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Call for Artists announced for MLK and Coretta Scott King memorial

December 18, 2017

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The City released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an artist to create the memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King in Boston.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission and MLK Boston, today released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an artist to create a memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King in Boston.

"A memorial honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King will stand as a symbol of our commitment to fulfilling Dr. King's dream each and every day," said Mayor Walsh. "From their education in Boston, to Dr. King's time preaching at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, to his march to the Boston Common, the Kings' footprints left a remarkable impression on the City of Boston and its people. This memorial will be a great way to recognize their influence on the City and to emphasize our continued effort to make Boston a place where all people have equal opportunities."

MLK Boston is a new non-profit organization partnering with the City of Boston to create a world-class memorial for Boston that highlights Coretta Scott King's and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact and connection to the City.

A key goal of the memorial is to serve as a call to action that compels the community to confront racial and economic inequality, discrimination, immigration and other relevant social justice issues.

"As someone who grew up in Boston, I was always aware of Dr. King's work and still look to his words for inspiration today," said entrepreneur and founder and co-chair of MLK Boston, Paul English. "I am delighted to participate on a team from across the city to memorialize his work, and to think about what he would be working on if he were still with us."

MLK Boston is hosting a community meeting on January 8, 2018 at 5:30 the Piemonte Room on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall, where the public will be invited to share their thoughts and ideas for the memorial.

"One of the most exciting aspects of the MLK Boston memorial planning process to me is the ongoing effort for the robust engagement of the entire city," said Reverend Liz Walker, co-chair of MLK Boston. "Through community meetings with the involvement of churches and other institutions, educational enrichment projects in the public schools, and social media, we want to make sure everyone in the city has real input in this historical effort. That is one of the most meaningful ways we can honor Dr. King.  MLK Boston will be remembered as the people's project."

The international RFQ is open to all artists, architects, landscape architects, or design teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. Artists from the Boston area are encouraged to apply. The location of the memorial has not yet been determined.

The deadline to respond to the RFQ is Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by 12:00 am EST. The applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, and up to five artists will be invited to develop design proposals. Each of the five finalists will receive a $5,000 stipend for developing design proposals.

"Using arts and culture as a vehicle for dialogue within city-wide conversations about race and class divisions in Boston was one of the goals identified in the Boston Creates cultural plan," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. "I can't think of a better way to advance this dialogue than to commemorate the person who serves as such an inspiration to so many of us as a champion of civil rights."

For more information on the project, visit the website here.

About MLK Boston

MLK Boston is a new non-profit working closely with the City of Boston to bring a world-class MLK Memorial to Boston, and to sponsor local events and discussions to bring his words to life. It is co-chaired by Paul English and Liz Walker, and Robin Powell Mandjes serves as the Executive Director. MLK Boston consists of an Art Committee that is responsible for selecting the artist for the memorial, and a Development Committee that is responsible for raising funds for the memorial. For more information, go to:

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include implementing the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; commissioning public art, managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to:

About the Boston Art Commission

The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston's diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston's collection of art and historical artifacts. For more information, go to: