Ways to Participate

There are many ways to engage with the Chicago Monuments Project. Upcoming events are listed below as well as links to recordings of many past events.

Speaker Series

Our Speaker Series has concluded, but please scroll down to recordings of each program.

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Community Partner Series

As part of our Public Engagement Program, Community Organizations will be presenting educational webinars on the topic of Monuments.

For more information or to register for specific Community Partner events, scroll down to the "Upcoming Events" section.

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Upcoming Events

June 17, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Women’s Absence from Chicago’s Monumental Landscape

Host: Chicago Womxn's Suffrage Tribute Committee and Columbia College 

Though women make up more than half the population of Chicago, and are noted for their role in shaping the city’s history, they make up a minuscule percentage of the monuments in the landscape. Join Michelle Duster, Sam Kirk, and Marcia Walker-McWilliams along with moderator Meg Duguid as they explore the ways women have been left out of our monuments and memorials, explain how the underrepresentation affects perceptions and policies, discuss efforts to remedy the problem, and propose ideas for the future.

Speakers: 

Michelle Duster, an author, professor, public historian, and champion of racial and gender equity.

Sam Kirk, a multidisciplinary artist who explores culture and identity politics through her artwork.

 Marcia Walker-McWilliams, the Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.

Meg Duguid (moderator), an artist and an arts administrator.

Registration will end on June 16.  All registered attendees will receive a link the day of the event.

Chicago Womxn's Suffrage Tribute Committeewas formed in 2020 to honor the work of Illinois women for fighting for voting and other rights for women and to ensure that the stories of women’s activism are told and not forgotten. The focus is to create public art projects that will reach wide audiences and serve to mark the work of women activists in public spaces and venues. Founding members are Meg Duguid, Michelle Duster, Catherine M. Mardikes, Kris Nesbitt, Lori Osborne, and Neysa Page-Lieberman. This committee is currently working on a new mural project that will be installed in the Wabash Arts Corridor in summer 2021.

Michelle Duster is an author, professor, public historian, and champion of racial and gender equity. She has written, edited, and contributed to over a dozen books. Her most recent, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells. was released on January 26 by Atria/One Signal Publishers (a division of Simon & Schuster). She cowrote the popular children’s history book Tate and His Historic Dream; coedited Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism;Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change; and Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls;and edited two books that include the writings of her paternal great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. Her advocacy has led to the naming of streets, monuments, historical markers, and other public history projects that highlight women and African Americans, including Wells. She is working on two children’s picture books that will be published by mid-2023 and several public history projects that will feature women trailblazers.

Sam Kirk is a multidisciplinary artist who explores culture and identity politics through her artwork. She focuses on a variety of intersections, which encompass a call to celebrate differences and enact change. Kirk’s public murals often address social issues, as she intentionally uses the public space to spark dialogue around topics of equality and visibility for women, communities of color, and the LGBTQIA community. She has exhibited throughout the United States, in galleries and museums, and has painted murals nationally and internationally. 

Marcia Walker-McWilliamsis the Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC). As the BMRC Executive Director, she provides strategic leadership for the consortium’s activities and works with BMRC member institutions and the public to facilitate the discovery, preservation, and use of Black historical collections in Chicago. She received a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and African American Studies from Northwestern University. Walker-McWilliams is the author of Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality(University of Illinois Press, 2016) and coauthor of two upcoming projects: The Civil Rights Movement Reader with Traci Parker and Revisiting the Black Metropolis: New Histories of Black Chicagowith Simon Balto and Erik Gellman. 

Meg Duguid (moderator) is an artist and an arts administrator. She is currently the Director of Exhibitions for Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Exhibitions and Performing and Student Spaces and Chief Curator of the Wabash Arts Corridor. Most recently she curated Where the Future Came From, an exhibition and resulting book (Soberscove Press, 2020) exploring the history of feminist artist run spaces in Chicago from 1880 to 2018. Duguid received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Bard College.

REGISTER

June 19, 2021, Time TBD

Online

Community Partner Program

Greater Chathamites Who Brought Home the Gold, And Built the Black Middle-Class, Its Culture, and Its Institutions

Host: Greater Chatham Initiative

The Greater Chatham Initiative hosts an open platform for dialogue about the 1950-70s golden age of Chicago’s Southside Black middle-class neighborhoods of Avalon Park, Auburn Gresham, Chatham, and Greater Grand Crossing. The Greater Chatham Initiative highlights Greater Chatham notables in music (Mahalia Jackson), business (Herbert Nipson, and Gary Comer) banking (George Johnson and Jacoby Dickens), and sports (Ernie Banks), Pulitzer winners (Lorraine Hansberry and Gwendolyn Brooks), Gold Medalist (Willy B. White), Grammy winners (Von Freeman, and Eddie Harris), and owners of businesses that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (George and Joan Johnson).

Placekeeping is important. The 500,000 American blacks who moved from the south to Chicago from 1915-1970, sought opportunity. In the 1950s, a subset of the group started to move into the four Greater Chatham neighborhoods—Avalon Park, Auburn Gresham, Chatham, and Greater Grand Crossing, where they created a strong, rich, and vibrant middle-class community. The history of and trail blazers from these neighborhoods, their culture, and the institutions they built are not memorialized in the very places where the achievements took place. This program will tell their stories, which are often obscured by majority culture. This tribute will serve to lift-up ordinary African Americans who achieved the extraordinary while they lived and worked in four historic black neighborhoods. Also note that a mural on Gwendolyn Brooks is located along the Boardwalk, so attendees can view the mural.

REGISTRATION LINK COMING SOON

June 29, 2021, 5-6PM

Online

Community Partner Program

(Re)Indigenizing Spaces in Zhekagoynak

Host: The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry

Over the last year, monuments and memorials have become a flash point in conversations about how we remember the past and address systemic racism and inequality in the present. In Zhekagoynak (a Potawatomi word for Chicago, which is home to the largest urban population of Indigenous people in the Midwest) many public monuments erase the presence of Indigenous peoples and cultures. In the process, these monuments white-wash genocidal violence and celebrate settler-colonialism.

In this discussion, speakers will explore how public monuments relate to memory and history and how Indigenous spaces and futures can be reclaimed through action, performance, and art.

Speakers:

Doug Kiel is assistant professor of history at Northwestern University. A citizen of the Oneida Nation, he studies Native American history, focusing on the Great Lakes region and twentieth-century efforts to rebuild Indigenous nations. His current book project is Unsettling Territory: Oneida Indian Resurgence and Anti-Sovereignty Backlash. Kiel has worked in several museums, testified as an expert witness on Indigenous land rights, and in 2008 was an Indigenous Fellow at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland. He currently serves on the advisory committee for the renovation of the Field Museum’s exhibition on Native North America.

SANTIAGO X is an Indigenous futurist, multidisciplinary artist, and architect specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation. A citizen of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koasati) and Indigenous Chamoru from the Island of Guam (Hacha’Maori), his work illuminates the liminal space between the ancestral plane and our accelerating post-human world. X is a 3Arts Award Winner, a 2020 New City Top 50 Artist, an advisor on the inaugural Chicago Monuments and Memorials Committee, and the first Native American contributor to the Chicago Architecture Biennial. His work is exhibited and collected internationally, including at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Ars Electronica, and the MCA Chicago. In 2020, X was commissioned by the US State Department as lead artist of the American Arts Incubator Brazil, for which he traveled to Brazil and conducted workshops culminating in a virtual reality exhibition, PORTAL.

Madolyn Wesaw is Manager of Tribal Placement and Development at Four Winds Casinos, where she focuses on helping tribal citizens obtain meaningful employment and work towards their professional and educational goals. A citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, she also serves Indigenous and other marginalized groups through her work with the American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky. In addition, she serves on the Interim Coordinating Committee of the Michiana Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

This is a “Community Conversation” event in collaboration with the Chicago Monuments Project. Funding is provided by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

This program is co-sponsored by the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry.

register

Past Events

January 29, 2021, 10AM

Zoom

Speaker Series

Together We Heal

Together We Heal launches a journey aimed at building racial healing across Chicago. We want every Chicagoan to do their part to foster racial healing, learning, and restoration in every neighborhood across our City. We seek to promote civic unity by encouraging Chicagoans to connect across lines of difference and support a collective conversation about our truth and our promise as a City. ​ Speakers: Jennifer Scott, Adam Green, SantiagoX, Cesáreo Moreno and Amanda Williams​

view recording

March 11, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Zoom

Speaker Series

Alt Monuments: Considering New Forms

Join us for our first of several public webinars as we discuss the future of public art. Do monuments need to be permanent, large-scale or made of bronze? How can we re-imagine the ways in which we memorialize our shared past? The conversation will be moderated by art historian and author, Romi Crawford with guest speakers, artists Faheem Majeed, Maria Gaspar and more...

VIEW RECORDING

March 15, 2021, 12-1PM

Zoom

Info Session

Artist Information Session: Request for Ideas (Reimagining Monuments)

Join us for a one hour presentation and Q and A for artists interested in learning more about how to propose new public art for the City of Chicago.

Full session and closed captioning is available on the recording posted to YouTube. Click link below.

VIEW RECORDING

March 18, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Zoom

Speaker Series

Remembering our Journeys: Narratives of Migration and Immigration

How have immigration, migration and labor impacted the ways in which we memorialize our collective past? Immigrants and migrants have often taken the initiative to creatively make visible their contributions to American life. Using a diversity of approaches, ethnic communities in Chicago and beyond have struggled against erasure and invisibility. How have our understandings of our identities and of our community histories changed through the decades, and how do these changes inform how we move forward toward a just recognition? Join historians, curators, authors and museum experts to explore how migrant and immigrant communities memorialize their past and create monuments to their future.

Speakers:

Alaka Wali (moderator), Curator of North American Anthropology, The Field Museum

Cesáreo Moreno, Chief Curator/ Visual Arts Director, National Museum of Mexican Art

Jack Tchen , Chair of Public History and Humanities, Rutgers University/ co-founder of Museum of Chinese in America

Annie Polland, President, Tenement Museum

Dominic Pacyga, Professor Emeritus of HIstory, Columbia College/ author of Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922

view recording

April 7, 2021, 10-12PM

online/Zoom

Meeting

Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee Meeting

Public Meeting Notice  

Chicago Monuments Project Meeting Notice and Agenda 

Meeting Date: April 7, 2021 

Meeting Time: 10AM-12PM (noon) CST 

Platform: Zoom 

Live Stream: Link to be provided 24 hours in advance of the meeting 

Captioning will be provided on the live stream. For ASL interpretation, please email ChicagoMonuments@cityofchicago.org 24 hours in advance of meeting time and you will be provided special login credentials. 

Public Comment 

Residents and interested persons may comment on issues or topics within the purview of the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee. Comments are to be limited to the subject matter on the agenda. Instructions for participation in the public comment portion of the virtual meeting follow: 

To Submit a Written Comment 

  • Written comments need to be emailed no later than 10AM, April 6, 2021. 

  • All written comments will be shared with the Committee in advance of the meeting. 

  • Written comments should be emailed to ChicagoMonuments@cityofchicago.org and must include “Chicago Monuments Project Public Comment” in the email subject line and should include your full name, address and phone number within the body of the email. 

To Request to Share Your Comment Live 

  • If you are interested in sharing your comment live in the virtual meeting, email ChicagoMonuments@cityofchicago.org and include “Chicago Monuments Project Live Comment Request” in the email subject line. Please include your full name, address and phone number within the body of the email. 

  • Live public comments will take place at the beginning of the meeting, between 10AM- 12PM (noon) CST. 

  • A maximum of 5 members of the public will be permitted to provide a live comment. Each speaker is limited to 3 minutes. 

  • Selected speakers will be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each selected participant will be provided detailed instructions as to how to sign on and present at the virtual meeting. 

  • Requests to provide a public comment need to be emailed no later than 10AM, April 6, 2021. 

VIEW RECORDING

April 8, 2021, 1-3PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Contested Narratives: Chicago’s Monuments

Host: Chicago Cultural Alliance

Monuments and memorials frame our built environment in Chicago, both reflecting and impacting our civic life. Concern over which figures are memorialized is not new. However, over the past year the global pandemic and racial justice movements shed further light on deeply entrenched racism and discrimination which have been normalized in the fabric of our society. The Chicago Monuments Committee arose as a response, and opportunities now exist for the public to weigh in. Discover the complex legacies certain monuments embody, and foster a deeper understanding of why some communities are deeply impacted by their presence while others remain oblivious. Panelists will also discuss alternative strategies of enlivening our public spaces. Speakers include:  Tiffany Tolbert (moderator), National Trust for Historic Preservation; Jaime Rivera (Puerto Rican Arts Alliance), Sherry Williams (Bronzeville Historical Society) & Elsie Hector-Hernandez (Haitian American Museum)

VIEW RECORDING

April 12, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Online/zoom

Community Partner Program

Mother Jones Chicago Statue - A Conversation & Request for Input

Host: Mother Jones Heritage Project

Rosemary Feurer will discuss Mother Jones, "the most famous person you've never heard of," as a representation of a forgotten history that encourages us to re-envision Chicago's past.  Kathleen Farrell and Kathleen Scarboro, sculpture artists for the proposed Mary Harris "Mother" Jones Chicago Statue, will present their model scale sculpture and base design and discuss how it captures a forgotten history from below. They will request feedback for elements, especially for interactive elements. The panel will request audience input for opportunities to connect this past and present in institutions of art, education and culture. Our statue campaign is an opportunity for Chicagoans to reevaluate the way they see themselves by recalling this city's history from below--the history of immigrants, the history of women, the history of working people. It is a call to reevaluate the agents of historical change. Most statues valorize "great men" of history. This statue represents an immigrant refugee organizer who rose from the plague of Memphis, the loss of her family, the tragedy of the Chicago fire, and out of those experiences became a leading labor organizer of a new era. We seek to connect this statue project to a dialogue about the role of immigrants and labor in forging change not only in Chicago but in the nation. Mother Jones saw the struggles of immigrants in the US as joined with the struggle for the Mexican Revolution, for example. She was the original border-crossing organizer. This history is relevant to this pandemic moment, when we ask the question about who is worthy of being remembered in the past and empowered in the present. 

view recording

April 14, 2021, 7-8PM

Online/Zoom

Community Partner Program

North Lawndale Monuments

Host: School of the Art Institute of Chicago at Homan Square

North Lawndale has recently celebrated the success of changing the name of Stephen Douglas Park to Anna and Frederick Douglass Park, a long-awaited renaming that signals a tide of change needed to address the statues, parks, and street names honoring racists and other controversial figures in the city.  After this victory, the North Lawndale community has generated great visions to honor African Americans' contributions in their communal spaces along with addressing repairs to many damaged landmarks. These are important steps to reactivate public city spaces. This round table brings together cultural leaders to talk about the dreams and visions of our public spaces, plan on how we get there, and galvanize the City of Chicago's support in North Lawndale Monuments.

Panelists: 

Marcus E. Davis: Senior Program Specialist Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community, and Environment Chicago Park District 

Shelia McNary: Head of the North Lawndale Coordinating Council Art & Culture Committee

Blanche Killingsworth-Suggs, Director of Lawndale Historical Society 

Jonathan Kelley: Co-Founder of the Lawndale Pop-up Spot 

Meida McNeil: Artist, Arts & Culture Manager Chicago Park District 

Latham Zearfoss: Artist, Cultural Liaison for the Cultural Asset Mapping Project 

William Estrada: Arts Educator - Multidisciplinary Artist - Consultant

Passcode: 942828

recording coming soon

April 19, 2021, 7-8:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Examining the Indian Boundary Line Marker

Host: 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden and Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society

The Chicago Monuments Project focuses on the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City’s various municipal art collections to address the ways in which that history has been told. One of the 41 public monuments that are part of the assessment is the plaque marking the Indian Boundary Line in Rogers Park. Join us and three expert panelists to gain a better understanding of the historic significance of the Indian Boundary Line, the purpose of historical monuments, and perspectives on whether and how this particular marker serves its intended purpose. 

Panelists:

Dr. James Akerman, Director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and Curator of Maps at the Newberry Library.

Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Associate Professor of History at Loyola University. 

Dr. Dorene P. Wiese, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the American Indian Association of Illinois.

view recording

April 20, 2021, 7-8:30PM

Online/ZOOM

Community Partner Program

The Three Patriots Statue: Why it Matters

Host: Chicago Jewish Historical Society (CJHS)

The Three Patriots statue was dedicated on Bill of Rights Day, December 15, 1941. It depicts Revolutionary War figures George Washington, Robert Morris, and Haym Salomon with hands joined. The statue was conceived in 1936 by Jewish Chicagoan Barnet Hodes, Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago, as a response to mounting antisemitism in America and abroad, and as a way to promote democracy and American unity.  Hodes wished to honor Salomon, a Polish Jewish immigrant who played a pivotal role in financing the American Revolution, in order to counter anti-Jewish sentiment and efforts to disregard Jewish contributions to society. The statue, designated a Chicago Landmark and located prominently on Wacker Drive, was designed by renowned Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft. 

Speakers include: 

Dr. Rachelle Gold, CJHS Co-President

CJHS Board Members: 

Dr. Irving Cutler, Retired Geography Professor, Chicago State University,  Eminent Historian of Chicago Jewry

Dr. Edward Mazur, CJHS Past President, Professor Emeritus City Colleges of Chicago, Board of Governors of City Club of Chicago

Matthew Nickerson, Historian, Journalist and Author

view recording

April 21, 2021, 6-7:15PM

Online/ZOOM

Community Partner Program

The Chicago Race Riot of 1919: Combating historical amnesia and racism through Public Art

Host: Organic Oneness & Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project

Living in a largely ahistorical society contributes to the persistence of racism in America. In Chicago, for instance, shockingly few people know of the city’s worst incident of racial violence, the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, in which 38 people were killed and 537 injured. Fewer still know it played a major role in the segregation that still defines the city. Lack of awareness makes it easier to deny this legacy but moving towards equity demands learning and embracing painful historical truths. 

 

The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project (CRR19) seeks to attack such historical amnesia and denial that hold our city and country back. Organic Oneness (OO) is both a core partner of CRR19 in programming and mission as well as serving as the fiscal sponsor. CRR19 seeks to educate about this history and legacy through public art. CRR19 and OO are partnering with Firebird Community Arts’s Project FIRE, a trauma-informed glassblowing and ceramics program targeting Chicago BIPOC youth who have been victimized by violence. 

 

Project FIRE youth are in the process of creating 38 markers, one for each person killed in 1919. These artistic markers will be installed at each location a person was killed. Hence, when people walk down the streets of Chicago, they will be reminded of this history, which so profoundly impacted the City and still does today.

The program will include a slideshow with CRR19 co-directors Cole and Cosey-Gay as presenters along with comments by Pearl Dick, Artistic Director at Firebird Community Arts, as well as OO Founder and Executive Director Syda Taylor. There will be ample time for questions, comments, and discussion, which we very much appreciate!

recording coming soon

April 22, 2021, 6-7:30PM

online/Zoom

Speaker Series

Founding Myths, History, and Chicago Monuments

This session will explore Chicago’s founding myths, the history behind them, and the monuments that were created to illustrate them. This conversation will delve into how our monuments can tell false or incomplete narratives and reinforce harmful or distorted truths. It will also consider how new artworks can serve to better connect the past and present, as they speak to the future.

Panelists:

Adam Green, Associate Professor of American History & the College, University of Chicago;

Ann Durkin Keating, Dr. C Frederick Toenniges Professor of History, North Central College

John N. Low, Enrolled Citizen Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University

view recording

April 27, 2021, 6:30-8PM

online/Zoom

Community Partner Program

Considering Abraham Lincoln: Expanded Narratives and Future Monuments

Host: Chicago History Museum

How can current and future monuments expand the narrative on Chicago stories?

Join us for a free virtual discussion with a group of culturally diverse, interdisciplinary scholars, educators, and artists in support of the Chicago Monuments Project. Attendees are invited to share their thoughts and perspectives during the conversation. Topics addressed will include Abraham Lincoln’s legacy, built monuments in the city, the sociocultural contexts that defined Chicago’s monuments movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the importance of inclusive historical narratives to combat erasure and historical silence. 

Panelists  

  • John Low, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies, Ohio State University 

  • Kate Masur, Associate professor of history, Northwestern University 

  • Christine Mehring, Mary L. Block Professor of Art History, University of Chicago 

Moderator 

view recording

April 28, 2021, 5-7PM

online/Zoom

Community Partner Program

Chicago Public Art Group's Monument Lab on Prospective Public Art

Host: Chicago Public Art Group

Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) will host a collaborative public art platform to facilitate a critical discussion on prospective monuments, memorials and public art that portray the stories representative of Chicago's residents including its diverse racial, ethnic, and neighborhood populations. Speakers include professionally, recognized public artists, architects, and historians: John Weber, Sonja Henderson, Peter Landon, Cynthia Weiss, Dorian Sylvain, Bernard Williams and Patric McCoy. Ideas which emanate from these discussions will be useful and productive to the Chicago Monuments Project role in analyzing Chicago's future monuments.

Chicago Public Art Group is an internationally recognized coalition of professional working artists working to produce public artwork with community involvement.  For the past 50 years, CPAG has produced nearly 1,000 projects including murals, sculptures, earthworks, playgrounds, and mosaics throughout the Chicagoland area. CPAG's work is rooted in the principle that everyone deserves to see great art, that every community deserves a voice, and that art-making and public art encourage community investment.  

view recording

April 29, 2021, 6-7:30PM

online/Zoom

Speaker Series

Monuments as Sites of Reckoning: the Built Environment as a Memorial

How do we create powerful sites of reckoning and memorial? How can we think differently about what a monument or memorial can be and do? Could the built landscape be considered a monument?  This discussion will explore relationships between sites, their contexts and the histories of communities they represent. Speakers will consider how temporal and formal landscapes can inform and transform a monument’s potential, how sites can commemorate events, ideas and themes beyond people, and how to combine representational and non-representational monuments and memorials to tell a shared story.

Speakers:

Amanda Williams (moderator), Visual artist who trained as an architect.

Jenny Kendler,  Environmental Artist & Activist

Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab

Ronald Rael, Designer, Professor of Architecture at University of California Berkeley

Mabel Wilson , Professor, Architecture / African American Studies at Columbia University

view recording

May 1, 2021, 3-4:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Princess Ka`iulani Statue in Chicago 

Host:  Aloha Center Chicago 

The McKinley Statue is a perfect place to revisit its very existence over the years to begin to understand Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and to a certain extent certain Asian communities of Chicago-Midwest. It is one of the forty Monuments currently being looked at more closely by Chicago's appointed committee. And in doing so, the buried, distorted facts of an untold story of an underrepresented Peoples will reveal historical truths that became the basis for our proposal of both intervention and solution in the erecting of Princess Ka`iulani’s Statue in place of McKinley’s Statue in Chicago. The erecting of Princess Ka`iulani's Statue can be the point where we begin to heal. To begin to open the dialogue to a different kind of Justice and what that could look like moving forward toward a long overdue recognition and celebration of Native Hawaiians and all Pacific Islanders in Chicago-Midwest. And if we should succeed in erecting Princess Ka`iulani’s Statue in Chicago, in that glorious moment, Native Hawaiians of Chicago-Midwest will have achieved wahi pana, a name-place we can finally call home...away from home. 

Join us for Asian and Pacific Island Heritage Month Saturday, May 1st from 3:00 - 4:30 PM for a sneak peak at Lanialoha’s work-in-progress presentation of identifying the first Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders who migrated to the Midwest and the impact they had on the future development of the Chicago-Midwest communities at-large; a closer look at a few Native Hawaiians and their `ohana in the Chicago area; and the current protest events that have taken place from 2018-2021 that lead to this point of intervention. 

Presenters and speakers include:

Lanialoha, Pelekikena (President) of Ke Ali`i Victoria Ka`1iulani Hawaiian Civic Club-Chicago (KVK-Chicago)

Cecilia Plekavic, Native Hawaiian Kupuna (elder), Key Community Leader

Hannah Ii-Epstein, Native Hawaiian, Theater/Film Writer

view recording

May 11, 2021, 11AM-NOON

Online

Community Partner Program

'The Bowman' and 'The Spearman' by Ivan Mestrovic - A Closer Look into the Works of Art and the Artist

Host: The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America 

A panel conversation focusing on two sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic, the greatest Croatian sculptor and one of the leading sculptors in the world of his time - 'The Bowman'and 'The Spearman'- which are part of the ongoing public discussion within the Chicago Monuments Projects; it will be aiming to elucidate, evaluate and discuss their history, artistic expression, meaning, as well as to talk about the artist himself, his works and life.

Moderated by Pjer Simunovic, Croatian Ambassador to the U.S., the event features the panelists:

Erika Doss, Ph.D., Professor of American Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Barbara Vujanovic, Ph.D., Senior Curator, Ivan Mestrovic Atelier, Zagreb, Croatia

Dalibor Prancevic, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Split, Split, Croatia

John David Mooney, Artist and sculptor, the last student of Ivan Mestrovic, Artistic Director, John David Mooney Foundation, Chicago

Katrina Phillips, Ph.D., Enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, Assistant Professor of American Indian History, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN

Rose Miron, Ph.D., Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL

view recording

May 13, 2021, 6:30-8PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Monuments out of Movements: Redefining Community Space 

Equity Arts invites four Chicago culture leaders for a conversation about how the history of community space can redefine traditional ideas of what a monument is, and what it can be. Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room, Joe Shanahan, owner of the Double Door & Metro, Meida McNeal, director of Honey Pot Performance, and Alma Wieser, director of Heaven gallery and Equity Arts will participate. The discussion will be moderated by Ciera Mckissick, founder of AMFM, and includes Meida McNeal's project, the Chicago Black Social Culture Map that archives spaces from the Great Migration through the birth of House music. 

Since the closing of iconic Wicker Park spaces like The Silver Room, Double Door and, most recently, the legendary Danny's Tavern, there is a sense of loss in Chicago’s collective memory. This discussion aims to further refine ongoing dialogue about the cultural impact of gentrification and how it changes the city's landscape, often exploiting the arts and BIPOC culture. In a time of displacement for Chicago culture, there is a need for deep healing, and for that, we must go inward, into the spaces where community and culture happen. Looking to the future, what models can create equitable and holistic space with the longevity of a monument? 

This discussion will explore ideas of community space as a monument: Are the people, artists and spaces that make up a community an organic monument to its enduring significance? Can a historic structure be a physical monument? Equity Arts and Heaven Gallery are located in a building that holds a residual memory of community and arts since the early 80's, that housed both Ed Marszewski's Buddy gallery and Ned Schwartz’s Beret International. These spaces tell the history of the keepers of cultural property. The Double Door and The Silver Room were also located on Milwaukee Avenue, a Native American trail that predates the founding of the city of Chicago. As we reckon with the city's past inequities and as we redevelop post pandemic, it is critical that the city’s culture control its own narrative and that redevelopment is channeled through the existing culture. 

The Equity Arts project proposes the launch of The Chicago Model, seeking to place a historical arts property into a community land trust to preserve its affordability and creative use in perpetuity, in support of BIPOC arts leaders, making this creative space a monument that acknowledges its Native history and the culture that continues to be here. Equity Arts serves a holistic purpose, as an economic driver that fosters strength through diversity for contemporary healing, community skill sharing, and wealth building. Transformation can come from the acknowledgement of the monumental labor of creative artists of the past, present, and future, and in the kind of change that comes from intimate experiences in community spaces.

Speakers:

Ciera Mckissick (moderator), founder of AMFM

Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room

Joe Shanahan, owner of the Double Door & Metro

Meida McNeal, director of Honey Pot Performance

Alma Wieser, director of Heaven gallery and Equity Arts

view recording

May 13, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Artists' Visions: Latina/x & LGBTQ Histories, Monuments for Chicago's Future

Host: University of Illinois at Springfield, Dept of Women & Gender Studies and the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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UIS College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; UIC Department of Latin American and Latino Studies. ​

What are Chicago's erased and obscured Latina/x histories, including LGBTQ histories? What are Latina/x perspectives on existing monuments and visions for new monuments for 21st Century Chicago? How can Chicago monuments help us imagine and rebuild a city with more racial, gender and LGBTQ visibility and justice? This panel brings together important and emerging voices in Chicago's Latina/x and LGBTQ arts and public history to address these questions. After the panelists' conversation, we will engage University of Illinois students, their allies, and others who are interested in and/or passionate about these issues in a Q & A.

Speakers

Hinda Seif (moderator) Dept. of Women/Gender Studies, U of Illinois at Springfield

Professor, Nicole Marroquín SAIC

Diana Solís Urban Gateways

Sandra Antongiorgi artist, muralist, musician

Moni Pizano Luna, artist, Marimacha Monarca Press

Jojo Galvan Mora Public historian, Student, MA Program in Museum Studies, UIC).

view recording

May 26, 2021, 6-7PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Memorials & Monuments : A Public Conversation of a Community Altar

Host: A Long Walk Home

“Over the past year, we, as a people, have been in grief, casualties to a global catastrophe and witnesses to our nation's racial and gender inequities.  For those of us who have survived, we now have the responsibility to remember, use these lessons of empathy we've learned, and ultimately help others heal.  A Long Walk Home, a collective of artists, activists, and healers, will create "altars" that are spiritual offerings and community art spaces that act as powerful and enduring symbols for the missing and murdered black girls and women throughout the city of Chicago. “ - Scheherazade Tillet, Executive Director and Artist from A Long Walk Home. 

A Long Walk Home’s art collective, Scheherazade Tillet, Robert Martin Narciso and Leah Gipson will host a virtual public conversation on the history of community altars.  There is a growing need from African Americans and other people of color for the creation of cultural safe spaces in the community. This movement has grown out of our collective grief and trauma following the public deaths of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor,  Rekia Boyd, and many others, along with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Following each death, and countless other less public tragedies, our communities have used art to grieve and reclaim the public spaces, constructed altars, painted murals, and spread the images of those who have died so senselessly, so that they would not be forgotten.  This spring, the collective  will create four spiritual altars “Black Girlhood Altar Project”  as temporary monuments to Black girls who are missing and murdered. The violence towards young black girls has gone largely unacknowledged, with missing and murdered women and girls literally falling off the radar–missing persons reports never filed, no media coverage, and lack of response or recording of these cases by police and other jurisdictions. 

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May 27, 2021, 5-6:30PM

Online/ZOOM

Community Partner Program

Decay, Destroy, Disregard: A Discussion on Monuments

Host: School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Participants of the spring 2021 seminar The Making and Unmaking of Monuments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago discuss what to do with unwanted monuments; recontextualisation versus removal; what democratic monuments might look like, monument activism, participation, parody, and subversion. The students will be offering fresh views and unconventional approaches in their short presentations that will be followed by Q&A.

Participants:

Jovana Cnormarkovic, Elsa  Haarstad, Ye-Bhit Hong, Emily Nagel, Michael Mosher, Denny Mwaura, Maya Nguyen, Allie Tepper, Lynette Shen, Kirsten Schuck.

Moderated by Mechtild Widrich, Associate Professor, Art History, Theory and Criticism, SAIC

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June 2, 2021, 6-7:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

Does Chicago Have a Place for a Statue of Peace?

Host: Hana Center

As the City of Chicago is implementing a process to examine the city's collection of monuments and develop plans for the future, HANA Center proposes to host a conversation about considering an interactive “Comfort Woman” monument promoting peace. The Chicago Monument Project aims to dismantle the structural image of White supremacy. This is a valuable opportunity to uplift symbols of struggles by Black, Indigenous People of Color, and women. “Comfort Women” is a part of the history of Chicago’s Asian Americans. It is also a historical reminder of why sexism, classism, militarism, imperialism, and capitalism hurt women and girls, poor people, and Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and immigrants.  

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June 5, 2021, 12-1:30PM

Online

Community Partner Program

18th Street CTA Station - Francisco Mendoza, Forgotten Community Monument

Host: Pilsen Arts & Community House

The art on the 18th Street CTA Station is one of the most distinct on the Pink Line. Although it has been weathered and now fading, just like Pilsen and its community, the imagery still holds strong and exudes a colorful cultural environment.

As the community has changed and many residents who saw this artwork created over 20 years ago are now gone, we may lose the history and story of how and who colorfully transformed this train station. Through our video blog Pilsen Pod, we are sharing this story of who Francisco Mendoza was to Pilsen. In this video, we share conversations with artists, students, and community members and keep alive the influence and impact he had as an artist and educator. The art at the 18th Street CTA Train Station has been more than just an old community project. It is a visual monument that remains a strong piece of Pilsen's visual character. Join us for a Live Video Premier via Zoom. Q&A / Discussion will be immediately following the video. 

Speakers include: Pablo Ramirez, Salvador Vega, Camilo Cumpian, Mara Castillo, Cristina Puzio, Hector Duarte, Hinda Seif

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Public Feedback

This committee is working on behalf of all Chicagoans, and wants to hear from you. Please share any feedback you have on specific monuments, monuments in general, or what monuments might look like in the future. All feedback will be shared with the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee.

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