Monument Lab Awarded Three-Year, $4M Grant from the Mellon Foundation to Support the Reimagining of America’s Monuments and Public Spaces

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation. https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/visual-arts-arts-and-entertainment-philanthropic-foundations-social-affairs-philanthropy-19312a60b9f2edcb3a6bae127fd3ac16 Click to copy PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Monument Lab announces a transformative $4 million, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant supports Monument Lab’s critical mission to […]

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Monument Lab announces a transformative $4 million, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant supports Monument Lab’s critical mission to cultivate and facilitate conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments.

The grant awarded to Monument Lab is the first from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s new $250 million “Monuments Project.” The Project aims to transform the way the country’s histories are told in public spaces by funding new monuments, memorials, historic storytelling places, research, and education.

“We are proud to launch our new Monuments Project with our first partner, Monument Lab, and to support their work to more deeply learn and vibrantly reimagine our public spaces to better reflect the rich multiplicity of American stories,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Monument Lab will generate critical, comprehensive research to understand the commemorative landscape as it is, and to seed what it could become. We are energized about the transformative possibility of their work.”

“Over the last decade, we have worked around the country with artists, educators, and public institutions who have been transforming the monument landscape,” said Paul Farber, Director of Monument Lab. “Thanks to this grant and meaningful relationship with the Mellon Foundation, we will expand our work making generational change in the ways art and history live in public.”

Monument Lab’s grant will specifically focus on three key components:

  • A National Audit of Existing Monuments: The National Monument Audit will assess the current monument landscape across the United States. The project draws on existing data on monuments from national, state, municipal and publicly created sources. Furthermore, the Audit will contextualize monuments within specific geographies and communities and create a concurrent dataset of reported protest activities tied to monuments. The Audit responds to the need to understand the complex histories of the nation’s monuments in order to create new approaches to building and maintaining public symbols.
  • Monument Lab Research Field Offices: The opening of ten Monument Lab research field offices by sub-granting a total of $1 million to re-imagine monuments in cities, regions, and communities across the country. The primary goal of the local field offices is to build a network of civic practitioners who build on national momentum, informed by local strategies and tactics, to shift the way history and art live in public. Field offices will conduct creative research on legacy monuments in their respective communities, while commissioning new forms of knowledge production.
  • Monument Lab Expansion: Monument Lab was formed to foster and respond to a grassroots-led movement calling to reimagine monuments. Over the last eight years, Monument Lab has grown to be a leading voice and convener of the monument movement in the United States. The grant from the Mellon Foundation will support the growth of full-time staff for Monument Lab and support the organization’s capacity to strengthen their role as national leaders in the movement.

About Monument Lab
Monument Lab is a public art and history studio based in Philadelphia. Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on participatory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Founded by Paul Farber and Ken Lum in 2012, Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. Through exhibitions, research programs, and fellowships, Monument Lab critically engages our inherited symbols in order to unearth the next generation of monuments that elevate stories of resistance and hope. You can learn more about Monument Lab at www.monumentlab.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and listen along on their Podcast available on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

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SOURCE Monument Lab

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