Zócalo Public Square receives major grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Two-year event and editorial series will launch in October 2021


graphic reading "The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation"
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Zócalo Public Square, a creative unit of Arizona State University, is honored to be the recipient of a grant of $250,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a two-year event and editorial series exploring the question, “How should societies remember their sins?”

The Mellon Foundation has awarded grants since 1969 to support a variety of initiatives centered on strengthening the humanities, arts and higher education. This grant, from the foundation’s Humanities in Place program, is its first to Zócalo Public Square

“This project is a major opportunity for Zócalo and Arizona State University to support our communities in facilitating a discussion that explores the problems of the past, and their legacies in the present, to create transformative change,” said Mi-Ai Parrish, managing director of ASU Media Enterprise.

From October 2021 to September 2023, Zócalo will publish original, multidisciplinary work, including essays, photography, illustrations and poetry. Participants will include scholars, artists and others whose personal histories intersect with the question; the project also will highlight creators from a range of underrepresented groups. By providing a kaleidoscopic view of how America has remembered its sins, the project aims to reimagine the subject’s future. 

“For 18 years, Zócalo Public Square has dared to ask provocative questions that make people stop, think and come together. With this funding, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is enabling Zócalo to challenge our audiences and our contributors to explore the difficult work of remembrance and reconciliation at the community and the national level — with a sense of hope and healing,” said Moira Shourie, executive director of Zócalo. 

The grant also supports a four-part event series featuring top scholars and practitioners in the field of public memory and monuments convening to discuss their work and perspectives. Two events will be presented live in Los Angeles, followed by two events in historically significant locations, and all will be accessible in an interactive format for virtual audiences.

Founded in Los Angeles in 2003, Zócalo Public Square is an ASU Knowledge Enterprise. Zócalo connects people to ideas and to one another by examining essential questions in an accessible, broad-minded and democratic spirit. It pursues its mission by convening events and by publishing ideas journalism syndicated to 290 media outlets worldwide.

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