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Event parking is available at the University of Saint Francis parking lot on the south side of West Main Street Between Ewing and West Berry Streets. 

For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, please call 311. A sign language interpreter will be at both events. 

Thank you to our event partners:

City of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Public Art Commission, Arts United, Jonathan Hancock Lecture Series, University of Saint Francis, and Sweetwater

Background information on the Martin Luther King Public Monument

On February 4, 2020, Fort Wayne City Council passed a resolution sponsored by Councilpersons Chambers and Jehl initiating a process for the creation of a public display commemorating the words and visit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Fort Wayne in 1963. City Council recognizes the social value of memorializing Dr. King’s dream of racial equality and harmony and celebrating the words he spoke at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, now the USF Performing Arts Center. Dr. King visited Fort Wayne on June 5, 1963 on his journey to Washington, D.C. where he would make the historic “I Have a Dream” speech just two months later.

At the direction of City Council, the Public Art Commission created a selection committee and issued a Request for Qualifications in February 2021. Upon review of a number of submissions, the selection Committee invited three qualified respondents to submit a proposal. In August 2021, the Selection Committee recommended a proposal called Pillars of Hope and Justice submitted by Shane Albritton and Norman Lee of RE:site Studio for Public Art Commission approval. The Public Art Commission approved the Selection Committee’s recommendation. Learn more about the artists at  https://www.resite-studio.com/.

Pillars of Hope and Justice commemorates the historic visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Fort Wayne in June 1963, where he shared his vision of nonviolent resistance. The monument features six pillars set in a circular configuration around a stone or concrete plaza. Each pillar will evoke both ancient architectural pillars and growing reeds of papyrus that emerge from the ground and bend outwards at the top. The monument will be placed at the northwest corner of West Main Street and Ewing Street.

The Fort Wayne Public Art Commission hosted an artist talk regarding the Pillars of Hope and Justice Monument in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The talk featured one of the artists, Shane Allbritton of RE:site, along with team member Caitlin Dashiell. The RE:site team also shared inspiration for the design and information on fabrication. To see a narrated version of this presentation, click on this LINK.

The project kicked off in January 2022 and will be completed in May 2023. The monument will be dedicated as part of a planned commemoration of the 60th anniversary Dr. King’s visit on June 5, 2023. The project is funded by the City of Fort Wayne; Harriett Inskeep; The Journal Gazette Foundation; and the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission..