“A Monument to Maggie” explores the decades-long community effort to develop a monument honoring civil rights hero Maggie L. Walker

Monday, December 11, 2017

Americans for the Arts has released a short documentary video on the development and unveiling of the Maggie L. Walker Monument in Richmond, Virginia. A Monument to Maggie: Richmond’s Journey through Public Art to Honor a Civil Rights Hero tells the story of the development and unveiling of the monument, which commemorates civil rights activist and community leader Maggie L. Walker. After nearly 20 years of work, with efforts led by community and political leaders, the public artwork was unveiled July 17, 2017, in the Jackson Ward district where Walker’s house and most of her businesses were located.

Richmond’s Monument Avenue includes larger-than-life sculptures of Confederate soldiers such as General Robert E. Lee. As demonstrated in the video, the installation of the life-like statue of Walker, created by artist Toby Mendez, helps to tell another part of city’s history. Utilizing the debut of A Monument to Maggie, Americans for the Arts aims to tell stories of how public art can impact communities and, in the case of Richmond, potentially help heal historical wounds. Americans for the Arts encourages the use of public art as a means to engage community and create dialogue over representation of people and social issues in public places. Read more on this topic in Americans for the Arts’ Statement on the Intersection of the Arts, History, and Community Dialogue.

Americans for the Arts developed this documentary as part of its year-long outreach effort to promote the recently released Public Art Resource Center, an online platform that houses tools, resources, and opportunities tailored to needs of the public art field.

Americans for the Arts would like to thank the following people for their support and participation in this video:

Ellyn Parker, Sarah Driggs, Melvin Jones, Faithe Norrell, Liza Mickens, Johnny Mickens IV, Bill Martin, Ajena Rogers, Mayor Levar Stoney, Ethan P. Bullard, Richmond Public Art Commission, National Park Service, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, and The Valentine.