Public is invited to join Chicago Monuments Project

The City of Chicago, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Park District (Parks) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS), today launched the public engagement phase of the Chicago Monuments Project that will conclude in April.

The new website identifies monumental sculptures, artworks and commemorative plaques on the public way and in Chicago parks selected by the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee for further review. Chicagoans are encouraged to join the conversation by submitting feedback through the website, virtual events and one-on-one conversations. 

“This project is a powerful opportunity for us to come together as a city to assess the many monuments and memorials across our neighborhoods and communities—to face our history and what and how we memorialize that history,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Given the past year and in particular the past summer that made clear history isn’t past, it is essential that residents are a part of this conversation. This project is about more than a single statue or mural, it’s about channeling our city’s dynamic civic energy to permanently memorialize our shared values, history and heritage as Chicagoans in an open and democratic way.” 

The Chicago Monuments Project is the City’s first effort to grapple with the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City’s various municipal art collections and provides a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history, confront the ways in which that history has and has not been memorialized and develop a framework for marking public space that elevates new ways to memorialize Chicago’s true and complete history.  

Using feedback collected through the upcoming public art and engagement efforts, the City, along with various stakeholder groups, will create a plan to erect a series of new monuments that equitably acknowledge Chicago’s shared history. 

The Chicago Monuments Project also seeks project ideas from individual artists and/or community groups for the development of new monuments that rethink the place, purpose and permanence of monuments in our public spaces. Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2021.  

Leading this review of monuments is the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee, a group of community leaders, artists, architects, scholars, curators and city officials who have dedicated their time, experience and expertise.  The committee, announced in August 2020, is co-chaired by Mark Kelly, Commissioner of DCASE, Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois and Jennifer Scott, Director/Chief Curator of Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.  

“The Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee has considered hundreds of the city’s sculptures and plaques in this critically important process,” said DCASE Commissioner and Advisory Committee Co-Chair Mark Kelly. “The City’s public art collection is a defining characteristic of Chicago and it should reflect and respect all Chicagoans. The public’s input will now help us evaluate the collection and to commission new works.” 

Chicagoans are also invited to pre-register to participate in discussions with Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee Members, where they can ask questions, share their thoughts and learn more about the Chicago Monuments Project. Space will be limited to 20 community members per drop-in session.

For more information VISIT HERE

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