Attend Grant Park Advisory Council Meeting
When: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 , 6:00-8:00PM Future meetings in 2021 will normally be held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm on zoom only and on zoom and at the Maggie Daley Field House, when allowed by the Park District.
To register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This meeting will be recorded and moderated and is an official meeting of the GPAC. Park District officials will be present at this meeting.
Attend Grant Park Advisory Council Meeting
- The only item on the agenda for the March 17 meeting is taking public testimony on the City of Chicago Monuments Committee notice to consider actions related to three sculptures in Grant Park: Seated Lincoln, General John Logan Monument and the Indians (the Bowman and the Spearman). The Columbus sculpture removed last year had already been the subject of public comment and recommendations by the Advisory Council, so the focus of the March 17 meeting is taking public testimony on the remaining sculptures.
- At this meeting, anyone can sign up to speak for up to two minutes on a first come, first served basis. Written comments can be provided to Jim Wales at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 17, 2021. The Council has a Monuments and Arts Committee made up of experts and Advisory Council members which will review the testimony, oral and written, and make a recommendation to the Council related to the three listed sculptures. Members of the Advisory Council will vote on the recommendations of the Monument and Arts Committee at a special meeting to be held on April 14, 2021 at 6pm on Zoom. The possible recommendations and the process the Council has adopted are attached to this notice. The Council’s recommendations and the reports of the Committee will be provided to the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. Please contact Jim Wales if you have any questions about these issues or our process.
- Schedule for future Grant Park Advisory Council meetings: Meetings in 2021 will normally be held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm on zoom only and on zoom and at the Maggie Daley Field House, when allowed by the Park District.
- Under our bylaws, officer elections are due to be held in April. The current officers, President Leslie Recht, Vice President Jim Wales, Secretary John Talbot and Treasurer Richard Ward, are running for their current offices. If you are interested in running for one of these offices, please contact Leslie Recht at email@example.com by April 1. All candidates will be listed on the notice for the Council’s April 21 meeting.
Grant Park Advisory Council Committee on Art, Monuments and Markers
This Committee was created to make recommendations to the Grant Park Advisory Council (GPAC) on matters relating to public art, monuments, and markers located, or suggested to be located, within Grant Park. The recommendations made by the Committee to the GPAC will be the foundation that the GPAC utilizes in considering formal recommendations that the GPAC submits to the Chicago Park District and/or the City of Chicago regarding these matters. The Committee will make recommendations on how the Park District and/or City of Chicago should address monuments and markers located or to be located within Grant Park, particularly those that are subject to sustained negative public reaction or may be viewed as inconsistent with values that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Committee will consider the historic context of Grant Park and will look at ways to contextualize art, monuments and markers within the park.
The Committee shall be comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to the arts, history, cultural affairs, GPAC members as well as a local residential component. Membership in GPAC is not required.
Initiating the Review Process
Regarding existing art, monuments and markers, the Committee shall conduct a review if there is:
- Sustained adverse public reaction;
- Large-scale community opposition;
- Requested by the Grant Park Advisory Council;
- Egregious historical oversight, and/or revelation of new, significant information about the monument and what or whom it represents.
The Committee shall conduct a review on all proposed art, monuments and markers for placement in Grant Park.
Principles for Review Process
First, the Committee’s recommendations will aim to promote public dialogue, engaging histories of the many people that call Chicago home. The placement of monuments and markers is a tradition to honor figures or events from years past, often as determined by the specific group serving as the catalyst for the placement of the exhibit. As our community struggles with the challenging legacy of racism, prejudice and inequality, the Committee has the opportunity to identify monuments where a broader, more accurate story can be told.
Secondly, the Committee recognizes that the Park District and/or the City must be proactive in adding representation of overlooked histories to its collection and its storytelling. The Park District and the City must create initiatives—in and out of public space—for ongoing, participatory education, inclusive of our collective narratives.
Thirdly, when responding to contested monuments and markers or contested proposed art, monuments or markers, the Committee recognizes that there must be discussion that includes an historical analysis, to understand the reasoning for the initial placement or the proposed placement of the exhibit and at the same time take into consideration the current ideals of equity and justice.
Finally, the Committee realizes the importance of public dialogue and input in the process of evaluating current and proposed exhibits.
The review process will consist of the following four steps.
- The Committee will conduct and discuss an historical analysis of the exhibit, or proposed exhibit, as it pertains to a specific person, group of persons or specific historical event. The Committee will consider what is being memorialized; if an existing piece, what was the catalyst for the original commission; an assessment of the impact of the exhibit or location thereof; the historical, cultural, artistic and/or social value of the exhibit; the historical and political impact; counter-arguments regarding the persons, group of persons or specific event being memorialized by the exhibit.
- Public meetings which allow for comments by the public regarding the exhibit or proposed exhibit being reviewed.
- Review written comments by members of the public.
- Deliberation by the Committee and arrival at a recommendation to be made to the Grant Park Advisory Council, as achieved through simple majority of Committee members present.
Recommendations to Be Made Regarding Existing Exhibits
- No action is deemed necessary—existing monument remains in place without any additional action.
- Re-contextualization—provide new or additional context by any means including: install site-specific plaques or signage, update historical information, disclaim endorsement of the acts of historic figures, or provide information electronically.
- Relocation—relocate to another Park District site. Alternatives include relocation or long-term loan to cultural organizations, museums, or relevant historical, cultural, or educational settings.
- New temporary or permanent works—commission new artworks in any medium including sculpture, performance, and socially engaged art in order to foster public dialogue on polarizing historical moments and to amplify additional or excluded voices and underrepresented histories.
- Removal—remove offending, controversial, or outdated works from outdoor display on public property.
Recommendations to Be Made Regarding Proposed Exhibits
- Approve placement — approve placement within Grant Park without any additional action.
- Approve placement with modifications —provide additional context by any means including: install site-specific plaques or signage, additional historical information, disclaim endorsement of the acts of historic figures, or provide information electronically.
- Do not approve placement — does not approve placement of the exhibit within Grant Park