Request for Proposals: Needs Assessment for Cultural Recovery Following New Mexico Wildfires

26 May 2022

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Introduction

The New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) is pleased to invite proposals from New Mexico firms or consultants to conduct a needs assessment of the New Mexico communities affected by the wildfires as identified in President Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration of May 4, 2022, which ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires and straight-line winds beginning on April 5, 2022, and continuing. The counties identified in the declaration as affected by the wildfires are Colfax, Mora, and San Miguel in the northern part of the state, and Valencia and Lincoln in the center of the state. NMHC has been awarded an emergency grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to assist in completing this needs assessment. Using the data collected from this needs assessment effort, NMHC will apply later in the year for further supplemental funding to provide more direct support to affected cultural institutions and communities. If this second tranche of funding is awarded, NMHC would likely use a portion of it to subaward to cultural organizations in the counties identified in the President’s Major Disaster Declaration, while setting some aside to provide direct cultural preservation services to cultural institutions in those same counties.

Scope

The selected firm or consultant will do the following before September 30, 2022:

1) Provide a local cultural practitioner to conduct outreach visits to cultural heritage organizations, tribal organizations, public humanists, and culture/tradition bearers in affected areas to gauge needs and gather data. The cultural practitioner will provide regular reports to NMHC and partners, which will be made available on NMHC’s website.

2) Convene key NMHC personnel and personnel from potential partnering institutions (such as New Mexico Highlands University, the Cleveland Roller Mill Museum, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Embudo Valley Library, the Hermits Peak Watershed Alliance, Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and the Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum) at the start of the effort to help guide the outreach effort. Other organizations may be invited to join this ad hoc group as the needs-assessment period progresses. (It is hoped that this group will be sustained beyond the fires to respond to other natural disasters.)

3) Convene a maximum of 4 roundtables in or near affected areas to gather information on community needs will be convened. Public officials, as well as cultural heritage organizations, tribal organizations, public humanists, and culture/tradition bearers will be invited to attend and provide relevant data. Reports from this process will be made available on NMHC’s website.


4) The selected firm or consultant will provide a final report that summarizes data collected and provides key observations from the research completed to aid in drafting a follow-up funding request to NEH.


5) The selected firm or consultant will also use electronic/virtual methods, including social media and online questionnaires, to collect data on needs.

Budget
A contract will be let for approximately $20,000 - $28,000 to complete the needs assessment effort.

Proposal Procedure
A copy of your proposal should be submitted in a sealed envelope clearly marked “New Mexico Humanities Council Emergency RFP.” Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm on June 27, 2022 in our offices at 4115 Silver Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 87124. The firm or consultant submitting the best proposal may be invited to discuss their proposal with the Executive Director. Responses to this proposal should address the specific issues below. If the firm or consultant desires to provide additional information, such information should be included in a supplemental section of the proposal.

Please address the following in your proposal:

1. Discuss your expertise in conducting similar assessments, particularly in the cultural sector.

2. Identify staff, particularly the cultural practitioner identified above (to conduct outreach visits to cultural heritage organizations, tribal organizations, public humanists, and culture/tradition bearers in affected areas) and administrative staff who will assist in the day-to-day management of the project (posting relevant data collected on NMHC’s website, assisting with project paperwork, arranging meetings and project travel, etc.).

3. List any special knowledge or skills involving the cultural sector which you possess. 

4. Discuss your current relationships with any potential partners listed above or other cultural heritage organizations, tribal organizations, public humanists, and culture/tradition bearers in the affected counties.

Proposed Timeline

- On or around June 30: contract with selected firm/consultant
- July: initial meeting of selected firm/consultant staff, NMHC and partnering institutions convened; cultural practitioner begins outreach work; potential partners invited to join ad hoc group; one or more roundtables convened; initial reports posted on website
- August: one or more roundtables convened; cultural practitioner continues outreach work; outreach and roundtable reports posted on website; new potential partners invited to join ad hoc group
- September: one or more roundtables convened; cultural practitioner continues outreach work; outreach and roundtable reports posted on website; new potential partners invited to join ad hoc group
- On or before September 30: selected firm/consultant will provide a final report that summarizes data collected and provides key observations from the completed research to aid NMHC in drafting a follow-up funding request to NEH.

All proposals will be scored with the intent of obtaining the highest quality services at the most economical cost. If you need additional information, please contact NMHC Executive Director Brandon Johnson at bjohnson@nmhumanities.org.

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