Memorials and Monuments Assessment Project

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The Memorial and Monuments Assessment Project intends 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.

The project has four main objectives, including:

  • Cataloguing monuments and public art on City or sister agency property;
  • Appointing an advisory committee to determine which pieces warrant attention or action;
  • Making recommendations on any new monuments or public art that could be commissioned; and
  • Creating a platform for the public to engage in a civic dialogue about Chicago’s history.

This is a partnership among the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Park District (Parks) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Advisory Committee

The advisory committee is reviewing the City’s current public art inventory to identify and prioritize artworks that may be problematic. The resulting report will recommend next steps for the existing collection as well as processes for the city’s commission of monuments moving forward, which will include speculative proposals by committee artists.

Committee Co-chairs

  • Mark Kelly, Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
  • Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois
  • Jennifer Scott, Public Historian and Curator

Committee Members

  • Rachel Arfa, Commissioner, City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
  • John Betancur, Interim Director of Urban Planning and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Michelle Boone, Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer, Navy Pier
  • Romi Crawford, Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Pat Dowell, Alderman, 3rd Ward
  • William Estrada, Artist
  • Maria Gaspar, Artist
  • Sergio Giangrande, President, Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans
  • Adam Green, Associate Professor of American History and the College, University of Chicago
  • Lisa Yun Lee, Associate Professor in Art History and Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Faheem Majeed, Artist
  • Heather Miller, Wyandotte Nation, Executive Director, American Indian Center
  • Cesáreo Moreno, Visual Arts Director, National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Billy Ocasio, President and Executive Director, National Puerto Rican Museum of Arts and Culture
  • Jon Pounds, Executive Director Emeritus, Chicago Public Art Group
  • Michael Rakowitz, Artist
  • Santiago X (Koasati/Chamoru), Artist
  • Teresa E. Silva, Executive and Artistic Director, Chicago Artists Coalition
  • Tyra Smith, Student/Artist, Northwestern University
  • Cynthia Soto, Director of the Native American Support Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Nicholas Sposato, Alderman, 38th Ward
  • John Vinci, Principal, Vinci Hamp Architects
  • Alaka Wali, Curator of North American Anthropology, Field Museum
  • Amanda Williams, Artist
  • Folayemi (Fo) Wilson, Artist/Director of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Columbia College of Chicago
  • Ernest Wong, Founder and Principal, Site

 

Press Releases

August 12 - City of Chicago Announces Project to Assess Memorials and Monuments in the City's Public Art Collection

For inquiries, email publicart@cityofchicago.org

 

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