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Design Competition

Design Rules and Regulations

Site Specifics

The LSS/NCA building is located on Georgia Ave NW between Webster and Allison Streets NW. The design area is 10 feet wide by 10 feet high. The east facing wall directly abuts the sidewalk and is partially obstructed by a small tree. The final mural design will be painted onto a 10 feet by 10 surface area either on the exterior wall of the building or in the front lobby depending on weather and building conditions. This mural may be painted by winning artist. (If you are hesitant about painting the final mural but would like to submit a design, please contact us and other arrangements will be made.)

As owners of the building, LSSNCA reserves the right to repair, replace, or relocate the design at any time in the future.  LSS/NCA is also responsible for any repairs or vandalism to the design, subject to the availability of funds.  It is hoped that the completed design will have a life expectancy of 5 years on display. 

Design Guidelines

This call for Submission is for the artwork which will become the final canvas painting. The following GUIDELINES should help respondents create a favorable submission:


Likely to be considered Not likely to be considered Prohibited

Flat application of paint, pencil, or graphic nature (Final design will need to be painted) Relief or textural additions to the paint

Abstract or stylized representation. Simple, clean design. Highly detailed, three dimensional modeling or trompe l'oeil effects (e.g. shading and blending)

Designs represents a positive reflection of LSS/NCA and the theme of its Centennial--Serve Boldly. See for details. Design relies on shock, exhibitionism, negativity Designs that include graphic violence, profanity, nudity, obscene gestures, or misrepresentation of culture and race

Builds a sense of inclusion and reflects the community Corporate or institutional logos incorporated in the design Gang symbols or imagery

Full color design Black and white design

Physical Submission postmarked or hand delivered on or before October 20, 2017.

Physical submission must be 20 inches wide by 20 inches high Physical submissions in any alterative size

Design & Selection Process

Step 1-Acceptance & Review: Following the deadline for submission, the design selection committee will choose 20 designs that best reflect the competition criteria, LSS/NCA programming and history, and the DC Metro community. These designs will be posted to the LSS/NCA website and each semi-finalist will be awarded a $50 Visa card. 

Step 2-Popular Vote: Members of the community will be invited to vote for the design of their choice from these 20 selected semi-finalists. The public vote will be considered in selecting one finalist.

Step 3-Selection Committee:  The design selection committee (a board member, staff member, refugee client, and two art professionals from the community) will review the 20 semi-finalists and choose two additional finalists. The three finalists will be asked to meet with the design selection committee to discuss their inspiration for the design and their plan for executing the final painted project.

Step 4-Selection process: The design selection committee will consider the finalists’ design submissions and interview results to select a winner. The winning artist will work with LSS/NCA staff to complete the final project. 

Step 5-Final Design Award: After painting the final project, the finalist will receive a $1,000 cash reward. (If you want to submit a design but are hesitant to paint the final mural, please contact us. Other arrangements may be made to ensure your design submission.)


Project Schedule

Call for Submission Open: March 20

Design Submission Deadline: October 20

Notification of Semi-Finalists: October 25

Selection Committee Review: October 25-October 31

Notification of Finalists: November 1

Finalist Interviews: November 1-November 10

Winner Notified: By November 13

Project Production:  SPRING 2018

Project Completion and Community Presentation: September 2017



  • Semi-finalists chosen by the review team to best meet design criteria and represent LSS/NCA will each be awarded a $50 Visa gift card and be highlighted on the LSS/NCA website and social media. 
  • The final winning artist will be awarded $1,000
  • The final winning artist will be credited on LSS/NCA design references in print and digital form, including a full artist profile on the LSS/NCA website through 2017.
  • The four finalists will be featured in related LSSNCA press and social media throughout the selection process.
  • The final winning artist will be invited to events (to be determined) to present the completed design to the community.


  • Any professional or amateur artist or designer is eligible, to apply.
  • Artist must be 18 years or older. (Artists between 13-17 may submit a design with parent or guardian consent.)
  • Preference will be given to local artists living within 50 miles of LSS/NCA’s offices on Georgia Ave NW.
  • Entries may be submitted by individuals, groups, classes or teams.
  •  Applicants must answer the call for submission on our registration page
  • Submissions must include the following:
    • Complete contact information
    • Identification of team or individual submission
    • Consent to contact the artist by email
  • A 20 inch by 20 inch scale rendering of the image in any media (paint, pencil, digital, etc.). 
  • The original renderings of the 20 semi-finalists will become the property of LSS/NCA as described below.
  • Submissions are free and open to the public.
  • Applicants may submit only one design.
  • Submissions must be delivered in person or postmarked to LSS/NCA (Attn: Amy Ranker) 4406 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011 by October 20. (Twenty pieces to best meet criteria and represent LSS/NCA will be retained by LSS/NCA. Other artists will be called to pick up their artwork following the review period.)


If you have questions regarding the Design competition or process, please submit them to Questions submitted up to 48 hours before the submission deadline will be addressed. Technical questions concerning the online submission process should be submitted to


Contractual Information

LSS/NCA, as owner of the contest, building, and final artistic project may:

  • Require artists to sign a statement verifying the originality of the design
  • Establish a contract between winning artist and LSS/NCA.
  • Reserve the right to remove, replace, or relocate the work as necessary.
  • Reserve the right to alter the contest dates and deadlines as needed.
  • Reserve the right to own submission designs regardless of their selection for implementation. (Design renderings will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be designated to the LSS/NCA Serve Boldly campaign to support future programming for families and children in need.)
  • Reserve the right to refuse any and all proposed designs and/or initiate an alternate selection process.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an express or implied contract, and these provisions are subject to change. If you have any questions, please submit them to