Monuments and Collective Memory


Monuments shape the fabric of our landscapes and serve as permanent reminders of what and who our society values. They are installed to commemorate moments and people from the past that we want to carry forward, to demonstrate our achievements and mourn our losses. In the past five years, tensions have escalated around the United States as people have worked to eliminate painful reminders of racism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression, and rethink their roles in American mythology. Host Adriane Jefferson, Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven, will lead this panel discussion with artists and experts who will speak on issues ranging from the riots in Charlottesville to the removal of our own Christopher Columbus statue in New Haven.  

This event will be ASL interpreted. Captions will be available on Facebook Live.

Kwadwo Adae (he/him)

Kwadwo Adae is the visual artist and director of Adae Fine Art Academy, an independent drawing and painting school for children, and adults founded in 2005;  a muralist that has created over sixteen works of public art in the Greater New Haven area, including three international collaborative mural projects in India, Guatemala, and Ecuador; a guided meditation instructor with One Village Healing a wellness space rooted in providing BIPOC individuals with the tools to heal from systems of oppression.  Single father of two teenage sons, loves his tuxedo cat Jinx, has an extensive collection of houseplants, and spends a great deal of time in Connecticut forests.

Adriane Jefferson (she/her/hers)

Host, Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven

Adriane is the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven. Prior to this she was an arts program manager for the State of CT Office of the Arts. She has been an Executive in Arts Administration for over 16 years specializing in cultural equity with expertise in program design, event & media production, grant making, external affairs, community partnerships, and new program initiatives. She specializes in professional development programming for young creative professionals, programs that amplifying Black, Indigenous, people of color and social change initiatives. She is a thought leader, adviser and educator pertaining to issues of Justice, Diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. She has dedicated her career to creating programs that result in a more equitable, vibrant, and sustainable arts landscape. Adriane has a B.A in Popular Music from Florida Memorial University and an M.A in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Arts Design. She currently serves as a councilwoman for the State of CT Arts Council and is a Advisory Board Member for New England Foundation for the Arts.

nico wheadon

nico wheadon is an independent art advisor, curator, educator and writer. She, alongside her partner Malik D. Lewis, is also founder and principal of bldg fund, LLC, a New Haven-based innovation platform for BIPOC artists, entrepreneurs, and neighbors. An independent curator, nico’s recent exhibitions include RED at Welancora Gallery (Summer 2021); Home Body at Sapar Contemporary (Spring 2021); and Treacherous with Old Magic at Future Fairs (Winter 2020). An arts writer, nico’s first manuscript—Undoing the Museum: Tools to Decenter Museum Authority & Mobilize Cultural Citizenship—is slated for publication in Summer 2021. nico is an adjunct professor at Barnard College, Brown University and Hartford Art School and currently serves on the Board of Governors at the National Academy of Design. In recent posts, nico served as Inaugural Executive Director of NXTHVN (2019-2020); Inaugural Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2014-2019); Curatorial Director of Rush Arts Gallery (2007-2010); and Curatorial Assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2006-2007). nico holds an MA in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths, University of London (2011), and a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University (2006).

Paul Farber

Monument Lab

Paul M. Farber is Director of Monument Lab. Farber is author of A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall and co-editor of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. He also currently serves as Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Public Art & Space at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design.

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