Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

Migrant Agricultural Worker Memorial Call for Artists 

The 32nd District Agricultural Association OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors has elected to erect a memorial to commemorate the contributions of migrant agricultural workers to the growth and prosperity of Orange County. The project is open to California-based artists working in any media appropriate to the site and climate of coastal southern California.

Artists are encouraged to consider any area within the Centennial Farm. An additional proposed site for this project is located in the plaza and foyer area of the new entrance to the Pacific Amphitheater, an onsite performance space seating approximately 8,200. Estimated completion date for this new construction is spring, 2014. A video presentation of possible sites within the Centennial Farm as well as architectural concepts and plan views for the entrance area can be found online:

The Centennial Farm is primarily a daytime attraction, except during the month-long run of the annual OC Fair when it is open until 11 p.m. Artists are encouraged to visit the site in person. The memorial should seek to educate the public about the history of migrant agricultural labor in Orange County, California, as well as uplift the various populations being celebrated. The project should be child and family friendly and able to withstand daily visitations of school children. The project should demonstrate sensitivity to the history of migrant labor and the stakeholders being celebrated.

The history of agricultural labor migration to Orange County began primarily in the mid-19th century. Migrant laborers came to Orange County from Mexico, China, Japan, Philippine Islands, and, from the U.S. Midwest during the Dust Bowl years. More information about migrant labor in Orange County can be found through oral histories in the libraries of California State University Fullerton, University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Berkeley website Calisphere.

Here are some helpful links:

– A Documentary History of Migratory Farm Labor in California, 1938
– Bracero Program documentary film
– Immigrants impact on Orange County
– Migrant workers and Braceros
– The Japanese American Oral History Project Collection


The project budget is all-inclusive, will not exceed $90,000, and must cover artist’s design fees, travel expenses, all materials and fabrication costs, insurance costs, engineering, shipping and transportation to the site, and all installation costs, such as the design and pouring of a concrete pad.


The call is open to established professional artists residing in California who are eligible to work in the United States. Artists with historical ties to the topic of migrant labor are encouraged to apply. Any applicant must be over the age of 18 years.


One artist or artist team will be selected to create an original artwork within the project site. The artwork must comply with accessibility building codes. The artwork could be educational in nature, have interpretive elements, be interactive, or, suggest interactive and interpretive elements for a future traveling exhibit as an extension and educational outreach of the artwork subject matter. Because the location is open to the public, depending on the nature and location of the work, it will need to be durable and securely attached to any foundations, able to endure viewers touching and substantial public use. The selected artist will have approximately one year to prepare and oversee installation of project. Artist will provide instructions and schedule for proper maintenance of work after installation.

Applications will not be accepted by mail


Entry Deadline: 4/8/13. Days remaining to deadline: 25



Images – Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Video – Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media – Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6 View Site Details

The 32nd District Agricultural Association DBA the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, is an agency of the State of California and home to the annual OC Fair. Its mission, “Celebration of Orange County’s Communities, Interests, Agriculture, and Heritage,” is fulfilled through onsite year round programs and entertainment. Centennial Farm, established in 1989 and located on the campus, is a 3 acre working farm and agriculture education attraction. Open daily throughout the year, the Centennial Farm was created to educate youth about agriculture and its importance to daily life.


April 8, 2013 – 11pm PDST


Applications will only be accepted via CaFÉ. Applications must include the following:

1. Letter of interest
a. Description of interest in this project.
b. Explanation of any personal relevance.
c. Explanation of qualifications for this commission.
2. Resume/curriculum vitae (Uploaded)
3. Three professional references from former projects or other art related activities
4. 6 images of completed past works (Uploaded)
5. Image identification list (Include title of work, medium, location, date completed, and project budget)


The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

– Quality of concept, appropriateness, design and craftsmanship of past works
– Visual and technical sophistication
– Creativity of approach, originality
– Ability to produce durable outdoor art
– Proven ability to coordinate and collaborate with project managers and design professionals
– Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget


A local selection committee consisting of the 32nd District Agricultural Association staff and local arts professionals will be responsible for selecting the artist or artist team to be commissioned for this project.


– Up to five artists or artist team finalists will be selected to develop a site-specific proposal for the project. Finalists will be given a $500 honorarium to design and produce a model or maquette of their design as well as provide a sample of materials that will be used. Finalists will be required to make a presentation to the selection committee during an in-person interview in Costa Mesa, California, on June 20, 2013. It is strongly suggested that finalists visit the site before finalizing their proposals.

– Travel stipends will be granted to finalists for site visitation and presentations as part of the administration expenses and at the discretion of the OC Fair & Event Center.

– Final selection will be made by a panel of some or all of the following: Arts Professionals, District Staff, Board Members, and Community Stakeholders.

– The 32nd District Agricultural Association reserves the right to select none of the applicants.


March 1, 2013 – Call for entry published
April 8, 2013 – Call for entry deadline
April 23, 2013 – 5 finalists notified
June 20, 2013 – Finalist onsite presentations
July 3, 2013 – Winner announced
June 2014 – Preferred project installation


All finalists will be notified by April 23th. Finalists will be asked to interview on June 20, 2013. All artists will be notified of the selection panel’s decisions by July 3, 2013.


Please do not hesitate to call or email if you need clarification or any other assistance with this application process. If you are applying using CaFÉ for the first time, we suggest applying in advance of the application deadline to allow for formatting of your images and uploading of all required application requirements.

For questions about application: Contact Arts Orange County: Kristina Colby at 714.556.5160, X10 or

For assistance with the online CaFÉ application process: Contact CaFÉ tech support at 888.562.7232 or café, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4: p.m. (PST)

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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