Posts tagged with "Civil Rights Movement"

Art courtesy of The Purple Agency for use by 360 Magazine

Shabazz Center × Scholly Scholarship Fund

THE SHABAZZ CENTER AND SCHOLLY ANNOUNCE THE MALCOLM X AND DR. BETTY SHABAZZ SCHOLARSHIP FUND,TO CELEBRATE MALCOLM X’S 96th BIRTHDAY, SCHOLLY AND THE SHABAZZ CENTER WILL BE AWARDING THREE STUDENTS $10,000 SCHOLARSHIPS

To celebrate Malcolm X’s 96th birthday and to honor he and his wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz’s legacy, the Shabazz Center has partnered with the scholarship search app Scholly to launch the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Scholarship Fund.

Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, wanted to create the scholarship program to honor her parents’ commitment to education and empowerment of people of color. My father, Malcolm X, once said that, Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,  Shabazz said. The opportunity to support young developing leaders and change-makers through the Scholly Scholarship in partnership with The Shabazz Center is such a rewarding investment that equally honors the lasting legacy of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz.

Every year, thousands of graduates leave colleges and universities with millions in student debt, making it harder to begin a family, start a small business, or buy a house. Since 2015, Scholly has helped students of all ages earn more than $100 million in scholarships. 

Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz are icons of the civil rights movement so the Scholly team is excited to be a part of this program to help empower even more students, said Scholly CEO Christopher Gray. Also to announce such a program on Malcolm X’s birthday is a great way to honor his legacy. 

In order to qualify for the scholarship, students would need to complete the application, which includes an essay writing component, to receive one of three $10,000 scholarships to be used at any college or university. Students can apply for the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Legacy Scholarship by visiting their website starting May 19th. The deadline to apply for the award is July 15th and the scholarship recipients will be announced in August.

About Scholly

Scholly is the #1 rated scholarship app in the world and has helped students win more than $100 million dollars since 2015. Scholly provides students and families access to thousands of scholarships, for college or graduate school, tailored just for them! Scholly also provides a service that gives  brands, celebrities, and non profits a turn key way to create, promote, manage, and payout scholarships and student loan payoffs.

About the Shabazz Center

Rooted in our abiding belief in Black power, possibility, and sovereignty, The Shabazz Center facilitates thought exchange around racial equity, justice, and cultural production, in the spirit of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Through global and local outreach, educational programming, and engagement with the African Diaspora, The Shabazz Center is a generative, action-oriented community organization committed to growing social movements that empower and prepare people for leadership in civil society.

Emmett Till illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Emmett Till × Mamie Till Mobley

National Trust Partners’ Advocacy Leads to Roberts Temple: Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley Senate Bill

Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) as co-sponsors to establish Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ as a National Monument. The move would offer the highest level of federal support for the church and would ensure that the National Park Service will preserve, protect, and interpret its powerful impact on American civil rights history for generations to come. Civil rights activist Mamie Till Mobley was a member of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, and the church played a historic role in the funeral of Emmett Till, her fourteen-year-old son killed on August 28, 1955, during a visit with relatives in Money, Mississippi.

Rather than cover up the brutality of the murder, Mobley bravely decided to hold an open casket funeral at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ so people could witness the bitter consequences of racism. When tens of thousands of people came to view young Till’s mangled body from September 3-6, 1955, and photographs of his mangled face were published in journals around the country, it ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, similar to the way George Floyd’s death has impacted movements today. TIME magazine named a photo of the Till funeral one of the 100 most influential images of all time.

Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list, recognizing its groundbreaking significance and the need to restore and preserve the site. Support has continued through Trust grants and technical assistance as well as through advocacy to gain federal support to maintain the site. The Trust has partnered in this work with members of the Till and Roberts families, The Emmett Till Interpretive Center, the National Parks Conservation Association, Latham & Watkins LLP pro bono program, and other interests committed to the longevity of this historic landmark. Efforts are also ensuing to obtain National Park status for Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, as well as for important sites linked to Emmett Till in Mississippi.

“The Roberts Temple Church is both extraordinarily and heartbreakingly important to Chicago, our state, and to our country’s history,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said. “It’s time we recognize how historic sites can not only teach us about our history – but provoke us to build a more just future. By designating this church a historic site, we will help ensure that this awful chapter is not erased and that generations of Americans to come can show respect to Mamie and Emmett’s stories.”

The National Trust’s Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France said, “Our nation will benefit tremendously when Roberts Temple is designated a National Monument, lifting up its profoundly important role in American history. It is imperative that our country appropriately honors the site of Emmett Till’s funeral and of Mamie Till Mobley’s remarkable courage. We are honored to support the Roberts Temple congregation, the Till family, and the local community as they advance this designation and determine how to carry forward the legacies of this powerful place, as a unit of the National Park system.”

Reverend Wheeler Parker, who witnessed his cousin Emmett’s abduction in 1955, and his wife, Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, said, “We are grateful for the introduction of legislation to preserve the legacy of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley by making Roberts Temple a National Monument, which will help to fulfill Mamie’s request for my wife and I to continue her work to ensure her son’s death was not in vain.”

Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was founded in 1916 and is known as the “mother of all of the Churches of God in Christ in Illinois.” With its founding, it became a central place of worship and political organizing for many who migrated to Chicago from the South during the early 20th Century.

Today, the building remains in use by the Church of God in Christ denomination, now led by Elder Cleven Wardlow who said, “On behalf of the congregants of Roberts Temple and members of the Roberts Family, we strongly support this endeavor as well as the ongoing efforts by racial justice and preservation organizations to obtain federal protection for Roberts Temple.”

Patrick Weems, Executive Director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center stated, “What took place at Roberts Temple changed the world. We commend the Roberts Temple congregation, the Roberts and Till families, especially Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, and Ollie Gordon for their commitment to telling the truth, and we want to thank Senator Duckworth for her leadership in bringing forth this legislation.”

“The time for turning away from this painful chapter in American history is long over” stated Alan Spears, Senior Director for Cultural Resources. “The National Parks Conservation Association applauds Senator Duckworth for introducing this very significant piece of legislation commemorating the legacies of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley.”
For more information on the campaign to designate the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ National Monument visit their website.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustrates Black History Month for 360 MAGAZINE

Black History Month

By Hannah DiPilato

February is Black History Month and 360 Magazine would like to recognize some historic people of color who have become a positive influence on society. In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement skyrocketed and brought attention to the diversity that still exists within our community. Although society has come a long way from the early 1900s when segregation ran rampant, the movement for equality has a long way to go. From inventors to musicians, there are a number of successful people we would like to acknowledge in honor of Black History Month.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Arguably one of the most important leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King spent his time preaching for equality in a peaceful way. He will always be remembered for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and his ability to lead others in this historical movement. Dr. King is one of the most influential

Joseph E. Lowery
Joseph E. Lowery is the grandfather of 360 Magazine’s President Vaughn Lowery and founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Dr. King. Throughout his life, Lowery served as vice president, chairman of the board and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

George Washington Carver
Many people are familiar with George Washington Carver for his inventive skills. He made over 300 products from peanuts and as an agricultural scientist promoted methods to prevent soil depletion.

Garrett Morgan
Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. is to thank for the invention of traffic lights as well as gas masks. Every time you stop at a red light, take a moment to think of Morgan for this essential technology.

Barack Obama
As the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama made an impact as the 44th president and showed young people of color they have representation in politics. He continues to use his voice to connect with the American people.

Kamala Harris
Keeping in the theme of politics, Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman vice president, the first African American vice president and the first Asian American vice president. She’s giving young women of color everywhere a sense of representation.

Madam C.J. Walker
As the first recorded female self-made millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker was an influential entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist of her time.

Frederick McKinley Jones
Frederick McKinley Jones was the co-founder of Thermo King and he brought incredible improvement to long-haul transportation of perishable goods. Jones also won the National Medal of Technology.

Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known as Stevie Wonder, is a musical prodigy that became blind after birth and learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums by age nine. He is now a notable singer, songwriter, musician and record producer.

Lonnie Johnson
Lonnie Johnson is known for his success as an aerospace engineer. He has worked on the U.S. Air Force term of service and has also worked at NASA for twelve years including in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Patricia Bath
As an ophthalmologist, Patricia Bath was an early innovator of laser cataract surgery. She was also the first woman, African American physician to receive a patent for a medical invention.

Oprah Winfrey
One TV personality almost everyone is familiar with is Oprah. Known for her television show The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has made waves in the world of entertainment. She is also known for co-producing a Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, establishing O, The Oprah Magazine, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) as well as creating Oprah.com.

Harriet Tubman
After being born into slavery, Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad and helped many enslaved men and women escape. She led many people to freedom with her bravery and connection with antislavery activists.

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks gained her notoriety as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and is known for starting the Montgomery bus boycott after refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. She has been called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” by the United States Congress.

John Lewis
John Lewis was chairman Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as well as one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He was an essential part of the Civil Rights Movement and ending legalized racial segregation.

Alexander Miles
If you’ve ever ridden in an elevator, you can thank Alexander Miles for the automatic opening doors; he was awarded the patent for this invention in 1887. Mills was riding in an elevator with his daughter and he deemed an elevator shaft door left open could be dangerous.

Mary Kenner
Mary Kenner was an inventor famous for her development of the sanitary belt, the precursor to the self-adhesive maxi pad. However, due to racial discrimination, the idea wasn’t adopted for thirty years. She has five patents for various household items.

Maya Angelou
Known for her many famous pieces of writing, Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. Over fifty years, she wrote a number of autobiographies, essays, poems, plays, movies and television shows. She also received over 50 honorary degrees as well as awards for her writing.

LeBron James
Along with being considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, LeBron James also started the LeBron James Family Foundation to help create generational change for the children and families of LeBron’s hometown in Akron, Ohio.

Malcolm X
As a popular spokesperson at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X encouraged Black Americans to protect themselves against racism. He preached a much different lesson than Martin Luther King Jr. who preached nonviolence.

Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was the Supreme Court’s first African American justice as well as a prominent civil rights activist. He served on the court for 24 years and helped with influential rulings at the time of the Civil Rights Movement such as the case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the United States during the 20th century. He broke the color barrier of the MLB when he played for the National League Brooklyn Dodgers as second baseman with the jersey number 42.

Bob Marley illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Bob Marley – Freedom Fighter

“Bob Marley was a revolutionary whose weapons of choice were unity and knowledge in the battles against oppression and ignorance. His music and his words fight on for generations across the earth.” – Chuck D

Today, episode seven of Bob Marley’s Legacy documentary series continues with “Freedom Fighter,” a powerful new short featuring insight and interviews from some of the world’s most respected artists, writers, activists, and filmmakers, each offering their own take on Bob’s music, his message, and his unique power at uniting and articulating the long and painful journey from oppression and the struggles his brothers and sisters have endured over the years. 

From slavery to the Civil Rights Movement to this present day, the episode also explores current social issues from the mass incarceration of African Americans in the United States and the power and importance of modern-day activism and movements such as Black Lives Matter and The People’s Budget Movement. Narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, the episode features interviews with rappers 2 Chainz and LL Cool J, media mogul and filmmaker Yandy Smith, human rights activist Malcolm X, American Civil Rights activist Mary Hooks, best-selling authors Aya de Leon and Jamila T. Davis, and reporter, Dani McClain. 

The episode also features a performance from Grammy-nominated EARTHGANG, interviews with Ferrell Scott and Corvain Cooper, who are both serving life in prison without the possibility of parole sentences for nonviolent marijuana charges, as well as art director and friend of Bob Marley, Neville Garrick, Island Records Founder, Chris Blackwell and family members, Cedella Marley, Donisha Prendergast, Ky-Mani Marley, Ziggy Marley, and many more. “Freedom Fighter” is available to watch on Bob Marley’s Official YouTube Channel. Watch HERE.

“Freedom Fighter” follows the digital EP release of Songs of Freedom: Rarities, which features Marley songs from alternate mixes, previously unavailable for streaming, including the original version of “Iron Lion Zion,” “Is This Love” (horns mix), “One Love/People Get Ready” (12″ mix) and more. Listen to Songs of Freedom: Rarities EP HERE.

Also available now, the digital EP release of I Know A Place – The Remixes (Part 1 + Part 2) features remixes previously only available on European remix 12″ and various CD singles. The tracks, formerly unavailable for streaming, include Peter Hoff’s Radio Edit, Bedroom Rockers Extended Mix, and more. Listen to I Know A Place – The Remixes (Part 1 + Part 2). The music video for “I Know A Place” has also been remastered in HD and is available now, via Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel HERE

Bob Marley’s “Sun Is Shining (Hawkins Remix)” EP is also available now. The brand new Hawkins Remix is featured in the trailer for the new Aaron Sorkin film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, available now on Netflix. Listen to the “Sun Is Shining (Hawkins Remix)” EP HERE.

UMe and Tuff Gong recently announced three new and exclusive limited-edition collector series coming later this year. On December 11, twelve limited-edition Bob Marley vinyl LP’s, each numbered and pressed exclusively at the legendary Tuff Gong International headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, will be available, featuring nine original studio albums and two original live albums, plus the world’s best-selling reggae album, Legend, all including a highly-desirable Tuff Gong stamp. To view the full list of the limited-edition Jamaican LPs, click HERE. To listen or purchase, click HERE.

On November 20, the twelve titles will also be available on premium half-speed mastered vinyl. All tracks were mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London. To view the full list of the half-speed master LPs, click HERE. To listen or purchase, click HERE

On December 4, the long-awaited CD version of the iconic Complete Island Recordings LP box, which includes all nine Bob Marley & The Wailers studio albums recorded for Island Records, plus two live albums, Live! and Babylon By Bus, will be released. The Complete Island Recordings CD box set will include the 11 albums packaged in CD wallets, housed in a brushed silver clamshell box that simulates the larger hinged lighter from the LP set. To view the full list of the Complete Island CDs, click HERE. To listen or purchase, click HERE.

In this digital era, Bob Marley remains one of the most followed posthumous artists on social media, and MARLEY75 will serve to bring his music and message to the digital foreground, reaching new audiences and perspectives with innovative content and groundbreaking technology. Special live events, exclusive digital content, recordings, exhibitions, plus rare and unearthed treasures will also be revealed throughout the year. 

Bob Marley’s music continues to inspire generation upon generation, as his legacy lives on through his message of love, justice, and unity, a sentiment needed more than ever in 2020. In conjunction with Tuff Gong and UMe, a division of the Universal Music Group, the Marley family will continue to ensure the highest quality, integrity, and care is taken to honor Bob’s legacy and to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most important and influential figures.

Additional information on MARLEY75 events will be revealed soon.

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ABOUT BOB MARLEY

Bob Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country’s warring factions. Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 70 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide. His iconic collection, LEGEND, holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart and remains the world’s best-selling reggae album. Marley’s accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). For more information, visit bobmarley.com

JOSEPH LOWERY COVERS 360 MAGAZINE

360 Magazine officially launched their most recent issue today. It will be available online, in print, and for tablets. Its cover features an illustration of Rev. Joseph Lowery, and inside there are stories featuring Lubbock, Isabella Fries, Nikki Taylor, LC Convertible, Rolls-Royce, Door County, Elkhart Lake, Toyota Corolla Apex, and Marsha’s House.

A print copy of the magazine can be purchased on blurb.com and is available to everyone around the world. It is also available online to view on their site.

The featured story revolves around Lowery, who passed away on March 27, 2020 at the age of 98. His death did not garner much attention from the public, despite him being a notable American minister and Civil Rights activist. Lowery’s death came right as the coronavirus pandemic descended on the United States. Perhaps this is why his passing did not receive considerable attention.

“His legacy has gone under appreciated,” the article reads. “Swallowed by momentum of the current movement.”

Lowery worked in tandem with his friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with whom he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, marched on Selma, and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott after Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955. As one of the longest surviving members of the Civil Rights Movement, Lowery carried with him King’s legacy. 

With it, he eulogized King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, in 2006. With it, he delivered the benediction of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, at his inauguration in 2009. And, carrying with him the legacy of King and his other compatriots in the Civil Right’s Movement, he was awarded by the same Black President the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Born and raised in Jim Crow Alabama, preaching in his blood, the Rev. Joseph Lowery is a giant of the Moses generation of civil rights leaders,” Obama said at the inauguration. “It was just King, Lowery, and a few others, huddled in Montgomery, who laid the groundwork for the bus boycott and the movement that was to follow.”

His death came two months before the Black Lives Movement resurged after the killing of George Floyd, transforming the conversation regarding Black American lives in the nation. Two months later, Lowery’s friend John Lewis, another civil rights leader, also passed at the age of 80. 

In his hometown of Huntsville, Georgia, there is a boulevard memorializing the civil rights icon. His legacy lives on in his notable work as well as his children and grandchildren, including 360 Magazine’s founder and president, Vaughn Lowery.

“Heading into an election season steeped with strife and antagonism, Joseph E. Lowery’s legacy serves as a poignant reminder,” the article reads. “His efforts to strive for a better world, his constant service and activism, and his dedication to both God and uplifting Black Americans all solidify him as a true icon of Civil Rights and American history.”

On top of its focus on Lowery, 360 Magazine profiles creatives like the singer-songwriter Nikki Taylor Vibe (aka Nikki Taylor) (7), singer Isabelle Fries (11), and model, influencer, and musician Don Benjamin (35). The newest models of hot cars debut on its pages, including the Lexus LC 500 Convertible (25), Toyota Corolla Apex (43), and the entirely reimagined Rolls-Royce Ghost (76).

And, lavish lifestyle pieces feature heavily throughout the issue. Elkhart Lake (31), which is a getaway on the east side of Wisconsin, is reviewed by 360 Magazine’s Elle Grant and Vaughn Lowery. The small city of Lubbock, TX (13) and the 212 Photography Istanbul festival (55) are also spotlit, and the articles on all three destinations are paired with stunning images.

Lastly, Marsha’s House is given its due attention. Marsha’s House houses homeless LGBTQ+ young adults, as Marsha P. Johnson did when she was alive. You can read more on page 51 of the issue.

About 360 Magazine

360 is an edgy fashion, lifestyle and culture magazine. It introduces cutting-edge brands, entities and trends to tastemakers within their respective communities. Its founding members have over 30 years of collective experience both as notable talent and uber professionals within the realm of fashion, music, art, design and entertainment. 360 Magazine is more than just a magazine comprised of journalists, representing a movement of social awareness and change.

It is an LGBTQIA friendly publication. The magazine is contemporary in look and appeal. Quality art content is the constant goal. The magazine will be entertaining, newsworthy and thought-provoking. It will appeal to a broad entertainment readership. No magazine like it is available today, constantly celebrating racial and sexual ambiguous talent and artists.

'Bending Arc' by Janet Echelman. Photo Credit: by Brian Adams courtesy of Studio Echelman

Civil Rights Sculpture

On July 6, 2020, the new St. Pete Pier™ and its St. Pete Pier District debuted world-renowned artist Janet Echelman’s latest large-scale aerial sculpture. The work, which was inspired by both the destination and its connection to the Civil Rights Movement, incorporates materials and technology utilized by NASA. Entitled ‘Bending Arc,’ the aerial sculpture is composed of 1,662,528 knots and 180 miles of twine and spans 424 feet, reaching 72 feet at its tallest point. Named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces,” Echelman and her work defy categorization.

Echelman’s artwork offers visitors an oasis where they can seek a moment of calm sensory experience and heightened awareness of nature and our place within it. “The sky is the canvas for my artwork,” says Echelman.

Embracing change, the monumental sculpture gently billows above the Pier District, allowing the wind to create a choreography of constantly changing shape in the sculpture’s soft surface. The sculpture’s color also transforms at every moment while its surface interplays with natural and projected light. In daytime the sculpture casts shadow drawings on the park and people below, and at night it transforms into a glowing beacon of magenta and violet light. Images available here.

How It’s Made

The technical design process utilizes custom proprietary software that allows Echelman’s team to perform soft-body 3D modeling of the monumental design while understanding the constraints of the craft, and shows digital responses to the forces of gravity and wind.

First, the artist extrudes custom color PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) into fiber. PTFE is a highly-engineered technical fiber that retains its strength under UV exposure, and for this reason has historically been used to coat astronauts’ spacesuits.

Then the artist mixes multiple fiber colors together and braids them into twine. The blended colors of twines are wrapped onto bobbins and loaded onto looms which knot lengths of diamond mesh netting. Mesh is hand-cut and hand-knotted together to sculpt complex geometric forms.

Separately, UHMWPE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) fiber is braided into ropes. This fiber is 15 times stronger than steel by weight and was used by NASA to tether the Mars Rover. These ropes are spliced by hand to create the 420 ft rope structure using a method that fishermen and mariners have used for centuries. Then the net is meticulously hand-knotted to the rope structure.

Cranes arrive on site to pull the ropes into tension at maximum force levels of 65 tons at top of masts. The net and rope structure has been engineered by Arup to withstand a design wind load of 150 mph.

The sculpture is illuminated with sustainable low-energy LED lights which project a combination of colors designed by the artist to transform the sculpture at night into a glowing beacon.

About ‘Bending Arc’ and Janet Echelman

The internationally-renowned artist, born and raised along the shores of Tampa Bay, was inspired by historical postcards depicting blue and white striped beach parasols together with the geometric forms made by colonies of barnacles growing on the underside of the pier itself. The sculpture’s design in aerial view can be read as three barnacle-like parasols nestled together.

As she continued her design process, she learned of the site’s important Civil Rights Movement significance, as the place where local citizens began peacefully challenging racial barriers, leading to the 1957 US Supreme Court case ruling which upheld the rights of all citizens to enjoy use of the municipal beach and swimming pool without discrimination. The sculpture’s geometry in section is composed of multiple arcs, which gently billow in the wind. The artist titled the sculpture Bending Arc in reference to MLK’s words: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Echelman’s work has been celebrated for enlivening cities and have become focal points for urban life on five continents, from Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai, and Santiago, to Beijing, Boston, New York and London. Her experiential sculptures such as her permanent works in Porto, Vancouver, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Phoenix, Eugene, Greensboro, Philadelphia, and Seattle transform daily with colored light and the natural movement of wind.

About the St. Pete Pier

Janet Echelman was commissioned to create a monumental aerial sculpture for the Pier District which is also receiving multiple accolades for its future-forward design, an ambitious and sustainable infrastructure that not only embraces, but empowers St. Petersburg’s growth. It encompasses many things from economic development, urban resilience and environmental awareness to equity, access, enjoyment and recreation – designed to be as rich in use now as it will be in twenty years, fifty years and beyond.