People's memorial project

Project Description

"The People's Memorial Project" is more than a public artwork; it is an awareness campaign that addresses the controversial status of monuments and memorials in our country today. It's intent is to generate a conversation about how memorials present one view of history and leave other stories untold. This project provides a glimpse into a future where all peoples who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of our local communities, and the broader nation, are recognized and honored. Who decides who gets memorialized? Why was Christopher Columbus celebrated in so many neighborhoods, including Chelsea? How do these memorials influence and reinforce a vision of who we are and who it means to be an American?

Communities across America are reflecting on who gets remembered, what stories are told, and who is underrepresented or systematically excluded. The process of creating and siting public art is an expression of personal and collective agency. This generation is looking anew at how public monuments frame the story of our country and is seeking out those that remain untold.

"The People's Memorial Project" poses the question: What does it look like to bring those who have been excluded back into the conversation? What would it mean for Black, Latino and other people of color, the poor and other marginalized people to be recognized in our public square?  The project opens an accessible, community-based conversation about civic monuments and their role in our community of Chelsea. 

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Project Intro Conversation

Wednesday, July 28

6 to 8 pm

Apollinaire Theatre

189 Winnisimmet Street, Chelsea

Meet  the creative team and share your thoughts on monuments.

Interpretation will be available. 


August and September

Through conversations with the outreach team and polling, nominate local and regional people, both contemporary and historic, for recognition.  Share your reflections on monuments.  In mid September a group of finalists will be selected and the elements for the installation prepared. 

Evening of Light Installation

Thursday, September 30, 7 to 10 pm

raindate, October 1

Images of the selected individuals will be projected, hologram-like, standing atop the plinth that formerly held the statue of Christopher Columbus. Music, spoken word performances and the community reflection continue.


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