November 12th marks the 199th anniversary of the birth of women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In celebration, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund Inc. announces its campaign to create a statue in New York City’s Central Park honoring Stanton, Anthony and all those who fought for women’s right to vote (Woman Suffrage). It will be the first statue in Central Park’s 160 year history built to honor real women. Pam Elam, President of the ECS and SBA Statue Fund, stated “there are statues in Central Park of Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet (with Romeo), and numerous representations of the female form (like angels, nymphs and allegorical figures), but statues celebrating the vast and varied contributions of real women to this City, State, and Nation are nowhere to be found.” Elam added: “We intend to break the bronze ceiling by honoring these women and their work for equality and justice.”
A Letter of Intent, as required by NYC Parks Department guidelines on donating works of art, was sent by the Statue Fund to the Mayor and Parks Department Commissioner in February. The Statue Fund’s first meeting to discuss the proposal with representatives from the Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy occurred on September 19th.
Coline Jenkins, Vice President of the Statue Fund and the great, great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, said that “by honoring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and those who fought for the vote, New York City will also be honoring the largest nonviolent civil rights revolution in the history of our nation.” In addition to honoring Stanton and Anthony, a list of the names of those whose work was crucial to the success of the struggle will be inscribed around the statue’s base. Those honored include Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Alva Belmont, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and Alice Stone Blackwell.
Jenkins also noted that important historical milestones regarding Stanton, Anthony, and the right to vote will be celebrated in the near future such as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 2015; the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2017; the National Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2020; and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony in 2020. “By creating this statue, New York City paves the way for a nationwide celebration of the United States Constitution’s 19th Amendment,” Jenkins asserted.
“There are twenty-two statues of men in the park including 14th century Polish King Wlasyslaw II Jagiello, 19th century Danish sculptor Albert Thorvald, and founder of the NYC Marathon Fred Lebow,” stated Dr. Myriam Miedzian, a Statue Fund Vice President. “It is more than time to put an end to women’s Central Park second class citizenship,” she concluded. Gary Ferdman, Statue Fund Secretary-Treasurer, commented that the ECS and SBA Statue Fund represents a growing list of nearly two hundred distinguished endorsers, including elected officials, women’s organization leaders, historians, civic activists, performing artists, and philanthropists. Ferdman added, “we are honored to have the support of the 15-member Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilwomen Elizabeth Crowley (Women’s Caucus Co-Chair), Darlene Mealy (Women’s Caucus Co-Chair), Rosie Mendez, Vanessa Gibson, Karen Koslowitz, Margaret Chin, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Laurie Cumbo, Helen Rosenthal, Annabel Palma, Inez Barron, Inez E. Dickens, Julissa Ferreras, and Deborah Rose.” The Statue Fund is also honored to have the support of other New York political leaders like New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Louise Slaughter, New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, New York State Senator Brad Holyman, and NYC Council Member Mark Levine, Council Parks and Recreation Committee Chair.
Other prominent endorsers include: Ruth J. Abram, Founder of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; Jane Alexander, Former Director of the National Endowment for the Arts; Lewis Cullman, Philanthropist; Professor of History Ellen Carol DuBois; Agnes Gund, President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art; Judy Hart, Superintendent (retired) of the National Women’s Rights Historical Park in Seneca Falls; Deborah L. Hughes, President and CEO of the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum in Rochester; Helen LaKelly Hunt, Philanthropist; Diane Keaton, Performing Artist; Lilly Ledbetter, inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Edith Mayo, Curator Emerita for the Political History Division of the Smithsonian Institution; Ana L. Oliveira, Foundation CEO; Robert M. Pennoyer, Attorney; Roberta Schneiderman, Philanthropist; Gloria Steinem, Women’s Rights Activist and Author; and Carmen Delgado Votaw, National Board Member of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women.
The list of endorsers is still in formation and anyone interested in supporting the statue campaign, by volunteering or pledging, is invited to contact the Statue Fund at the following addresses: StantonandAnthonyStatueFund@gmail.com or ECS and SBA Statue Fund, Post Office Box 1500, Gracie Station, New York, NY 10028. A website is under construction and supporters are welcome to follow the Statue Fund on Facebook and Twitter.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Pam Elam, 347-224-8976; Cynthia Hornig, 212-349-8543; firstname.lastname@example.org