Title: Chicago Monuments Project (CMP)
Policy Area: Art & Culture and Education
Team Members: Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Chicago Park District (Parks), and Chicago Monuments Project Advisory Council.
Historically, institutions across the country have erected public artwork that celebrates a complicated past. Chicago is no different; in 2020, the City recognized the need for a larger reckoning of monuments that symbolize outdated values and oppressive systems.
What should the City do about existing monuments that are inconsistent with our collective values?
How should Chicago memorialize its history going forward?
Who has been left out of the stories we tell? Whose stories have been told at the expense of others?
Reflect on our Past
CMP began a public dialogue aimed at unpacking the history associated with the City’s municipal art collection and addressing harm caused by public monuments and other longstanding symbols of racial oppression.
Reclaim our Present
CMP established an advisory committee of community leaders, artists, architects, scholars, curators, and city officials. The advisory committee established a set of guiding principles around public engagement, history, and developing new art. They also conducted robust engagement and committed to improving monuments under review, the process to review public art, and the public’s experience with monuments.
Reimagine our Future
CMP gives Chicagoans the opportunity to decide what narratives represent the diverse perspectives of this City. CMP launched a grant program for artists and organizations to continue developing ideas for public art. In addition, CMP created an evaluation criteria for public artwork that prioritizes transparency and cooperation among City agencies.