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Project Leader

Getty Conservation Institute
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Engagement



Issue Date: April 26, 2021

Getty Conservation Institute (“GCI”) and the City of Los Angeles, led by Los Angeles City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources (“OHR”), are partnering in the new Los Angeles African American Historic Places project (“LAAAHP”). GCI and OHR are seeking Expressions of Interest (“EOI”) from qualified individuals to perform consulting services (“Services”) to develop, manage, and implement the work of the LAAAHP as the designated Project Leader.


The GCI, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, with a mission to advance conservation practice internationally through research, training and education, and dissemination. GCI has conducted international field projects in Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe, as well as in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States.

Los Angeles City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources manages the city's historic resource inventory, HistoricPlacesLA, which includes the findings from SurveyLA, Los Angeles's first-ever citywide historic resource survey. OHR serves as the professional staff for the city's Cultural Heritage Commission, oversees the city's 35 Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs), or local historic districts, and manages the city's major financial incentive for owners of historic properties, the Mills Act Historical Property Contract Program.

PROJECT Background

Since 2005, the City of Los Angeles has been working with GCI to establish a comprehensive framework for the identification and management of the city’s historic resources. This partnership resulted in SurveyLA and HistoricPlacesLA. As part of SurveyLA, OHR has created several pioneering historic context documents—preservation frameworks that have focused on the rich social and cultural history of the city’s diverse communities—including a 2018 African American History of Los Angeles context.

Despite the ambitious and comprehensive survey efforts undertaken by the city, its traditional historic designation programs do not yet equitably encompass the diversity and richness of the African American experience in Los Angeles. Only slightly more than 3% of the city’s 1,200 locally designated landmarks (Historic-Cultural Monuments) currently reflect associations with African American history. The work undertaken by the city on the historic context statement was a first step in addressing the less widely known and recognized heritage of African Americans, but there is more work to be done. This project will advance this earlier framework and move to the next level, reconnecting with communities to more closely examine the African American heritage of the city, prioritizing places to bring forward for designation, and identifying priority areas of the city for further strategic cultural preservation work to understand, recognize, interpret, and protect this heritage.

Recent attention to ongoing social injustices has catalyzed more focused recognition that change is urgently needed to address systemic racism, and the city is actively reevaluating its cultural heritage and planning policies and practices so they can contribute to this change. As part of LA City Planning’s efforts to address systemic racism and pursue transformative planning, there are significant opportunities to use history and culture as a tool for equity, inclusion, economic revitalization, and community building. Similarly, the GCI is examining where change to current practices, policies and processes in historic preservation is needed to address social justice issues both in the US and internationally. 


The new project aims to advance the recognition, understanding, protection, conservation, and celebration of the African American heritage of Los Angeles. In addition to a specific focus on significant African American heritage sites and neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the project seeks to identify where historic preservation policies and practices can be rethought to ensure they support antiracist outcomes within the planning and preservation work of the City of Los Angeles. It will include a robust community program to gather meaningful input and draw on local knowledge of lesser-known histories. This work will provide a potential model for future initiatives related to underrepresented heritage connected with specific communities in Los Angeles. It is also hoped that the project will catalyze action by other cities and local governments and will model broader policy and process change within historic preservation practice.

The LAAAHP also builds upon significant work within other programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust, including the Getty Research Institute, which acquired the Paul R. Williams archive jointly with the University of Southern California in 2020, and launched the African American Art History Initiative in 2019.

The project will extend through 2023, with the possibility of future additional phases beyond this initial period, subject to generating access to funding.

SCOPE OF WORK                               

The Project Leader consultant, with the guidance of a local Advisory Committee representing key community-based stakeholders in the city’s African American communities, will be responsible for developing, managing, and implementing the project, which currently includes the following key components:

  • Refine/expand the African American History of Los Angeles Context Statement, informed by inclusive public outreach, to identify additional potential subthemes and additional historic resources.
  • Prepare nominations and advance to adoption up to 10 Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument designations of priority sites significant to the city’s African American history.
  • Develop cultural preservation strategies in up to three historically African American communities, creating a comprehensive neighborhood-based approach to historic preservation, cultural preservation/asset mapping, and cultural heritage interpretation.

Each of these deliverables will be completed by a consultant team contracted directly by the city, under the direction of the Project Leader.

In addition, the Project Leader will work in conjunction with staff at the GCI to develop a toolkit of strategies and processes that contribute to a rethinking of the city’s planning and historic preservation work to support antiracist policies and practices and more equitable and inclusive outcomes. The GCI will undertake the initial work on the toolkit in support of and in consultation with the Project Leader. As is usual in GCI practice, this initial work will be informed by a robust research program and the convening of international, national, and local experts to share knowledge and identify tools that could be adopted, adapted, or developed to support this work. The Project Leader will also work with the GCI to coordinate with other Getty programs where relevant, which may include a shared public programming component.

Additional responsibilities will include:

  • Develop the project’s scope and work plan in detail, in collaboration with the GCI and the OHR, and with input from the project Advisory Committee.
  • Convene and lead meetings of the project Advisory Committee, representing diverse stakeholders from Los Angeles African American communities.
  • Oversee the selection and day-to-day management of the project’s consultant team.
  • Make public presentations on the project and represent the project at community meetings and events.
  • Develop strong relationships with community stakeholders and leaders in Los Angeles for focused work within the project.
  • Pursue potential additional collaborations with private, governmental, and philanthropic partners to enhance the scope and impact of the project by addressing creative placemaking, preservation education, and the development of emerging African American leadership in historic preservation.
  • Pursue collaborations with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other local governments to establish the LAAAHP as a useful model and disseminate it for similar efforts in major cities across the nation.
  • Supervise interns, research assistants, and/or volunteers. Internship opportunities for emerging professionals will be provided through the Getty Graduate Internship and Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship programs for the duration of the project. In these cases, the intern will be jointly decided upon and jointly supervised with GCI staff.

The Project Leader will be retained through a consulting contract with GCI, but will work within LA City Planning, reporting directly to the Principal City Planner/Manager of the Office of Historic Resources. This consulting contract will be for a two year period of time, during which work on a full time basis is anticipated. As previously mentioned, there is a possibility of future additional phases beyond this initial period, subject to generating access to funding.

This consultancy is envisioned as being undertaken by an individual; however, applicants may make a strong case for the work to be undertaken by a small team at a firm that meets the qualifications that follow. In such cases, one member of that team shall be clearly identified as the Project Leader for the work.


  • Experience in and understanding of Los Angeles, including strong existing relationships within Los Angeles African American communities.
  • A strong understanding of historic preservation policies and practices or its related fields, including history, architectural history, architecture, or urban planning, particularly with respect to African American heritage resources.
  • Strong project management experience (minimum five years), with a track record of leading teams or consultants in completing multifaceted projects.
  • Public speaking skills, conflict resolution skills, sensitivity, and sound judgment necessary to represent City of Los Angeles government skillfully in public presentations and meetings within community settings.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a collaborative mindset, demonstrating an ability to work with diverse stakeholders, ranging from elected officials and city leaders to community-based nonprofit organizations and local residents.
  • Experience in leading community engagement strategies or community organizing activities in diverse and complex settings.
  • Experience in coordinating volunteers or community-based advisors.
  • Ability to apply an antiracist lens to the evaluation and transformation of traditional historic preservation practices.
  • Demonstrated experience and record of accomplishment in fundraising and in building strong relationships with private and philanthropic funding partners.
  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to problem-solving.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.


Questions regarding this Call for EOIs can be submitted to Getty Supervisor Ms. Luann Manning by electronic mail at [email protected] no later than May 24, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT. GCI/OHR will respond to questions by electronic mail as quickly as possible, and no later than May 28, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT.


Expression of Interest must be submitted in English and include the following information:

  1. Name and contact information for applicant.
  2. CV demonstrating the applicant’s capabilities and capacity for carrying out such a consultancy, including previous work experiences; the CV shall make clear what the individual’s role and responsibilities were all previous work experiences provided in the CV.  The CV shall not exceed 4 pages in length. As such, it is not necessary for applicants to include every project, publication, or presentation; rather those that are most applicable to the scope of this project.
  3. A response statement describing:
    1. Why the applicant is interested in this consultancy
    2. Three relevant previous projects that demonstrate problem-solving techniques and approaches similar to what will be required for this project.
    3. An initial suggested approach to leading the work, as it is described in this Call for Expressions of Interest. It shall include the following components:
      1. Key barriers / challenges to be addressed in this work and potential means of doing so
      2. Which communities you view as stakeholders and how you would engage with them
      3. Your vision / guiding principles for leading this work.

Response statement shall not exceed 6 pages in length.

  1. Name and contact information for three professional references.

It is required that Expressions of Interest be limited to a single Adobe PDF document, with a maximum total of ten letter-sized pages plus one letter-sized cover sheet page. The information in the PDF shall follow the organization outlined above.  No additional materials, other than what is outlined above, will be considered in assessing the submissions. Submissions must be made by email and received by May 31, 2021 to Getty Supervisor Ms. Luann Manning at [email protected].


The following criteria will be used to evaluate all Expressions of Interest:

  • Applicant’s competence and experience, particularly how it relates to the consultancy qualifications described in this Call for Expressions of Interest.
  • Applicant’s demonstrated capacity to complete projects of this nature.
  • Proposed approach to the project, described in the response statement.


A Selection Committee convened for this purpose will undertake the evaluation of Expressions of Interest. The Selection Committee will be comprised of members who represent the Getty, the City of Los Angeles, and external experts in the field.

The Selection Committee will review EOIs against the above-listed evaluation criteria. All applicants will be notified by mid-summer 2021 whether or not they have been selected to progress to a second stage in which interviews will be conducted.

Prior to interviewing, candidates who have advanced to the second stage will be asked to prepare a preliminary work plan, based upon the information provided in this Call for Expressions of Interest, and a preliminary fee proposal for carrying out the work. GCI and OHR will provide further parameters for this submission when notifying those candidates who have advanced to this stage. The preliminary work plan and fee proposal will be discussed during the second stage interviews.



Call for Expressions of Interest Issue Date: April 26, 2021

Deadline for Questions: May 24, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT

Deadline for GCI / OHR Response for Questions: May 28, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT

Expressions of Interest Due Date: May 31, 2021



Published on:
April 29, 2021 - 1:13pm
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