Together We Remember Elise

Artist Request for Proposal (RFP) 

Public Mural Project at 5237 N Clark Street, on the southern wall of the building

Released on Trans Day of Resilience, November 20th 2023

Proposal Due Dates

  • Phase 1: January 15th, 2024 **EXTENDED TO JANUARY 31ST**
  • Phase 2: March 31st, 2024 
Introduction to the Project 

Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC) is honored and humbled to share that a mural will be created to honor late Board Member & Black Trans Activist, Elise Malary. Utilizing the iconic location of the non-profit she co-founded and neighborhood she lived most of her life in, the Mural will serve as a landmark to celebrate her life and Black Trans Lives for years to come.

CTC is seeking proposals from individual artists and artist teams with experience in visual arts to design, fabricate, and install a large mural that uplifts Elise’s legacy. Prior mural experience is not required, however, collaboration and/or technical assistance from an experienced muralist would be a required part of the application and budget.

The objective of this project is to create a memorable installation visually featuring Elise and enshrining her legacy furthering the Black Trans Lives Matter movement in Chicago, especially on the North-Side where she lived most of her life. The mural should reflect the beauty and challenge of her struggle and the vital cross-community support she won bringing activists, businesses, and community leaders together to advance trans-inclusion and economic justice for trans community members across the city. 

The creation of the Mural will occur over 12 months, starting this Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) 2023 with the release of the RFP and culminating on TDOR 2024 with the unveiling of the mural.  

Mural Location

Southern wall at the NE corner of Clark St & Farragut Ave

The mural wall is south-facing and begins one foot from the end of the row of windows at Women & Children First Bookstore. The façade of the building is brick. The mural will be fixed upon the brick wall with the use of paneling (paneling material based on visual medium), in collaboration with and per the guidance and oversight of the building’s management as a specific stakeholder group. 

Goals for the Mural are: 

  • To celebrate the life and legacy of Elise Malary
  • To champion and uplift Elise’s life work; possibly through:
    • making the connection in people’s minds between LGBTQ+ inclusion, Trans Liberation, and Black Lives Matter
    • underscoring the local community’s commitment to fulfilling Elise’s vision for Andersonville and Chicago
    • honoring Elise’s fierce advocacy across the city and championing of economic justice for Trans folks, as embodied by HireTransNow
  • To become a “welcome sign” or create a “sense of arrival” to BIPOC LGBTQ+ people as they enter Andersonville neighborhood – “We’re here! We belong here!” 
  • To act as a social justice landmark for the neighborhood of Andersonville and City of Chicago 
We believe in the future that Elise worked tirelessly for, one where  the people and organizations that make up the neighborhood will continue to grow not just as  leaders of LGBTQ+ inclusion & equity, but Black and Brown inclusion & equity as well. The mural should inspire friends, family, and local leaders to continue working across conventional lines to accelerate Trans inclusion, equity & justice, and honor Elise’s vision with a spirit of optimism, hope, and resolve.

Phase 1 Proposal Requirements 

The following information is required for Phase 1 of the proposal: 

  1. Contact information: 
    1. Name
    2. Address
    3. Phone number
    4. Email address
    5. Website (optional)
  2. Statement of Interest (250 words)
  3. Resume/CV
  4. Sample(s) of past work, either attached as a PDF or with a shared web address to a digital portfolio (Maximum of 5)

Complete Initial Application via the google form below.

Phase 2 Proposal Requirements

If selected to continue to next stage, the following materials are required for Phase 2 of the proposal:

  1. Written (or video) narrative describing your artistic vision and proposal (No longer than 2 single-spaced pages or a 7 minute video)
  2. Sketch (and optionally, vision board) of your preliminary vision for the mural
  3. Proposed Budget
  4. Execution Summary and Timeline (half-full single-spaced page)
  5. Two References

Each applicant participating in Phase 2 submissions will be paid a $500 fee for their proposal. 

Submission Deadline 

All Phase 2 Proposals must be submitted electronically by Sunday, March 31, 2024 at 11:59 PM Central. Materials must be submitted via email to Fabiana Malary, CTC Steering Committee Lead AND Iggy Ladden, CTC Executive Director, as a PDF. A confirmation email will be sent to all applicants. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of the deadline, please follow up by the same emails or by phone at (331)442-4449.

Fabiana Malary: [email protected]

Iggy Ladden: [email protected] 


Project Budget 

Recognizing that we are flexible in consideration of the size/scope of the façade treatment area, it follows that the budget may vary widely. Additionally, non-conventional materials other than paint are welcome, which may impact costs. A total budget of $15,000 has been assumed for the purposes of this project. Artist will be responsible for their own travel costs, equipment (including scaffolding/lifts), and personal liability insurance.  

The collective will be responsible for the treatment of the surface prior to installation and for applying a UV sealant and anti-graffiti coating. Additionally, CTC will be responsible for the long-term maintenance of the Mural and has funds set aside for this stewardship. 

CTC is grateful for the generosity of the community and partners for their support in the creation of this mural. As a non-profit organization, funding has been sourced from several places to finance this project and its maintenance. The selected artist may be asked for involvement in the ongoing funding requirements and reporting process, and will be supported accordingly. 


Selection Process 

A 7-person, diverse, representative committee has been established and will review all completed proposals. Committee members include friends, family, collective members, local leaders, and consulting artists. We will select up to three semifinalists to interview. 

We will select one finalist for the project. 

The following will be considered in the selection process: 

– Artist met the requirements outlined in the RFP; the proposal was submitted by the deadline. 

– Attention to the mission of the project. 

– Evidence of ability to create large-scale, distinctive work. 

– Demonstrated ability to maintain project timelines and budgets. 

– Originality and creativity. 

Project Timeline (subject to change) 

– November 20, 2023 Announcement and distribution of RFP 

– January 31st, 2024 Deadline for receipt of proposals Phase 1

– March 31, 2024 Deadline for receipt of proposals Phase 2

– April 1, 2024 All submissions reviewed and semifinalists selected 

– April 15, 2024 Interviews with semifinalists 

– May 15, 2024 Artist selected and contract completed 

– June 30, 2024 Art design finalized and approved

– August 1, 2024 Work begins 

– October 15, 2024 Work finalized 

-November 20, 2024 Unveiling ceremony


The artist will retain ownership of any ideas submitted for consideration until a final selection has been made and a contract will be signed between CTC and the selected artist. At that time, CTC will obtain 100% ownership of artwork produced, in whatever stage of completion, and the artwork shall become the property of CTC as a work made for hire as defined by the copyright laws of the United States. CTC shall be the sole and exclusive owner and copyright proprietor of all rights and title in and to the results and proceeds of artist’s services hereunder. In addition, artist will represent being the sole author of the Work and that all services are original by artist and not copied in whole or in part.