WGS’ Michael Janis Selected as Artist to Create New Washington, DC Memorial

New Memorial Concepts for Washington, DC

As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC is home to many monuments and memorials honoring individuals and events of national significance mainly within the monumental core, the original L’Enfant City, and mostly in Wards 1, 2, 3, and 6. Many of these subjects participated in slavery, systemic racism, and the mistreatment of, or took actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, certain groups of people, and women.
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH), in partnership with the DC Office of Planning (OP) selected WGS Director Michael Janis as the artist to create DC’s Ward 5 Public Art Memorial to commemorate the Enslaved People Who Built the US Capitol.
Contributions of more than 200 enslaved people helped build the U.S. Capitol, an international symbol of Democracy.

Artists engaged by DC CAH to create the new Public Art

From 1792 to 1800 enslaved people, many from the Baltimore area, arrived in DC on Bladensburg Road and were forced to quarry stone, clear the building site, create sculptures, and work long hours in inhospitable weather six days a week.

DC Ward 5 Public Art Memorial

The Capitol would not have been constructed without their labor and craftsmanship, yet much of their history has yet to be documented and brought to light.

Michael has been meeting with the Ward 5 community groups and the first community presentation of the concept is scheduled for June 22, 2024, from 2-4 pm at the Landon Park Recreation Center, 2901 20th St NE, Washington, DC 20018.

Promotion of Public Art Project featuring Michael Janis “The Artist”.

If you are interested in participating – click link to sign up (at bottom of page) for updates from Commemorate DC. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to be a part of history!

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