She Built NYC


The City of New York seeks artists interested in creating a public monument that honors women’s history. If you are such an artist, please click here to apply.


On June 20, 2018 First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and the Department of Cultural Affairs announced She Built NYC, a new effort to commission a public monument or artwork that honors women’s history in New York City. The effort kicked off with an open call for nominations from the public. Through, members of the public submitted nearly 2,000 nominations of women, groups of women, and events in women’s history that significantly impacted New York City. To qualify, events must have happened at least 20 years ago; nominated individuals must no longer be living and known for an event, movement, or action that took place at least 20 years ago.

As a result of this process, She Built NYC is commissioning public art works to honor five trailblazing women whose extraordinary contributions forever changed New York City. With the memorial to Shirley Chisholm in Brooklyn well underway addition memorials of Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trías, and Katherine Walker will be installed throughout the city’s five boroughs. They are the result of She Built NYC, a campaign launched to honor women who have shaped New York City while addressing the absence of female statues in our public spaces.

She Built NYC builds on the recommendations of the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers to expand the stories, histories, and narratives currently represented on public property in New York. These representations have historically failed to reflect the trailblazing women and non-binary individuals that have contributed to the City. Mayor Bill de Blasio, through the Department of Cultural Affairs, has committed up to $10 million over the next four years to commissioning new permanent public monuments and commemorations.


An advisory panel comprised of individuals representing a broad range of expertise and backgrounds will assess the nearly 2,000 public nominations and create a shortlist of up to five finalists for commemoration. This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is to solicit artists or artist teams who are interested in being considered to design a permanent public monument to the selected woman, group of women, or event in women’s history that significantly impacted New York City. The City will match the selected woman, group of women, or event from the shortlist to one public site, and the artist chosen to design a monument will be determined through the City’s Percent for Art commissioning process.


The project budget will range from $350K up to $1 million and must include all project costs, including but not limited to the following: artist’s fees, design services, community engagement, site preparation, engineering, fabrication, travel, transportation of the work to the site, insurance, permits, installation, documentation of the artwork, and contingency.


Professional visual artists or artist teams, working in any and all media, legally authorized to work in the U.S., and who are at least 18 years of age, are eligible to apply. Employees of the City of New York, Committee members (as defined in the following section) and their family members are not eligible to apply. If applying as an artist team, please identify the team member who will serve as the lead artist.

By applying, artists or artist teams could be considered for any of the upcoming 4 new memorials.

Submit an application.