Now, Mayor Byron W. Brown, in partnership with the City of Buffalo Arts Commission, the Division of Parks and Recreation, Buffalo Quarters Historical Society, and the Friends of Broderick Park has announced that a significant new series of works of art will be commissioned for the park, which resides along the Niagara River. The park is also the site of numerous significant historical occurrences, namely as a final link along the Underground Railroad. It is that link that will be the inspiration for the works of art, which are being funded with $400,000 in capital bond funds.
“Broderick Park is filled with deep-rooted human stories about survival, hope, and resilience,” stated Mayor Brown. “As we continue to embrace our diversity in the City of Buffalo, I invite community stakeholders to come together on this important art project and let us know what kind of art you’d like to see on this sacred site.”
To begin the process, the public is being invited to take a short survey that will help to flesh out the process, the inspiration, the artists, and the works themselves. The survey will be open until January 2021. There will also be a digital conference held by the Buffalo Arts Commission sometime in 2021, which will allow people to ask questions and provide input.
Buffalo Arts Commission Chairperson Catherine Gillespie stated, “The Buffalo Arts Commission is so excited that have dedicated thoughtful efforts and many hours helping form the direction this public art project will take.”
Dr. Virginia Batchelor of Buffalo Quarters remembered, “The year 1995 feels like yesterday when the Niagara River beckoned us to resurrect the stories of our ancestors. Buffalo Quarters is more than grateful to see our dream come to fruition by the community coming together to voice our stories through the visual arts. In these in the present. Broderick Park provides a space to honor our humanity because “black lives matter.”
“Broderick Park is sacred ground because so many of our ancestors have passed through this space on the last stage of their journey to freedom from the bondage of slavery. We want to help tell this story to the public through educational, inspiring, and thought-provoking public art to make it a destination point for the city,” said George Johnson from the Friends of Broderick Park.
The “world class memorial” will be a welcome addition to the numerous other park assets that have sprung to life in recent years, including an amphitheater which will hopefully finally see some use in 2021. It’s a wonderful addition to the waterfront, but I’ve yet to see a performance take place, which is unfortunate. Hopefully there will be some sort of incentive to spur people to utilize the park for all of the ways that it is intended.
Lead image: In the rendering, there is a designated site (#11) for future public art