The City is excited to announce the Portland Monuments Project—a collaborative effort supporting a thorough and inclusive process to decide the future of monuments in the City.
This announcement follows the 2020 protests and calls for racial justice which swept the nation, and led to the toppling of several monuments in Portland, including the statues of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington.
In January 2023, the City Arts Program initiated a partnership with Lewis & Clark College to convene a planning committee made up of diverse and highly skilled individuals whose research and practice engage with community dialogue, including monuments, memorialization, public space and art. Monuments Planning Committee members include representatives from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Lewis & Clark College, and Portland State University.
The work of the Monuments Planning Committee will culminate in a report with recommendations. Specifically, the committee will:
Develop recommendations for creating a community process that ensures broad engagement and participation about public art and the 5 monuments currently in storage;
Identify relevant stakeholders (especially among and between those communities most impacted);
Create avenues to ensure that impacted populations will be heard and represented;
Recommend a community learning program that will illuminate the impacts of structural and individual racism on the community and how that history relates to selection of monuments;
Research best practices among other Cities and States that have successfully navigated similar processes and make relevant recommendations for the City of Portland;
Make recommendations as to how best communicate the engagement plan to the public;
Provide a rough estimate of the resource needs in order to carry out the engagement plan;
Provide a written report that documents the recommendation and proposed engagement activities.
In June 2023, the City will review the report and its recommendations, adopt a community engagement approach, and formally launch the Monument Community Engagement Plan.
Following the community engagement process, new policy recommendations for monuments will be presented for Council Consideration in 2024.
We look forward to sharing regular update regarding monuments planning in the coming months.
In the meantime, please sign up for City Arts updates receive updates and future public engagement opportunities. The public is also invited contact the City Arts Program at firstname.lastname@example.org to share feedback, concerns, or ask questions.