Wanted: Artists for Installation Part of Sexual Assault Survivors' Settlement

In addition to reforms, the agreement calls for the creation of a memorial space

Travis County is looking for artists to create possibly one of the area's most important works of public art in recent years.

In 2021, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted to settle a major lawsuit with sexual assault survivors over the county's history of systemic mishandling of their cases. In addition to reforms, the agreement also called for the creation of a memorial space or installation to give a concrete presence for survivors and victims of sexual assault. Travis County District Attorney José Garza said, "We are committed to supporting the creation of an art piece that will represent the courage and determination of sexual assault victims who fought for those reforms."

Now the county has opened the bidding process to create that environment, to be located at the Ronald Earle Building (416 W. 11th), and is asking artists to enter their proposals. There will be a pre-bid walk-through of the designated space at 10am, Nov. 30, and then artists will have until Jan. 4, 2023, to submit their original proposals (artists who have been personally impacted by sexual violence are particularly invited to apply). The proposals will then go to an evaluation committee comprising county staff, sexual assault survivors, and community advocates. The selected work will be completed at a collaborative event with survivors and members of the community. D.A.'s Office Director of the Special Victims Unit Erin Martinson said, "My hope is that this piece will serve as a permanent visual reminder of the harm that occurs in our community and an inspiration for Austinites to invest in addressing sexual violence."

Applications can be made through Jan. 4, 2023, via Bidsync or the Travis County Purchasing Office website (traviscountytx.gov/purchasing/solicitation).

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Travis County, Jose Garza, sexual assault, Erin Martinson, Travis County Commissioners Court

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