Louisville Metro Government announces new opportunity for residents to engage with Public Art & Monuments Advisory Committee

March 27, 2018

Louisville Metro Government is announcing the details of a new opportunity for residents to provide input on monuments in public spaces. Residents are encouraged to write a letter to any monument in Louisville Metro Public Art’s inventory through social media and use the hashtag #monumentalletters. A template and examples, as paraphrased from public comments submitted to date, can be found below:

“Dear ________ (Monument),

I feel ________, because ___________________.”

“Dear Castleman,

I feel you should go, because your actions do not represent my values or the values of our city in 2018.” 

“Dear Castleman,

I feel you should stay, because you represent the history of our parks system.”

Social media “letters” will assist Louisville Metro Government and the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee to understand the values that residents want artworks in public spaces to represent.

In addition, in the coming days, oversized letters from Louisville Metro Government to the public will be posted at the sites of the recently vandalized Castleman and Prentice monuments to update residents. The letter, specific to Castleman, reads:

“Dear Residents and Visitors: Public art, like any shared public space, reacts with time, conditions and individuals who engage with it. This monument represents John Breckinridge Castleman (1841–1918). It was privately commissioned and sited in public space in 1913. It was vandalized and subsequently conserved on multiple occasions, notably 1996 and 2017, and was most recently vandalized on February 7, 2018. A Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee is hosting public meetings February–June 2018 for community input on principles that will guide decisions about public art and monuments. The current site conditions will not be addressed until after this process is complete. Louisville Metro Government remains committed to a public process with community input. We urge you to participate in public meetings. Write a letter. Get involved. Let your voice be heard. For more information please visit louisvilleky.gov/government/public-art.”

A similar “letter” will be placed by another recently vandalized monument, the monument of George Prentice at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library.

Residents may provide their letters on social media with the hashtag #monumentalletters, send them directly to Develop Louisville’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, or send letters through postal mail to Metro Development Center re: Monumental Letters, 444 S. 5th Street, Suite 600, Louisville, KY, 40202.

An additional Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee meeting has been added to take place on April 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Louisville, 111 Davidson Hall. Davidson Hall is located just south of Cardinal Boulevard & S. 3rd Street. Parking is available in the nearby Speed Museum garage.  

Previously announced meetings include:

  • April 14, 10:30 a.m. at the Cyril Allgeier Community Center
  • May 18, 12 p.m. at the South Central Regional Library
  • June 5, 6 p.m. at the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL)

To date, two meetings have been held at the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

The Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee is charged with developing a set of principles for evaluating Louisville’s existing public art and monuments. To view information pertaining to the Advisory Committee, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-art/public-art-and-monuments-....