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She Built NYC

Shirley Chisholm selected as
first she Built NYC monument

Shirley Chisholm will receive a permanent monument in Prospect Park as a part of the She Built NYC initiative. As the first black woman to serve in Congress, Shirley Chisholm paved the way for the record number of trailblazing women elected to Congress in 2018. Her rise to national prominence in the early 1970s was a monumental step forward in making America more inclusive and ensuring that everyone had a voice at the highest levels of government.


The monument will be located at the Parkside entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, which is located at the intersections of Parkside and Ocean Avenues. The selected artist will be announced in early 2019.

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About She Built NYC

In June 2018, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen launched She Built NYC, an initiative to commission public monuments honoring the women who have made New York City the most dynamic place on the globe.

The effort kicked off with an open call for nominations. Through women.nyc, members of the public submitted close to 2,000 nominations of women, groups of women, and events in women’s history they believed should be permanently memorialized through She Built NYC.

To see the full list of public nominations, please click here.

The announcement of Shirley Chisholm as the first woman to receive a monument is just the first step in that process: We won’t stop until the record is corrected, and at least 50% of the monuments in our public realm honor the incredible contributions women have made to our City.

If you’re an artist interested in creating a public monument that honors women’s history, please apply. Deadline to submit is December 21, 2018.



Future monuments – whether publicly funded, privately funded, or a combination – will be selected from the list of women and women-related events that were nominated by the public.The City will work with relevant City agencies to pair potential subjects with available and viable sites.

As funding is made available, these pairings will be brought to the She Built NYC agency advisory board, consisting of representatives from relevant City agencies, offices and entities. When deciding upon future monuments, the advisory board will consider the public nominations list, including trends in the data; borough and subject diversity; site availability and appropriateness; and existing monuments within the City’s collection.

The City will consider proposals for monuments that are on the public nomination list, fully funded, and include a maintenance endowment. With a limited number of available sites, subject to a variety of competing uses, not every proposed project will be approved. Priority will be given to new monuments that fill gaps in the City’s collection.

The proposal must be endorsed by the agency with jurisdiction over the proposed site, and will then be brought before the She Built NYC agency advisory board. Should the advisory board, upon review of a proposal, grant its conceptual endorsement, the appropriate agency staff will work with the sponsors to convene an artist selection panel and prepare the necessary design submission documents to the Public Design Commission.

Approval from both the lead agency (or, the agency with jurisdiction over the proposed site) and the Public Design Commission of the City of New York is required for all permanent installations. Additional information about Public Design Commission requirements and review can be found here.

In certain circumstances, local community board and/or Landmarks Preservation Commission review is additionally required. Agency staff will advise sponsors and assist with presentations at such public hearings.

Funders should send proposals and inquiries to shebuilt@women.nyc.

The City will make available opportunities for private donors to contribute to existing monument endowment funds or monument projects already underway. If you are interested in donating, please contact shebuilt@women.nyc.

Have more questions? Email us at shebuilt@women.nyc.