May 4, 2015

Penn IUR and Monument Lab Announce May 15th Opening and Schedule of Events

Philadelphia, PA – May 4, 2015— Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia is pleased to announce a full programmatic calendar, including a preview event at the Center for Architecture on May 8, an opening event and dedication at City Hall on May 15, a speaker’s series at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and daily lunchtime speakers at the Monument Lab in the central courtyard of City Hall.

The project’s full calendar of daily events is now available on the Monument Lab website at All events are free and open to the public every day throughout the project.

The opening dedication of Monument Lab will take place on May 15 at the City Hall Courtyard, at Broad and Market Streets, from 4:00 - 7:00 pm.  City officials will dedicate the late Terry Adkins’ prototype monument on educational innovation and loss, followed by a short musical performance and open house reception.

The preview event will take place at the Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street, on May 8, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.  Preregistration is encouraged. (Register Here)

Monument Lab, curated by Ken Lum, Paul Farber, and A. Will Brown and based at the Penn Institute for Urban Research, will present lectures and discussions to encourage dialogue within Philadelphia about creative speculations and public art in the city. Each day, the public will have opportunities to interact with a range of Philadelphians whose work bridges the city’s history and present, while offering their own ideas for public sites of memory.

Speakers at the daily lunchtime events include pairings of noted Philadelphians and important community voices such as: Jane Golden of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles and Make the World Better Project;  State Representative Brian Sims and High School Students from Science Leadership Academy; Penny Balkin Bach of the Association for Public Art and distinguished historian Ken Finkel; Conrad Benner of and Lansie Sylvia of “Next Stop: Democracy!”;  Captain Altovise Love-Craighead, of the Philadelphia Police Department and Co-Founder of the EMIR Healing Center (EMIR- Every Murder Is Real) and Jonathan Purtle, of the Drexel University School of Public Health.

The conversations will take place adjacent to the centerpiece of the project in City Hall’s central courtyard, a temporary prototype monument designed by the late, award-winning artist and University of Pennsylvania professor Terry Adkins. Adkins’ monument addresses Philadelphia’s current history with a minimalist representation of a classroom that people can sit on and gather around. A public engagement “lab” will also be located at City Hall and serve as the project headquarters, where participating artists and curators will brainstorm ideas with the city’s citizens for the kinds of monuments that are important for 21st century Philadelphia.

“We are tremendously excited to have a selection of dynamic and thoughtful speakers who are deeply engaged with this city’s arts and culture and civic vision taking part in the  Monument Lab speaker’s series,” says co-curator A. Will Brown. “We intend for this project to create an open and democratic platform for dialogue about Philadelphia’s rich past and myriad future possibilities and the participation of these organizations and speakers presents a unique opportunity to do so.”

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia is supported through a Discovery grant by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. To learn more about Monument Lab, visit

About Penn IUR

The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) is dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research, instruction, and civic engagement on issues relevant to cities around the world. As the global population becomes increasingly urban, understanding cities is vital to informed decision-making and public policy at the local, national, and international levels. Penn IUR focuses on research that informs the sustainable and inclusive twenty-first-century city. By providing a forum for collaborative scholarship and instruction at Penn and beyond, Penn IUR stimulates research and engages with urban practitioners and policymakers to inform urban policy.

About The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center fulfills this mission by investing in ambitious, imaginative arts and heritage projects that showcase the region’s cultural vitality and enhance public life, and by engaging in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders. The Center awards project grants in Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, no-strings attached Pew Fellowship grants to individual artists working in all disciplines, and multi-year Advancement grants to high-performing institutions undertaking bold, innovative organizational initiatives.


Media Contact:

Deborah Lang
Communications Director

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