Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia

1/9: The crowd gathers at the late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard, on the opening day of Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
2/9: The late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument at City Hall Courtyard, the central meeting place for Penn Institute for Urban Research’s Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
3/9: A member of the crowd brainstorms a monument at the Monument Lab “storefront” space in City Hall Courtyard, the day of the project’s opening. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
4/9: A senior from Masterman High School performs at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
5/9: The crowd at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
6/9: Monument Lab co-curator Paul Farber speaks at the project’s opening in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
7/9: Monument Lab co-curator Ken Lum speaks at the project’s opening at City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
8/9: Jane Golden, Director of Mural Arts, speaks at the opening of Monument Lab in the City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
9/9: Terry Adkins, Blanche Bruce, and the Lone Wolf Recital Corps perform The Last Trumpet as part of the Performa Biennial 2013. Photo courtesy of the Estate of Terry Adkins and Salon 94, New York.

This project will pose the question: What does a 21st-century urban monument look like? The centerpiece of this exploration, overseen by curators A. Will Brown, Paul Farber, and Ken Lum, will be a temporary monument designed by the late, award-winning artist and University of Pennsylvania professor Terry Adkins, to be installed in City Hall’s central courtyard in the spring of 2015. Adkins’ monument addresses the traumatic wave of Philadelphia school closings that occurred in 2013. A Center City storefront “lab” also located at City Hall, which also opens in the spring of 2015, will serve as project headquarters, where participating artists, curators and Philadelphia citizens will brainstorm and instigate ideas for the appropriate monument for contemporary Philadelphia. This project will precede a planned Philadelphia monuments festival, to take place in 2017.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Strange Currencies, this discussion will explore the proliferation of (e)Zines, artists’ books, artist-run presses, underground comix, and other small-circulation, self-published works from the 1990s to the present.

Grants & Grantees

Conceived by Canuso and multimedia director Lars Jan, Nichole Canuso and Lars Jan’s multimedia dance work was presented at the 2010 FringeArts Festival.

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University was established in 1974 and works to advance the full societal inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Grants & Grantees

Thaddeus Phillips (Pew Fellow, 2002) creates theater works that use transformational scenography, documentary footage, and improvisation to peer into not-often seen worlds.

A program of Philadelphia University, The Design Center presents exhibitions, tours, programs, college courses, and special events that demonstrate how design shapes everyday life.

The oldest art museum and school in the United States—founded in 1805—the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts includes among its notable faculty and alumni Mary Cassatt and David Lynch.

Writer, director, and performer Terry Galloway presents her one-woman show You Are My Sunshine – A Kind of Love Story in conjunction with the exhibition Common Touch.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long is visiting professor of composition and director of Musica Nova at the University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

A number of Center-funded projects are New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer fall arts picks.

Grants & Grantees

In 2006 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 73 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Visiting Scholar Kristy Edmunds on the significance of interdisciplinary engagement among arts and cultural organizations.

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries, in collaboration with the Wharton Esherick Museum and the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania, presented the first major examination of Esherick’s work and artistic development in over 50 years.