( CHICAGO, October 15, 2015 ) — The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee launched an online fundraising campaign at the beginning of October for a monument to honor the life and work of Ida B. Wells ( 1862-1931 ). Within the first 15 days of the campaign there has been tremendous support with donations from as far away as New York, California, Georgia, Mississippi and Massachusetts. The goal is to raise $100,000 to begin the creation of a monumental interpretative sculpture by world-renowned sculptor Richard Hunt.
"We are excited to see how far reaching the support has been for this project," said Anthony Rogers, Co-Chair of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee. "Despite the fact that Ida B. Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, MS she made an impact on the world as a journalist, teacher, anti-lynching crusader, women's rights activist and civil rights pioneer. She was an international figure who worked and raised her family in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago from 1895 to 1931."
A decade after Ida B. Wells died, the Chicago Housing Authority named a public housing development after her in 1941 as a result of strong community pressure. That development is now gone, and the monument will stand at the center of Oakwood Shores, the mixed-income housing development that replaced it. "Today, we look forward to creating a monument to educate and inspire people with the life and words of Ida B. Wells for generations to come," said Rogers.
"I lived in the Ida B. Wells housing community for over 30 years and was sad to see the homes go. But, I must say that having Ms. Ida B. Wells forever remembered through this monument for the work that she did is something that is very important," said Sandra Young, Co-Chair of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee. Once completed, the Committee will donate the monument to the City of Chicago's Public Art Collection. It will be the first in Chicago, and one of less than 1% of monuments in the U.S., to honor an African American woman.
Those wishing to support the campaign can visit igg.me/at/idabwellsmonument where donations from $10.00 to $5,000 will to help fund this historic monument of national importance. The sculpture will be located on the winding path in the grassy median at 37th and Langley, a short walk from the house at 3624 S. King Drive where Wells once lived. It will include images, biographical information and excerpts of Wells' writings.
The crowdfunding campaign will run through the month of October. More information about the project is available and donations can be made at http://igg.me/at/idabwellsmonument.
The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is a subcommittee of the Oakwood Shores Working Group, a committee designated by the Chicago Housing Authority to oversee and provide input on planning, developing and maintaining the mixed-income community replacing the Ida B. Wells public housing development. www.idabwellsmonument.org