The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced a design competition, in partnership with the Joint Committee on the Library and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, for a statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Commissioned by the U.S. Congress, the sculpture will be permanently installed in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building. The Rosa Parks statue represents the first commission of a full-sized statue authorized and funded by the U.S. Congress since the 1870s. The Chrysler Foundation has provided $100,000 to support the administration of the competition.
"In taking a stand for justice and equality, Rosa Parks stirred the conscience of our country in a way that changed American history. She has become such an enduring symbol of moral courage that it is only fitting that she be recognized by Congress with a sculpture in Statuary Hall," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "The NEA is honored to partner with the Architect of the Capitol and the Joint Committee on the Library for this historic project. We're also grateful for the support of the Chrysler Foundation."
"The Chrysler Foundation is proud to be a part of such an historic event as the creation of a permanent remembrance of Rosa Parks," said Frank Fountain, Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Public Policy-Chrysler LLC. "Her display of quiet strength has benefited generations of Americans and will be forever honored in the Capitol."
The Rosa Parks Sculpture design competition, to be administered by the NEA, is open to U.S. citizens. Interested artists should submit an application, including a proposal for the sculpture and work samples that demonstrate their ability to cast large-scale bronze sculptures and to work in the portrait mode. The deadline for applications is May 30, 2008. Competition guidelines are available on the Arts Endowment Web site at http://www.arts.gov/grants/apply/RosaParks.html
Proposals will be reviewed by a peer panel of experts and judged on artistic excellence and artistic merit. Up to 10 semifinalists selected by the panel will be contracted by the Architect of the Capitol to produce a maquette, or small-scale model, of the proposed sculpture as well as a portrait drawing of Rosa Parks. Up to three finalists will be recommended to the Joint Committee on the Library, which will award the commission. The selected artist will receive up to $250,000 to create the bronze statue and pedestal. At the completion of the contract, the Rosa Parks Sculpture will be unveiled in the Capitol.
The NEA previously partnered with the Joint Committee on the Library to administer the design competition for the commission of a memorial bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Designed and fabricated by Massachusetts sculptor John Wilson, the bust is on view in the Capitol Rotunda.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the artsóboth new and establishedóbringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
About the Architect of the Capitol
The Office of the Architect of the Capitol is responsible to the United States Congress for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol complex, which includes the Capitol, the Congressional office buildings, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Power Plant, and other facilities. The Architect's duties also include the upkeep and improvement of the Capitol grounds, the care and preservation of historic works of art and statuary, and the arrangement of inaugural ceremonies and other ceremonies held in the Capitol building or on the grounds.
About the Joint Committee on the Library
The Joint Committee on the Library oversees the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and joint fine art in the U.S. Capitol complex. Membership consists of the chairman and four Members of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, chairman and four Members of the Committee on House Administration and chairman (or his designee) of the House Committee on Appropriations. The chairmanship of the Committee alternates between the House and Senate at the start of a new Congress every two years.