Most Asked Questions
We have been receiving some great questions, so we thought it best to share on the website. Please keep asking and we will keep posting the answers here for others, too.
PROJECT POP UP: DOWNTOWN – Most Asked Questions
Do I (and my collaborators) have to be a Pittsburgh resident?
No, you do not. The application has no residency requirements. If you or one of your team members are from outside of the US, you will need to secure or show your own paperwork that allows you to work in the US.
What is the rent for each storefront and will we need to cover utility costs?
Unless we indicate otherwise, each property owner has donated the listed properties for 6-12 months . Utility usage costs will need to be accounted for in your budget when applying for the grant but we have requested that the property owner have services available.
Who is on the Curatorial Committee?
The Curatorial Committee consists of 9 people: 3 project stakeholders (City of Pittsburgh, URA, and PDP), 3 downtown stakeholders (business owner and/or downtown residents), and 3 representing the arts community.
Can parking, wages for staff, and other such costs be covered by the grant?
Yes, you can include the costs as line items in your budget.
What is the minimum number of hours that the storefront needs to be open to the public?
There is not a set number of hours that the storefront needs to be “open.” However, we do ask that the storefront has a day and night, 24 hour presence. Storefronts with only a 9-5 M-F schedule are not preferred.
If we want to stay beyond the 6 month or year long term, what will the rent be?
We would love for you to stay beyond the project period. All program participants must negotiate long-term lease terms on their own directly with the property owner. In addition, there may be opportunity to explore programs with the URA and/or the PDP.
What is the safety of the buildings and who has liability?
Before program participants are matched with a space, we will work with city inspectors to assure the storefront is habitable. All finalists will be required to secure general liability insurance for the length of your installation.
Do I need liability insurance when submitting my RFP?
No, you do not. You will only need liability insurance if you are selected as a program participant.
Is there a certain amount for which I will need to insure the storefront?
The program participant will obtain comprehensive general liability insurance which contains limits of not less than $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $2,000,000.00 per aggregate, insuring against the program participant’s liability for property damage and bodily injury, including death, related to the program participant’s use of the space. The property owner will be named as an additional insured. The program participant will hold the property owner and the PDP harmless from any damage or loss to artwork or store contents. The property owner will look solely to the program participant’s insurance for claims related to use of the space by the program participant. (This is legal speak, i.e. please don’t let it scare you away from the RFP process!)
Are children under the age of 18 allowed to participate in the program?
Yes, as long as there will be adult supervision and Pennsylvania Child Labor Laws are abided. Children under the age of 18 may not apply for the grant.
Does build out of my project come out of my budget and what is the maximum grant?
Yes, it does and the maximum grant is $10,000. Applicants may supplement their grants with other funding sources.
Who is responsible for the security of the artwork or equipment in the storefront?
Each program participant is responsible and this should be taken into consideration and covered by the insurance you secure.
What if I am selected as a program participant and the grant I applied for was $5,000 and I end up spending $7,500?
The contract you will sign as a program participant is for the amount you budgeted and you will only receive that amount. Please note: as a finalist, you can adjust your budget from the RFP selection to your finalist presentation.
Does collaborating with someone else increase the amount of the grant?
No, the grant is per project.
Can I tour the spaces prior to submitting the RFP?
Not at this time. Please keep an eye on the website because as we finalize paperwork with each property owner, we will be posting square footage, photographs, and other relevant property details. If possible, we will try to arrange a tour of the properties for finalists before the final presentations.
Can I submit an RFP on my own and then with a team?
Yes you can.
Can artwork or signage be digital displays?
Yes it can. However, it cannot be offsite advertising for you or others. All signage must follow City of Pittsburgh zoning code.
If my idea will work in multiple properties, do I need to provide a property preference?
No you do not. Please note this flexibility.
If I am selected and install my project, will I need to provide any reporting at the end of my project?
Yes we will request information at completion. Exact information is TBD at this point but all program participants will be given the reporting requirements.
If a space is too big for my project, can two different projects be installed in one storefront?
This will be determined by the Curatorial Committee on a case-by-case basis. If you know a space is too large for your project, please do not list that address as your preference.
Can my grant be used for inventory?
Yes it may.
How many finalists will there be and how many storefronts?
We intend to have at least 15 finalists with a list of alternates. There will be at least 15 storefronts participating in the project.
How do we find out about potential utility costs?
Property owners may be able to provide information or the utility provider may be able to provide averages.
If I am a for-profit business and I collaborate with an art installation, how are we to work it out financially?
That is for you and your collaborator to determine. We, as Project Pop Up Pittsburgh, are simply providing you the grant to get your project activated and coordinating a Downtown location.
If I am make a profit from sales of my artwork or other retail, does the profit go back into Project Pop Up Pittsburgh?
No it does not. You get to keep your profit and, with your profit, we hope you consider staying Downtown beyond the 6 months to a year, as this is the ultimate goal of the program!
How can I estimate utility costs in my RFP budget without knowing which property I might activate?
We have requested estimated utility costs per property from the utility companies. We are simply awaiting to hear back. Please just budget a ballpark amount in your RFP. If you are engaged as a finalist due to your innovative concept (you won’t be chosen according to your utilities budgeted – we promise!), you will be able to edit your budget in between selection and your finalist presentation.
Am I allowed to self-fund or seek out other means of funding to execute my proposed concept?
Yes you are. We ask that you fully communicate your idea and then delineate what amount of grant support you will be requesting from Project Pop Up: Downtown and what costs will be covered by other funding sources. Basically, we want to clearly understand what you are requesting from us within your overall budget.
Property details are still not readily available, how am I to customize my RFP to a location?
We continue to actively seek out accurate property details. That relayed, we do not require, nor ask, that you customize your RFP to a specific space. You are welcome to provide your property preference. However, it will be your innovative concept that the curatorial committee will be assessing. If you are selected as a program participant by the committee, the Project Pop Up: Downtown project team will be matching each concept with its best-suited space and you will readily have all property details available to you to prepare your finalist presentation.