[Blackstudies-l] Design Commission Hearing on Sojourner Truth (Monday, September 16, 10:20/11:05 am)

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Tue Aug 25 10:21:31 EDT 2020


>
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 8:01 AM Todd Fine <tdfine at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Dear all,
>>>>
>>>> The new monument is being unveiled tomorrow, and people can decide for
>>>> themselves whether they think the modest changes made in response to our
>>>> letter are sufficient.
>>>>
>>>> Nevertheless, you may be interested to read this article in The Nation
>>>> this morning, which critiques the monument and mentions our appeal:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> https://www.thenation.com/article/society/nyc-suffrage-central-park/tnamp/?__twitter_impression=true
>>>>
>>>> Peace be with you,
>>>> Todd Fine
>>>>
>>>> Todd Fine
>>>> President, Washington Street Advocacy Group
>>>> 26 Broadway, 8th Floor
>>>> New York, New York 10004
>>>> +1 917.789.6252‬
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Sep 18, 2019, 8:45 PM Todd Fine <tdfine at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>
>>>>> Attached is the official Design Commission submission for the monument
>>>>> that we received yesterday through a FOIL request.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Monday, the Design Commission -- quite surprisingly from our
>>>>> perspective -- delayed their decision until the Statue Fund submits letters
>>>>> of support from historians and from local NYC Community Boards. Next month
>>>>> the matter may return to the consent agenda of the Design Commission and be
>>>>> approved if they do this successfully.
>>>>>
>>>>> Our chief advocacy in the meeting was for additional historical
>>>>> context be offered in a textual plaque, and, unless other scholars and
>>>>> community activists raise additional critiques that we have not considered,
>>>>> we do not anticipate a great deal of additional advocacy on the design of
>>>>> the monument itself.
>>>>>
>>>>> However, please let us know if you have any ideas or thoughts or
>>>>> reactions after looking through the submission.
>>>>>
>>>>> We greatly appreciate your endorsement of our letter -- which
>>>>> certainly positively influenced the debate and influenced the commission's
>>>>> decision to allow for another month of discussion with the monument plans
>>>>> now made public.
>>>>>
>>>>> Peace be with you,
>>>>> Todd Fine
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 11:16 AM Todd Fine <tdfine at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Attached is the monument design presented at the hearing just now.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Todd Fine
>>>>>> President, Washington Street Advocacy Group
>>>>>> 26 Broadway, 8th Floor
>>>>>> New York, New York 10004
>>>>>> +1 917.789.6252‬
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 9:41 AM Todd Fine <tdfine at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> FYI. An editorial by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
>>>>>>> editorial on the matter:
>>>>>>> https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-build-this-monument-already-20190916-4oxpuzlk4vgy5meu6fm45l6cea-story.html
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It has an image of the sculpture for the first time. This could
>>>>>>> inform testimony if you plan to send it.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I also plan to videotape the proceedings this morning.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>>>> Todd
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Todd Fine
>>>>>>> President, Washington Street Advocacy Group
>>>>>>> 26 Broadway, 8th Floor
>>>>>>> New York, New York 10004
>>>>>>> +1 917.789.6252‬
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 11:27 AM Todd Fine <tdfine at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> The Public Design Commission has now announced that it will hold a
>>>>>>>> public hearing on Monday, September 16 to approve the new design of the
>>>>>>>> suffrage memorial incorporating Sojourner Truth and to have a presentation
>>>>>>>> of the design:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> 10:20am / 11:05am, Monday, September 16, 2019
>>>>>>>> (the PDC advises people to arrive 45 minutes before the scheduled
>>>>>>>> time of 11:05 because their agenda items often get moved around, so please
>>>>>>>> try to arrive at 10:20am)
>>>>>>>> NYC City Council Chamber in City Hall
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/designcommission/downloads/pdf/9-16-19-Public-Agenda.pdf
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Even though this constitutes "Preliminary Approval," it will give
>>>>>>>> the Stanton and Anthony Memorial Fund the ability to begin fabrication so
>>>>>>>> it is essentially a final approval. It is unfortunate, however, that the
>>>>>>>> Fund has not released the design to the public or done any significant
>>>>>>>> outreach with constituencies with a stake in Sojourner Truth's legacy.
>>>>>>>> Yesterday, the Design Commission actually affirmed that the Fund's website
>>>>>>>> falsely claims that the Commission had prevented them from sharing their
>>>>>>>> design.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Members of the public are allowed to testify and will be given up
>>>>>>>> to three minutes. You can also offer further testimony by sending an email
>>>>>>>> to designcommission at cityhall.nyc.gov.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> While there may be additional concerns with the design when people
>>>>>>>> can finally see it, it is very clear that this memorial is intended to
>>>>>>>> depict a moment in time around 1867 when Truth and Stanton and Anthony had
>>>>>>>> parallel advocacy. This depiction of the three activists as equals during
>>>>>>>> what some have called a "kumbaya moment" is not necessarily objectionable,
>>>>>>>> but additional context is needed.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> If the influence that historians, scholars, and members of the
>>>>>>>> public will have on the actual monument design is going to be minimal, we
>>>>>>>> may shift attention to insuring that the pedestal's plaque text is accurate
>>>>>>>> and provides proper context.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> You, of course, are welcome and encouraged to attend, to write and
>>>>>>>> deliver testimony, and to respond to these circumstances as you see fit.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thank you,
>>>>>>>> Jacob Morris and Todd Fine
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> Todd Fine
>>>>>>>> PhD Candidate in History, CUNY-Graduate Center
>>>>>>>> +1 857.234.0920
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>
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