Guiding Principles

As the Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Committee considers monuments and memorials that promote incomplete, distorted, or harmful views of history, its work is divided into three areas of focus:


The Chicago Monuments Project is calling out the hard truths of our history — especially as they relate to racism and oppression.

Histories and stories shown in many of our monuments are false and harmful representations that are offensive to many people.

Telling a true and inclusive history is important, as is addressing who gets to tell those stories in public space.

Our priority is to address ignored, forgotten and distorted histories.

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Public Engagement

We want all of Chicago’s communities to participate in this conversation. The public will play an essential role in helping to create our recommendations.

Our process includes conversations and workshops led by Chicago’s diverse communities and artists. 

Meaningful public engagement helps to ensure an inclusive and equitable outcome.

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New Work

This is an opportunity to recontextualize the existing public art collection and create new work that embraces the stories, people and narratives that have been overlooked.

New commissions should embrace a variety of creative approaches including temporary installations, performance, earthworks and artist-driven public engagement.

The city’s public art collection should provide accessible platforms for ongoing dialogue and community building that are sensitive to the diverse needs of audiences that will come into contact with the work.

The city’s approach to developing new work should prioritize communities with a history of disinvestment, and connect to other initiatives and programs that aim to uplift and celebrate Chicago’s neighborhoods. 

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