Creative Philadelphia Issues a Call for Artists to Commission an African American Historic Statue

On Monday, October 3, the Office of the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia) announced on Twitter a Call for Artists to commission an African American Historic Statue to be located on the North apron of City Hall.

Last spring, Creative Philadelphia announced plans for a Harriet Tubman statue but local artists and historians denounced the city’s decision to commission Wesley Wofford, a white artist, to design the sculpture without considering proposals by Black artists.

For this new statue, Creative Philadelphia asked the public for assistance. To help ensure that the artwork will reflect Philadelphia’s people, history, culture, and values, the organization issued a brief five-question “African American Historic Statue Public Input Survey.” According to Creative Philadelphia, the Open Call for Artists will be released in November 2022 and will welcome proposals for a permanent statue that celebrates Harriet Tubman’s story or another African American’s contributions to our nation’s history. They ask that the survey be completed by October 24.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, activists are unhappy with moving away from Harriet Tubman as the subject matter. Public historian, Faye Anderson, claimed the “lack of transparency in the new direction is deeply disturbing.”

For more information, click here.