City of Salem Announces Charlotte Forten Memorial Project Call for Artist

The City of Salem, MA is excited to announce the long-anticipated launch of the Charlotte Forten Memorial Project Call for Artists going live today, Monday, June 5, 2023.

The City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and the Charlotte Forten Memorial Project Advisory Committee are seeking artists/artist teams to create a site-specific commemorative work of art in the form of a life-size figurative bronze statue in the likeness of Charlotte Forten Grimké.

Once completed, the artwork will be sited in Charlotte Forten Park to serve as a memorial in honor of Forten’s life and legacy. This beautiful public plaza was dedicated to Forten in 2019 by the City and is located at 289 Derby Street, in the heart of downtown Salem, Massachusetts.


“I’m very pleased that we’re issuing this Call for Artists, to help us tell the story of an important and influential woman who helped shape Salem into the great place it is today,” said Mayor Dominick Pangallo. “Salem must continue to be a leader in elevating Black histories, stories, and voices in our community.”


This public art grant competition is informed by over three years of research and community engagement and will award up to $120,000 to a qualified artist or artist team for the design and creation of this important commemorative work of art. The purpose of which is to honor and lift up a lesser known yet incredibly significant and influential Black woman in Salem’s history, whose legacy still impacts our community, and our world, today.



The competition is open to all interested artists/artists teams who are at least 18 years old and residents of the United States. Artists and artists teams that identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and/or female are strongly encouraged to apply. Local artists/artists teams who live or work in Salem or the North Shore are also strongly encouraged to apply.


The full ‘Call for Artists’ is available in both English and Spanish attached to this email and at the following link: https://www.salemma.gov/public-art-commission/pages/calls-artists


To learn more about Charlotte Forten Grimke’s incredible life and legacy or for project updates please visit our project website: https://bit.ly/CharlotteFortenMemorialProject

This project is made possible with support from The City of Salem, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Area Planning Council, and Salem Historical Tours.


Application Forms 

English Form

Spanish Form 


About City of Salem Arts & Culture

The City of Salem is committed to enriching & enlivening the urban environment through showcasing innovative & transformative works of art in all media & modalities. With a focus on working with local artists, especially those historically underrepresented, we seek to foster greater community awareness of & interaction with the arts and celebrate diversity in all its forms. Our goal is to nurture diversity & creativity; foster a sense of community pride & belonging; and enhance the quality of life for all. Learn more at https://www.salemma.gov/arts-culture

About the Salem Public Art Commission

The Salem Public Art Commission (PAC) is committed to enriching and enlivening the urban environment through innovative and transformative works of art in all media and modalities. With a focus on local artists and a global perspective of the art scene, PAC seeks to foster greater community awareness of and interaction with the arts, enhance the scope of Salem’s public art collection, and celebrate diversity in all its forms among citizens and visitors of Salem’s alike. The PAC feels Public Art in Salem should contribute to the community’s identity as the cultural hub of the North Shore and a center for creativity; foster community pride, ownership and a sense of belonging; and enhance the quality of Salem’s built environment. To see other Calls for Art from the PAC please visit: https://www.salemma.gov/public-art-commission/pages/calls-artists

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