The Mellon Foundation Announces a $250 Million Plan to Rethink American Monuments

Simply three months back, the prominent Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, long a significant customer of the liberal arts in the United States, announced a significant change to its strategic objective, pivoting to “prioritizing social justice in all of its grant-making.” Today, the organization took a step forward in enacting that change, providing a five-year, $250 million program called the Monuments Project, whose objective is to “reimagine and reconstruct celebratory areas and change the way history is informed in the United States.”This year has actually been one of reckoning, with regard to the racial injustices prevalent throughout the country. Through the Black Lives Matter motion, our attention was brought to the questionable monoliths and memorials of this nation, much of which do not show the experiences, worths, or histories of the varied neighborhoods in the United States– and, in reality, may even decrease them. The Mellon Foundation believes it vital to take a look at carefully the landscape of celebratory areas to ensure it becomes more representative of the larger population.”The power and impact of memorials and monuments– what they teach, even if the lessons are quiet and ambient– implies we need more voices and more stories completely represented throughout our national celebratory landscape,” an agent of the Mellon Foundation informs AD.Artist Amy Sherald painted this untitled work in 2019 to commemorate young Black females. The task is part of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, a recipient of a Mellon Foundation grant.
Picture: Steve Weinik, thanks to City of Philadelphia Mural Arts ProgramThrough the Monuments Project, the Mellon Foundation looks for to achieve three main goals that inform the wider story of American history: funding brand-new celebratory spaces, consisting of museums and art setups; contextualizing existing monoliths; and transferring existing monuments.” [T] his unprecedented Mellon commitment will help inform our cumulative understanding of our countrys weighty and profoundly varied history and guarantee that those who havent been taught this history can discover it in the general public square,” Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. “This effort will even more ensure that the lots of neighborhoods that have shaped the United States have higher chance to see themselves in the fabric of our exceptional American story.”The $250 million designated to the task will be released through grants to different companies: The very first to get funding is Monument Lab in Philadelphia, a public art and history studio that deals with artists, activists, and leaders in cities across the nation to assess how public spaces can be utilized to promote stories of social justice. With its three-year, $4 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, Monument Lab will utilize its important lens to examine existing national monuments.Over the next 5 years, the Mellon Foundations program personnel will recognize new grant recipients, listening closely to artists, designers, and culture makers within communities throughout the country.