March 7th Fundraiser

March 7th Fundraiser to Benefit Ida B. Wells Monument Featured World-Renowned Artist Richard Hunt

The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee (IBWCAC) and The Cliff Dwellers of Chicago co-hosted a fundraiser on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 to benefit the development of a monument to honor the life and accomplishments of the historic Ida B. Wells – journalist, teacher, anti-lynching crusader, women’s rights activist and civil rights pioneer. World-renowned artist Richard Hunt, who is Chicago based, was commissioned by the IBWCAC to create the monument.

Mr. Hunt was featured at the March 7th cocktail reception, which took place at The Cliff Dwellers Club located at 200 S. Michigan Avenue. He gave an overview of his vision for the historic monument which will be interpretive and educational. It will be located in the Bronzeville neighborhood where Ida B. Wells lived, worked and raised a family from 1895 – 1931. Mary Mitchell, columnist for The Chicago Sun- Times was the emcee for the program which included Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President; Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Donald G. Evans, Executive Director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame; Leslie Recht, President of The Cliff Dwellers Club, and IBWCAC Co-Chairs Sandra Young, Commissioner of Chicago Housing Authority and Michelle Duster, Author / Speaker and Great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells.

Approximately 75 people, which included members of the Ida B. Wells family, prominent attorneys, business executives, educators and local politicians, attended the event. Guests enjoyed the panoramic view of the city’s skyline while partaking in a wide variety of delicious appetizers prepared by Chef Victor Perez. Soothing music was performed by pianists Jerry Brown and Arnold Lanza. The event was underwritten in part by the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. Over $10,000 was raised toward the overall goal of $300,000 needed to complete the project.

With this project, Chicago will join the very few U.S. cities that honor through monumental sculpture an African-American woman. Once installed on the median strip on 37th & Langley, the monument will be donated by IBWCAC to the City of Chicago’s Public Art Collection.

IBWCAC is composed of representatives of former Ida B. Wells public housing resident leadership, UJIMA, Inc., the office of Fourth Ward Alderman Will Burns, The Habitat Company, Chicago Housing Authority, North Kenwood-Oakland Conservation Community Council, the Oakwood Shores Development Team (The Community Builders and Granite Development Corporation), Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI), City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development and Ida B. Wells’ family members.

To learn more about the project please call 773-382-6115. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) is a 501(c)(3) organization and is the current fiscal sponsor for this project.

Reception Committee 
Julie Elena Brown – IBWCAC
Michelle Duster – IBWCAC
Donald G. Evans – Executive Director, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Graham C. Grady, Esq.
Virginia M. Harding – Attorney & Treasurer of The Cliff Dwellers
Ann McKenzie – IBWCAC
Eve Moran – Attorney
Anthony Rogers – IBWCAC
Don Santelli – Manager, The Cliff Dwellers

Photography by Andre E. King