People’s Memorial Project Opens Community Dialogue on Public Monuments

 Artist Cedric “Vise 1” Douglas brings his forward-looking vision for the future of memorials and monuments in the United States to Chelsea this summer. 

“The People’s Memorial Project”, a pop-up public video projection installation, is a creative approach to facilitate community conversations about public monuments and their controversial status.

In downtown Chelsea Square, the monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus was taken down after a request spearheaded by Chelsea High School students. These students came together to denounce the memorial, on the basis that Columbus does not represent the city’s values and Latino community.

The culmination of this project is scheduled to take place at the end of September when the empty pedestal that once anchored the Columbus statue will, for one night, host a temporary light installation designed by Douglas. The installation features projections of images of individuals, both living and dead, that were nominated by the community to appear like monumental statues.   

Douglas explains, “The intent of this project is to create a glimpse into the future, by replacing an antiquated view of history with a vision of tomorrow where all people who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the local community and the broader nation, are recognized and honored.”

On Wednesday, July 28 at 6 pm, the community is invited to meet the creative team, learn more about the project and begin a community conversation about how we, as a society, memorialize in the form of public statues and monuments.  

Interpretation will be available.  

The event will be held at the Apollinaire Theatre at 189 Winnisimmet Street in Chelsea Square, just across the street from the site where the Columbus statute once stood.

Throughout August Douglas and his team will be meeting with residents and other members of the community, engaging in conversation and asking for nominations for the art installation of individuals who have made our community and our world a better place.

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