Block Club Chicago: Austin, Roseland And Humboldt Park First To Participate In Renewed Historical Marker Project

“Three communities of color will be the first involved in a renewed citywide art project highlighting important people, events and locations in the city’s neighborhoods.

“Two city agencies are working to expand a historical markers program that began in the 1990s as a way to highlight notable Chicagoans. The program will bring historical markers citywide, but Austin, Humboldt Park and Roseland will be the first neighborhoods to receive them, said Lydia Ross, the Department of Cultural Affair and Special Event’s director of public art.

“The project — which began seeking scholars, artists and other collaborators in August — will be an engaging way to learn about city history, Ross said. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is teaming with the Department of Planning and Development on the project.

“‘We can use this program to tell a lot of different stories about Chicago and bring people, culture and history to life that is hidden in plain sight,’ she said.

“The historical markers program was inspired by the Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction project from the mid-90s, Ross said.

“The Chicago Tribute Markers program installed plaques honoring Chicagoans like Nat ‘King Cole, Marshall Field, Carl Sandburg and Jane Addams, among about 80 others, according to its website.

“In the 30 years since their installation, the practice of historic markings have changed ‘with regard to subject matter, content and the medium used to create such tributes,’ the city’s request for proposals for the new project reads. The renewed historical markers project comes amid a larger effort to re-evaluate Chicago’s monuments and historical artifacts.

“There will be community meetings later this year to determine what the markers will be and where they will be located in each neighborhood, along with design competitions to determine who gets to create the markers, according to Ross.” (Arline, Block Club Chicago, 1/31/24)

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

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