Gwendolyn Brooks Sculpture Portrait

$5,043 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 10 months
Created March 10, 2018
Gwendolyn Brooks: The Oracle of Bronzeville

Thursday, June 7, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m. will be a transformative moment in the history of public art in Chicago, with the unveiling of a new sculpture Gwendolyn Brooks: The Oracle of Bronzeville by renowned Chicago artist, Margot McMahon.

Presented by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the sculpture will be installed in Brooks Park (4542 S. Greenwood), just steps from Gwendolyn Brooks’ childhood home. This fundraising page has been established to support the completion of this project that commemorates the life and legacy of one of America’s most important poets.

“No other poet has captured the essence of Chicago life more than Gwendolyn Brooks. She was the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize in any literary genre, and served as the Illinois Poet Laureate from 1968 to 2000. Through her work, she was an activist, a feminist and a courageous observer of Black life. In the centennial of her birth, she remains one of the most important voices to ever come out of our city.”
~ Chicago Community Trust/Our Miss Brooks 100

A First for Chicago !
Momentous is the fact that The Oracle of Bronzeville will be the FIRST sculpture in a Chicago public park depicting a Chicago poet. A trailblazing artist who has been called the “Studs Terkel” of the sculpting world for her humanistic approach, McMahon’s portrayal of Brooks pays tribute to a woman whose oeuvre is comprised of the sensitive poetry and heroic voice of a devoted humanist.

Inspiring Future Generations
The Oracle of Bronzeville installation is composed of several elements that both educate and invite public interaction. The experience begins at a porch structure, crafted to depict Brooks’ favorite writing spot. From the porch, a stepping stone path engraved with quotes from Brooks’ Annie Allen book of poetry, leads to a “council ring” – a circle of seating that provides a gathering place for writing and reflection. The centerpiece of this circle is a bronze portrait of Gwendolyn Brooks, which will remain in the park for five years as inspiration for children and future generations of poets and authors. Visitors may write and display poems on a designated space on the porch, which also invites poetry and spoken word performance as a stage.

Our Miss Brooks 100
The unveiling date is also noteworthy, as it caps off Our Miss Brooks 100; a Centennial Celebration recognizing Brooks’ milestone birthday through a year-long schedule of events that included readings, performances, school programs, community discussions, and exhibits. McMahon’s participation in these activities supported her research for The Oracle of Bronzeville, which also involved personal interviews with family and friends of Gwendolyn Brooks. As a triumphant conclusion to Our Miss Brooks 100, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Poetry Foundation, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District are honored to be dedicating this sculpture on June 7, which would have been Gwendolyn Brooks’ 101st birthday.

Help Make History!
We invite you to become a part of this important project and Chicago history. A donation of any amount to this fundraising page is meaningful and helps get us one step closer to realizing this sculptural work and portrayal of Gwendolyn Brooks - a Chicago hero and literary icon.
+ Read More
Update 2
Posted by Donald G. Evans
8 months ago
Gwendolyn Brook's "Annie Allen" Poetry is etched in granite for stepping stones to symbolize her growing up in Bronzeville. Come walk her path of poetry.
Brooks' "Annie Allen" Poetry in granite
+ Read More
Update 1
Posted by Donald G. Evans
10 months ago
The Oracle of Bronzeville is encapsulated in a ceramic shell mold, poured in bronze, and the mold chipped away!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$5,043 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 10 months
Created March 10, 2018
Funds raised will benefit:
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Chicago, IL
EIN: 463016017
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
John Powers
3 months ago
Julie Nesbitt
5 months ago
Bob Michaelson
8 months ago
Nike Whitcomb
8 months ago
Adrian Garcia
8 months ago
Mary Pattillo
8 months ago
Dan Burns
8 months ago
Bill & Judy Martinez - Shlay
8 months ago
8 months ago
Michael Bodaken
8 months ago
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.