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Friends of MICD,

Mayors — we're so excited to see you this Wednesday for our first Virtual Seminar on monuments, power, justice, and public space. To keep it conversational, space is extremely limited, so sign up now.

We hope you'll also join us July 29 to talk designing for community safety. Each of these seminars will feature a powerful presentation from some of the nation's top voices in city design, followed by an off-the-record discussion among a small group of mayors. We'll announce two additional seminars later this week.

I'm also incredibly honored to share my interview with MICD's founder, Mayor Riley, in my latest column at Common Edge. Hear about the origins and design of Charleston's International African American Museum, which will tell the unvarnished story of one of the largest sites in the international slave trade, and which Mayor Riley calls "the most important work of my life."

As always, I welcome your thoughts at

Trinity Simons
Executive Director
Mayors' Institute on City Design

Former Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. on "the most important work of my life"

This week on our "Talk with a Mayor" series at Common Edge, MICD Executive Director Trinity Simons speaks with MICD's founder, former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. He discusses the origins and design of the International African American Museum, which commemorates the lives and legacies of enslaved Africans on the exact site where 882 slave ships arrived in North America. Designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Hood Design Studio, the museum is slated to open in 2022. 

"We have the opportunity in our communities to shape and form institutions. And you need to work hard to get really good architects who will tell you not what you want to hear, but the right decisions you need to make... we’re working to build something that’s internationally significant and worthy of the stories of the people who were brought here in chains.

I think this will be one of the great buildings in our nation. Seldom can you present history where it occurred, on sacred land, on sacred space... I have had the opportunity to work on many important projects for the city — many parks, civic structures, and public realm projects — but this is the most important work of my life."

Read the Article

Mayors' Virtual Seminar: Monuments — Reckoning with the Past, Envisioning the Future

Wednesday, July 22  |  12:00-1:00pm Eastern

Bryan Lee, Jr.  | Founder and Design Principal, Colloqate Design
Paul Farber  |  Artistic Director and Senior Curator, Monument Lab

As protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality continue around the country, city leaders are grappling with the question of how monuments reflect, shape, and perpetuate history, as well as what to do with spaces where monuments have been recently removed. Hear from architect Bryan Lee, Jr. (Colloqate Design) and curator Paul Farber (Monument Lab), two of the nation’s leading voices on the power and process behind the design of monuments and public space. They will share stories from their projects and partnerships, reflections on recent monument takedowns around the world, and a wishlist and action items for the next generation of monuments. Attending mayors will participate in a moderated discussion about actions in each of their cities.

Mayors will take away concrete examples of public art as a vehicle for community conversations at the site of monuments, as well as a framework for a community-centered process that redefines public space as a place for justice and liberation. 

Mayors: Register Now

Mayors’ Virtual Seminar: Safe Places, Active Spaces – A design-based approach to community safety

Wednesday, July 29  |  1:00-2:00pm Eastern

Ifeoma Ebo  |   Founding Director, Creative Urban Alchemy 

In light of current movements to reimagine local government’s role in public safety, this seminar will introduce mayors to a design process that promotes community safety and empowerment in historically marginalized communities. Mayors will gain new tools for centering equity and community empowerment in city projects, as seen in a series of demonstration projects facilitated by the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice that reimagined the space around public housing through community design and problem-solving. Participants will learn how to use the the BlackSpace Manifesto to provide the guiding principles for action planning, demonstrated through a series of public space transformation projects.

Mayors will take away concrete examples of how to use a design process that promotes equity and community safety, as well as a framework for working with historically marginalized communities with respect, trust, and empowerment.

Mayors: Register Now
The Mayors’ Institute on City Design is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.
Copyright © 2020 Mayors' Institute on City Design, All rights reserved.

Mayors' Institute on City Design
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Washington, DC 20006

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