Below is the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County’s official statement regarding the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s proposed public art project for Gene Lynch Urban Park.
The Board of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County encourages the use of public art to celebrate the residents, businesses, and achievements of our incredible county through community-led processes that align with the equity, diversity, and inclusion best practices of the field, Montgomery County Government and our agency’s own equity principles.
The proposed public art project at Gene Lynch Urban Park does not adhere to the published public art guidelines set forth by The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) and the Montgomery County Public Arts Trust Steering Committee (PATSC) nor align with AHCMC and Montgomery County government’s equity principles.
The Gene Lynch Urban Park project proposal’s intention to engage the community after completing the site selection, concept development, and call to artists flies in the face of best practices in public art commissioning and demonstrates a lack of concern for any potential harm to the community, equity, or inclusion.
The AHCMC Board does not support this project in its current form and implores the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) to reconsider their approach to this incredibly sensitive and potentially damaging project. We encourage MNCPPC to adopt a process that centers our community in the conversation, begins with public input and outreach, and allows residents an opportunity to prioritize the narrative and subject matter displayed and celebrated in their own communities.