The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has committed $250 million in grants, to be distributed over five years to fund projects that envision new public monuments in cities around the United States.
The Monuments Project will fund the development of more inclusive monuments, memorials, or historic storytelling spaces; contextualize existing monuments or memorials through installations, research, and education; or relocate existing monuments or memorials.
The initiative will “support efforts to recalibrate the assumed center of our national narratives to include those who have often been denied historical recognition,” the Mellon Foundation says on its website. “This work has taken on greater urgency at a moment of national reckoning with the power and influence of memorials and commemorative spaces.”
As of June this year, 1,712 Confederate monuments remained standing in the United States, according to a study conducted by the data analysis company BeenVerified. The analysis found that for every monument that has been removed, 10 others remain nationally despite the country’s reckoning over racist monuments in the months following the murder of George Floyd.
Not all proposals to the Monument’s Project have to be large-scale or permanent. The foundation says that it will also support creating storytelling spaces and ephemeral or temporary installations, and is accepting proposals and inquiries at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.