FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The City of Fort Wayne Public Art Commission is seeking artists to create a sculpture commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The public display will include quotes from King’s 1963 speech at Fort Wayne. Wayne.
King spoke on June 5and at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. It is currently the center for the performing arts of the University of Saint Francis. The speech was organized by a group of religious and civic leaders led by the African American Frontiers Club. Two months later, King delivered his historic “I have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C.
“Nearly a year ago on the date the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Application for Qualification was released, 2nd District Councilman Russ Jehl and I met and agreed that the City of Fort Wayne should commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s visit to our beautiful city,” said High Councilor Michelle Chambers. “As Maya Angelou said, ‘I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you are going. I have respect for the past but I am a person of the moment. Right now, our city is experiencing great growth. As we grow up, we must never forget Dr. King’s visit to Fort Wayne at the height of the civil rights movement. I look forward to seeing what sculptor artists can create for our community.
“Dr. King’s dream is still the highest aspiration for racial harmony ever formulated, and sadly the dream has yet to be fully realized,” Councilor Jehl said. “This memorial to the part of the Dream delivered in Fort Wayne is significant to our community and the posterity of this healing nation. I applaud the diligent efforts of Councilor Chambers and the committee, and I am thrilled to see the inspiring ideas that result.
A committee was created by the Public Art Commission at the request of the city council to help select an artist to install a memorial. It is made up of community civic leaders, historical documentation professionals, arts organizations and the faith community. Submissions are due by March 21, 2021 and must include a statement of interest and the impact of Dr. King’s work. A resume, list of references and work samples should also be included.
The committee will meet in April to review submissions and select finalists who will be invited to submit proposals for the project. The Public Art Commission will work with the community over the next year to raise funds to commission and install the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
To submit their qualifications, artists are encouraged to visit this website.