We Woke The World, conceived by Ari Kletzky, began as a proposal to the Riverside Art Museum to memorialize a unique 1917 song from the U.S. women’s suffrage movement with a living monument. It “breaks ground” this summer on August 26 from 1-3pm with a celebration of the 92nd anniversary of the 19th amendment, which established women’s right to vote. The celebration features a sing-a-long and live recording of this 1917 song and a historical paper hat making activity. The event is part of the Riverside Art Museum’s You Are Breathing In It, an exhibition of alternative artistic processes in contemporary art.

Learning about early women’s history of liberty for this proposal, though, revealed it to be a complex web of intersecting stories reaching beyond the specifics of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Since the living monument concept locates history in its wider context, to account for this diverse historical landscape, We Woke The World expanded to include the many faces of liberty. Concomitantly, the demands of the living monument concept and limited resources available in the art context present a challenge in how to develop it in a sustainable manner. After the event, the focus will, therefore, turn to researching these interrelated histories as the foundation for the living monument as well as determining how to sustainably develop the concept.