On Building and Reimagining Monuments

The White House released an Executive Order “On Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes.”

We revised it.

Section 1. Purpose

To unearth the next generation of monuments based on a full reckoning with America’s history.


Section 2. Task Force for Building and Reimagining Monuments 

The task force shall be led by artists, activists, scholars, and young people.


Section 3. Garden of Monuments

The garden will include works by contemporary artists that elevate the power of creativity over violence and oppression. Plans for the garden must respond to the catastrophic loss of life in the COVID-19 pandemic and to centuries of systemic racism. 


Section 4. Commissioning of New Statues and Works of Art

The task force shall support Black, Indigenous, and other artists of color through radically increased funding for the NEA, NEH, and local public art and history agencies. 


Section 5 Educational Programming

Shall prioritize the allocation of funding to programs and projects that educate Americans from pre-K through college along with providing universal healthcare, affordable housing, and the environmental justice necessary for thriving communities.


Section 6. Permanence

No Monuments are permanent.


Section 7. Definition

The term “historically significant American” includes citizens and non-citizens who have lost lives and land through state violence as well as those who have upheld traditions of resistance and dissent. 


Section 8. General Provisions

Reallocate funds away from state violence and toward a commitment to monumental justice, education, and care for the people this government is meant to serve.

Monument Lab

Monument Lab is an independent public art and history studio based in Philadelphia. Founded by Paul Farber and Ken Lum, Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on exploratory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments.