Arts and Culture

Louisville’s Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee on Thursday announced their meeting schedule for the next several months:

  • March 6, 6 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage
  • April 14, 10:30 a.m. at the Cyril Allgeier Community Center
  • May 18, 12 p.m. at the South Central Regional Library
  • June 5, 6 p.m. at the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL)

I get it, a mayoral committee’s meeting schedule doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but just getting these meetings on the calendar has been in the works since last fall.

In August 2017, the John Breckinridge Castleman statue was vandalized in Cherokee Triangle. Castleman played a key part in establishing Louisville’s parks system, but also served in the Confederate Army. It sparked a citywide discussion about who we want to honor through our public artwork, and how.

The city’s Commission on Public Art — or COPA — held an open meeting in September which was supposed to serve as an open forum to discuss all of Louisville’s public artwork and whether any could be “interpreted as honoring bigotry, racism and/or slavery.”

It ended up being a conversation that centered mostly on Castleman, but attendees did comment that it would be nice to have other meetings in different parts of the city and at different times. It would be a way to encourage more diverse feedback, they said.

The city went quiet until about December, then announced the formation of the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, which will develop recommendations for Louisville’s public art.

They had their first meeting earlier this month at the main branch of the public library, during which the topic of more diverse meeting spaces came up again.

Planning for an additional meeting at the University of Louisville is in progress, and details are pending.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.