in the future

4. Past work samples (up to 10) with an annotated image list*

5. List of references

*Please note that we are not requesting full design work at this stage.

Stage 2:  Request for Proposals (RFP)

Up to three applicants will be invited to develop proposals to include a written project statement, visuals, models, schedule, and budget, followed by an in-person interview and presentation. These three applicants will each be paid $2,500 for work on their proposals. After review of the materials and candidate interviews, the Selection Committee will recommend a winning artist.

Anticipated RFQ Timeline

RFQ Available:  May 15, 2019

RFQ Deadline:  June 26, 2019

Artist interviews (if needed):  July - August 2019

Anticipated RFP Timeline

August - September - Announcement of three artists

September - November - Artist research and proposal development

November - December - Interviews, presentations, proposal exhibition, and public comment

January - announcement of final artist

Note:  It has not yet been determined whether or not the MLK Memorial will become an official piece of the City’s Public Art Committee collection. Should that become the case, it will have to adhere to the City’s Guidelines for the Public Art Ordinance.  

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