PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) will host the first public meeting with the five semi-finalist artists competing to create Philadelphia’s permanent Harriet Tubman statue on Monday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.
The virtual public meeting will be an opportunity for the semi-finalists—Vinnie Bagwell, Richard Blake, Tanda Francis, Alvin Pettit, and Basil Watson—to hear directly from the public before they create initial design proposals for the Harriet Tubman statue. The winning proposal will become a statue that will be located on the northeast apron of City Hall and the first statue of a Black female historical figure in the City’s public art collection.
“We encourage all Philadelphians to be a part of this historic public art commission for the city by attending this and future public meetings and making their voices heard,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia and Executive Director of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. “Philadelphians are passionate about Harriet Tubman and her contributions, and are empowered by her story, so I am confident that the artists will be inspired by their feedback.”
The meeting will be held via Zoom and a recording will be available on OACCE’s website for those who are unable to attend. Written feedback can also be shared by filling out this form from Tuesday, April 25 through Friday, April 28.
“Community engagement through public input meetings is integral to our public art process,” said Marguerite Anglin, Public Art Director of the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy. “It is important that Philadelphians engage in direct discussion with artists throughout each stage of the proposal period to ensure that the City’s public artwork reflects the diversity and values of the community.”
There will be multiple upcoming opportunities for the public to share their ideas and provide feedback on Philadelphia’s permanent Harriet Tubman statue. Those opportunities will be announced separately at a later date.
Detailed Information about the Harriet Tubman statue commissioning process and a full timeline for the project are available on OACCE’s website.
About the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy closes the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries; connecting Philadelphians to enriching, arts-infused experiences; linking local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities, and preserving the City’s public art assets. For more information about the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, visit CreativePHL.org and follow @CreativePHL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.