ANCESTOR'S FUTURE: CRYSTALLIZING OUR CALL
Driven by members of the Ashland community with guidance from the city’s Public Arts and Parks Commissions, as well as the City Council, a permanent public art installation is being planned in Ashland Creek Park. On behalf of their community, the Say Their Names Collective, a grassroots coalition of Ashland and Rogue Valley residents, put out a call to an artist or group of artists to create a public, community-oriented art installation around the theme of Black Lives Matter in the Rogue Valley.
This theme was to include but was not limited to: a reflection on the Black Lives Matter movement and this important chapter in our nation’s history, an illumination of the experiences of Black residents in the Valley, and an homage to the innumerable lives commemorated by the Say Their Names Memorial currently on display at Railroad Park in Ashland.
That Memorial came to be on June 28, 2020 - in recognition of the passing of Oregon's Lash Laws - and in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. It is the collective labor of passionate and concerned citizens of the Rogue Valley and part of a national undertaking to make sure the lives of those killed, especially at the hands of law enforcement, are never forgotten.
The aim of this permanent installation is to create a dialogue about race, bring together Rogue Valley residents of all backgrounds, and serve as a declaration of our commitment in Ashland and the Rogue Valley to forging a community of acceptance, communication, and inclusivity in a real and sustainable way. We hope that through continued conversation, recognition of our shared history, and this public avowal, that we can work towards becoming a more united and inclusive Rogue Valley community.
After two rounds of selection, beloved local artist, teacher and coach, Micah BlackLight’s concept, Ancestor’s Future: Crystallizing Our Call, has been chosen as the design that will be installed in Ashland Creek Park. We are thrilled and excited to officially move into the fundraising phase, and cannot wait to see this beautiful project come to fruition!
Like all meaningful societal change, this public art installation will be manifested through a combined effort. We will be relying on grants, city funding, and most of all, YOU, the community. Your money will be going toward making Ashland and the Rogue Valley a more inclusive, welcoming place for residents and everyone that visits the place we call home.
THANK YOU so much.
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