Mural Arts Philadelphia (Website) is hosting a revolutionary event in the fall of 2017, called Monument Lab; a participatory, city-wide project that asks residents for their vision of a monument that best represents Philadelphia.
In 2015, the Monument Lab team collected over 400 proposals for public monuments. The project finalists feature 21 emerging and world-renowned artists that have signed on to create a series of temporary public installations in City plazas across Philadelphia.
By opening the dialogue to all residents, Monument Lab is offering a historic precedent for underrepresented voices to be heard in civic spaces. It’s an interesting democratic model based on the modern model of crowd-sourcing grassroots support for public projects during the gestation/idea-creating phase, that could really re-frame and activate public space. Even the funding is being sourced on the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, HERE.
This is an important turn for the narrative around public monuments, as Confederate statues are removed from parks and plazas across the country and private investors shape public art collections and memorials; like SEE Art Orlando or the upcoming Pulse Memorial.
What sort of monument would you like to see in Orlando?