Byways to Equality

As Public Art Coordinator for the City of Urbana, IL, I managed the King Park Public Art Project, a project to create a public art piece to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a historically African-American neighborhood now undergoing significant change. The diverse panel included representatives from the City, the Urbana Park District, Urbana School District 116, several neighborhood groups and The Champaign County Arts Council. I facilitated the process of identifying goals, soliciting artists through an RFQ, artist selection, design approval, and fabrication. Challenges included a limited funding period and the abrupt withdrawal of the originally selected artist. In the end, the final public art piece, “Byways to Equality,” was completed and installed by Illinois artist Preston Jackson. The completed artwork represents the legacy of Dr. King, promotes the park as a local amenity, and creates an attraction for visitors.