Human Dignity Project art installation slated for Monroeville Public Library |

Human Dignity Project art installation slated for Monroeville Public Library

Dillon Carr
Monroeville Public Library

A group involving Monroeville religious leaders and the library is looking for volunteers and monetary donations to kick start a project that includes an art installation and diversity education programming.

The initiative, dubbed the Human Dignity Project, is expeted to have two components. The first involves building an art structure and the second incorporates diversity education.

The idea sparked around two years ago when Temple David Rabbi Barbara Symons started looking for outdoor space to create a Holocaust memorial.

She ended up partnering with the Monroeville Public Library, with a plan to build a more general art structure within the library’s “island” property between it and Gateway Campus Boulevard.

In January, Symons and others approached council seeking permission to move forward with the project since it would take place on public property. Council unanimously voted to support the initiative.

Since then, the group formed a partnership with the Pittsburgh Art Council, who successfully pitched the idea of the initiative being a “living monument,” which involves an ever-changing curriculum to cover a wide range of topics within diversity education.

Instead of focusing the project on the Holocaust, Symons said it will envelope all cultures.

“The idea is not only religious diversity. It’s going to celebrate (everyone) of Monroeville. So racial, ethnic, cultural, everything that you could fit in there,” Symons said.

The rabbi said the project was re-invigorated with a sense of urgency after a gunman killed 11 people at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.

“There was a renewed energy to celebrate our diversity given the event of Oct. 27,” she said.

Nevertheless, the project has an estimated completion date for the end of 2021.

Iszauk and Symons said there is not a sketch for how the art installation will look.

Instead, artists will meet with different segments of the community “to come up with a concept of a temporary art installation that will get people talking about human dignity and about diversity.”

“The idea is once we get to the final stage of funding we will have a visual of what this looks like. But the idea we’re all learning is that the process is as important as the product,” said Symons.

Symons said the group hopes to raise $30,000 by the end of this year. In all, Symons said the project could cost up to $500,000 – which the group plans to raise through grants, foundation support and individual donations.

To give, Library Director Nicole Henline said to send checks to the library and earmark the payment for the “Monroeville Public Library Fund,” a library nonprofit.

For more information on the project and how to give, call Henline at 412-372-0500, ext. 111.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Monroeville
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.