March 29, 2024

City revives ‘She Built NYC,’ launches open call for artists to design four statues of women

New York City is reviving a campaign to honor influential women integral to the city's history with monuments. Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday announced the city will resume the She Built NYC initiative, which includes building new statues of Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trías in the Bronx, Elizabeth Jennings Graham in Manhattan, Billie Holiday in Queens, and Katherine Walker on Staten Island. The four projects were announced in 2019 but were delayed due to the pandemic and never reached the first phase of planning.
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July 18, 2023

NYC approves design for Shirley Chisholm monument in Prospect Park

New York City this week approved the design for a monument to Shirley Chisholm, a Brooklyn native who became the first Black woman to serve in the United States Congress. The city's Public Design Commission on Monday unanimously approved plans for the monument: a 32-foot-tall sculpture depicting the congresswoman designed by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan B. Jeyifous installed at the southeast entrance of Prospect Park. The artists were selected for the monument's design in 2019, but the process was delayed because of the pandemic.
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September 7, 2022

Memorial honoring Black lives lost to acts of racism will open in Central Park

A new exhibition honoring Black lives lost to racial injustice in the United States will open this month in New York City's historical Seneca Village, once home to a thriving black community that was displaced by the city to make way for Central Park in the 1850s. Presented by the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA), the Say Their Names Memorial Exhibition is a month-long augmented reality experience debuting on Saturday, September 17 at West 85th Street in Central Park.
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July 6, 2021

Cuomo’s ‘Circle of Heroes’ monument proposed for Battery Park City will be relocated after protests

A new monument honoring essential workers will no longer be built in Battery Park City's Rockefeller Park after the community protested its location. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month plans to construct at the Lower Manhattan park a "Circle of Heroes" memorial, which would include a circle of maple trees and an eternal flame. Opponents argue the monument would reduce green space and called out the governor's office for not working with the community. As seen in a video posted on Instagram last week and as first reported by Gothamist, George Tsunis, the chair of the Battery Park City Authority, told local residents: "This site is going to change. It's going to be a new site."
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June 23, 2021

New York to install ‘Circle of Heroes’ monument in Battery Park City to honor essential workers

A monument honoring the essential workers who served New Yorkers throughout the coronavirus pandemic will open in Battery Park City by Labor Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The "Circle of Heroes" memorial will include a circle of 19 maple trees, representing the individual groups of essential workers and their contributions. In the center, an eternal flame will honor those lost to COVID, according to the governor.
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October 24, 2019

Plan to honor historic black settlement Seneca Village with statue in Central Park faces backlash

As part of the city's plan to diversify public art and recognize figures overlooked by history in New York City, Central Park is getting another statue, as the New York Times reports. The privately-funded monument will commemorate Seneca Village, the predominantly black community that was thriving until the 1850s in what became Central Park. Once again, however, the city's commemorative statue planning has fallen afoul of historians. The proposed structure won’t be located at the site of Seneca Village, which for nearly three decades stretched between West 83rd and 89th streets in Central Park. Instead, the monument’s home will be in the park, but 20 blocks to the north on 106th street.
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October 14, 2019

Cuomo announces state commission to build Mother Cabrini statue following ‘She Built NYC’ snub

Despite garnering the most votes in a public poll, Mother Frances Cabrini will not be memorialized as part of the She Built NYC program run by First Lady Chirlane McCray. Controversy has followed the decision to not include Cabrini in recent days, with Mayor Bill de Blasio stepping in to suggest she would be a contender in future editions of the program during The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded by calling the decision an “affront” to the Italian-American community. During Monday's Columbus Day Parade, the governor announced a new state commission that will lead the creation of a separate memorial for Cabrini.
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May 31, 2019

‘She Built NYC’ Greenwich Village monument will honor two transgender activists

Days before the start of Pride Month, the city announced on Thursday that the next She Built NYC monument will honor two transgender activists, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, key leaders in the Stonewall Uprising that sparked the gay and LGBTQ rights movement in America. The monument is currently planned for Ruth Wittenberg Triangle in the heart of the Village and near other important LGBTQ neighborhood landmarks including the Stonewall Inn. The city is seeking artists interested in creating the public monuments honoring Johnson and Rivera in an open call.
Statues will honor women who changed NYC
April 24, 2019

Artists chosen for Shirley Chisholm statue in Prospect Park

In New York City's five boroughs, only five out of 150 monuments of historic figures depict women. Launched last year, a program from called She Built NYC is attempting to narrow that gap by commissioning monuments throughout the city honoring visionary women who have helped define the city and made an impact on the world. To that end, acclaimed artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous have been selected to design the first of these monuments, which will honor celebrated New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
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