A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Artworks seeking community input on public art projects; two online surveys close October 31

ArtWorks, the organization behind Cincinnati’s iconic murals, embarked on a transformative journey with the launch of the New Monument Initiative in early 2023. Now the year-long initiative is in its final months, and the Civic Art Studio is making a few final requests to the Cincinnati community.

“We need help identifying what public art exists in every community and we need people to take our survey to help give voices to the public art of the future,” said Asha White, a practicing artist, curator, DAAP master’s graduate, and member of Black Art Speaks.”The work we have done over this past year has been very intentional. We have worked to connect with marginalized communities by establishing partnerships to best reach our target demographic.”

White is the leader of a team of ten young adult artists, aged 18 to 24 in ArtWorks’ Civic Arts Studio. The group has been engaging with various Cincinnati neighborhoods at nearly 20 events throughout the year in hopes of beginning a dialogue that would lead to redefining the future landscape of public art and monuments to honor the rich history of Cincinnati’s diverse communities.

Artworks mural by Saya Woolfalk, located at 1005 Walnut St. in Cincinnati (Photo form Artworks)

Now, the group is offering incentives to hear from these voices. Those who take the survey before September 25 have a chance to win a $25 ArtWorks mural tour ticket, a ticket to ArtWorks’ Art Off the Walls fundraiser — a $175 value, or a $20 Kroger gift card. Anyone who completes the survey in full, including name and email, will automatically be entered for a chance to win.

In addition, a new short survey is also available through this group to help identify any existing artworks within every community of our city.

“We’ve been working hard on a monument audit that hopes to identify each and every public artwork within our city. This means every sculpture, bronze, mural and more… in all 52 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods,” said White. “Monuments tell us about what a society values. It’s so important to have robust and diverse feedback when considering the future of monuments, so that we have a wide breath of view points on what our community values and holds dear.”

Both surveys close on October 31.

ArtWorks is planning an event in January to unveil and celebrate the final report from the New Monuments Initiative.

“People deserve to be represented and to have a say in the ways they are represented,” said Civic Studio Artist Aspen Stein. “Our work is important because we are creating more opportunities for the people of Cincinnati to have more ownership over this beautiful city.”

The New Monument Initiative aligns with ArtWorks’ strategic mission to provide year-round employment opportunities for artists of all ages, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.

A New Monuments Advisory Committee made up of business, government, social welfare, and education sectors of our region, will guide and support the work.

Support for the project has been provided by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation. If you are interested in supporting future public monuments, email Jeff Sperry at Jeff@artworkscincinnati.org.


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