Image via Governor Cuomo’s Flickr
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.
Wittenberg Triangle, the proposed location for the monument honoring Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Image via Google Earth.
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
Rendering by Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous.
In New York City’s five boroughs, only five out of 150 monuments of historic figures depict women. Launched last year, a program from Women.nyc 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.
More of the winning design, this way
Design proposal by Mickalene Thomas
The city announced last November plans to commission a permanent statue in Brooklyn of Shirley Chisholm, a Bed-Stuy native who became the first black woman to serve in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday, the Department of Cultural Affairs unveiled five finalist design proposals and asked the public for feedback. An artist will be selected next month, with the monument, which will be placed outside of the Parkside entrance to Prospect Park, completed at the end of next year. The statue of Chisholm will be the first monument constructed under the city’s She Built NYC! initiative, which aims to increase the number of public monuments dedicated to NYC women. Currently, just five of the city’s 150 statues are of women.
See the designs
New York City is commissioning four more statues of trailblazing women as part of a campaign to address the inequity of the city’s public spaces. First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen announced on Wednesday plans to honor Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, and Katherine Walker with monuments. In November, the city announced it would commission a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, to be built outside of the entrance to Prospect Park.