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Stephen Foster Sculpture-To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question Pittsburgh Wants your Opinion

 

Art Commission hearing: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Stephen Foster Sculpture-To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question Pittsburgh Wants your Opinion

The Pittsburgh Art Commission set forth a Hearing to be held to consider removing, relocating, or altering the Stephen Foster sculpture; which is located at the Forbes Avenue Entrance to Schenley Park.
The hearing is in response to some concerned citizens who feel the statue perpetuates negative images of African Americans. While others disagree and view the statue as a symbol of Foster being inspired by a black musician and it should be preserved. 

The work depicts Foster, a Pittsburgh native and famed songwriter, seated on a perch with a banjo player — a slave — shoeless at his feet. The city-owned statue stands on public property along Forbes Avenue outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Foster, who is known for writing "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," and many other songs, was born in 1826 in Lawrenceville.

 Listed are some links and articles from news outlets regarding the controversy:

 

https://pittnews.com/article/121687/news/121687/

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/tony-norman/2017/08/22/Tony-Norman-Stephen-Foster-statue-pittsburgh-Confederate-statues-trump/stories/201708220023

 

 

City Art Commission Sets Hearing Date for Testimony on Stephen Foster Statue

The City of Pittsburgh Art Commission’s public process on the future of the Stephen Foster statue in Oakland begins tomorrow, in advance of two October hearings on the future of the statue.
 
Mayor William Peduto has asked the Art Commission to review the 1900 statue – which features the Pittsburgh-born composer and an African-American slave. The statue is owned by the City and is on City property, and its placement comes under the purview of the Art Commission.
 
The Art Commission will hold a special hearing on the matter on Wednesday, October 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the first floor hearing room at 200 Ross Street. After a brief presentation on the statue by City Archivist Nick Hartley, those interested are invited to speak to the Art Commission. A court reporter will be present. No formal Committee action will be taken.
Prior the hearing, and beginning September 8, the Commission will host a comment section on its website to collect written testimony of up to 500 words in length. The form will have the options stated under Chapter 175.04 of the City Code -- including removal, relocation, or alteration of City-owned art -- in order for the public to express their opinion on how the Art Commission should proceed.
 
Following the October 4 Special Hearing, the Art Commission will hear additional public testimony, prior to taking action on the Statue, at its regularly scheduled Hearing at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. A summary of comments and a final report on the Statue will be provided followed by final recommendations regarding the statue’s placement.

  

View Hearing notice.
 
 
The Art Commission works to improve the aesthetic quality of the City's public spaces. The Commission comprises of nine members appointed by the Mayor,  and each member represents a various discipline in the arts.
 
The Art Commission is mandated to review the urban design, architectural, and landscape features of structures which are erected on or above land owned by the City. These are structures or lanscapes which are within the public realm and under its control and in which City funds are invested; this includes parks and bridges. The Art Commission administers the review process, which includes preliminary and final approvals.
 
The Art Commission is also mandated to review all works of art owned by the City of Pittsburgh and also art works proposed to be acquired by the City.
 
For more information about the Art Commission, email Yesica Guerra, the Public Art & Civic Design Manager, at yesica.guerra@pittsburghpa.gov.
 
Commissioners
 
Rob Indovina, Acting Chair
Dennis Astorino
Kathryn Heidemann
Kilolo Luckett
Andrew Moss
Ex-Officio Members
 
Mike Gable
Ray Gastil
 
 
 Pursuant to 175.01 the Pittsburgh Art Commission set forth the following procedure in which a Hearing will be held to consider removing, relocating, or altering the Stephen Foster sculpture; which is located at the Forbes Avenue Entrance to Schenley Park. Under Chapter 175.04 of the City Code – comments may include removal, relocation, or alteration of City-owned art -- in order for the public to express their opinion on how the Art Commission should proceed. 1. No action; 2. Leave the statue where it is and introduce interpretive signage; 3. Relocate the statue; 4. Removal of the statue. A public hearing to consider this matter has been scheduled before the Art Commission on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. on the first floor of the John P. Robin Civic Building, 200 Ross Street. Public comment will be accepted at or prior to the Hearing. Public comment at the Hearing will be limited to 3 minutes per person. Written comment is limited to 500 words and may be emailed to: comment@pittsburghpa.gov Written comments in excess of 500 words will not be considered or read. Written comments may also be mailed to: Department of City Planning c/o Stephen Foster Hearing 200 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Please provide the following information with a written statement or email: Name Mailing Address Date Signature Hearing Date: October 4, 2017 Hearing Time: 5:00-8:00 PM Hearing Location: The first floor of the John P. Robin Civic Building, 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 More information can be found at: http://pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/dcp-hearing-notices.html
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