January 11, 2017
A message from the Washington Street Historical Society:
On Wednesday, January 25, the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York City, through its "Percent for Art" program, is holding the final selection panel meeting to determine the winning proposal for public art commemorating the "Little Syria" neighborhood of Downtown Manhattan and its literary heritage of figures like Kahlil Gibran, Mikhail Naimy, and Ameen Rihani. The NYC Department of Parks, is building a new 20,000 sq. ft. park in the historic neighborhood, Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza, and they have agreed to incorporate public artwork communicating the message and themes of the influential writers and poets associated with this part of New York City.
Five accomplished artists -- Mounir Fatmi, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, El Seed, Huda AbiFares, and Sara Ouhaddou -- have created proposals to incorporate artwork into the park, and on Wednesday, January 25, they will present their concepts for 30-minutes each, followed by public questions and then a final vote by a panel of experts and city officials. The venue will be the Metropolitan College of New York at 60 West Street, where the "Little Syria" exhibition that just closed at Ellis Island will be transferred in time for this meeting.
Our local nonprofit, the Washington Street Historical Society, has helped sponsor this competition, and we are responsible for some costs related to the final selection meeting, including the travel and accommodation for a judge and some participants, the artist fees, food and drink at a reception afterwards, and other incidental costs.
We ask for your help to make this day a success, and we pray that the final artwork will be an inspiration.
"When you work, you fulfill a part of earth's fondest dream assigned to you when that dream is born." --Kahlil Gibran