Mellon Foundation grants $1.4M for Theaster Gates’ “A Monument to Listening” at Tom Lee Park

Oct 7, 2021

This week, the Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP) announced a $1.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for an original artwork by internationally-acclaimed artist Theaster Gates at Tom Lee Park.

The working title for the artwork is “A Monument to Listening” — and beyond the physical intervention, it will be activated with a “community-created program to include docents trained in partnership with the National Civil Rights Museum, as well as poetry and spoken word competitions at three levels: national, local and student.”

“I want Tom Lee to be remembered as the human who saw other human lives as equally valuable as — if not more valuable than — his own, and to invite people to visit the site and have the same encounter with their own humanity. This is my small contribution to the possibility of healing,” Gates said.

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