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City Statues Honoring Women Are Lacking — ‘Living Statues’ Event Aims To Change That, At Least For A Day

The Wing will showcase four famous women with living statue performers during Women's History Month.

Chicago icons Jane Addams (left) and Ida B. Wells will be represented by living statues on Tuesday.
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DOWNTOWN — Chicago’s parks have just two statues of women — but 48 statues of men.

The Wing, a women-focused social club and coworking space, plans to change that by having four “living statues” of Chicago’s most famous women perform around the city Tuesday. The organization wants to raise awareness of the lack of Chicago statues honoring women during Women’s History Month.

The city’s parks had zero statues of women as of 2015, though the Wing said there are now two statues of women, including a Gwendolyn Brooks statue unveiled in her namesake park in Kenwood in June.

The living statues will represent Lorraine Hansberry, a playwright who authored “Raisin in the Sun;” Lucy Parsons, a labor organizer; Jane Addams, a Nobel Prize-winning social reformer; and Ida B. Wells, an investigative journalist and activist.

The statues will stand on street corners in Lakeview, the Near North Side, West Town and Bronzeville, wearing costumes and encouraging viewers to donate to the Chicago Foundation for Women. The foundation provides funding for projects that help women and gender nonconforming people.

The Wing is opening an office this spring in Fulton Market.

The living statue schedule:

  • Lorraine Hansberry: Noon-1:50 p.m. at North Halsted Street and West Belmont Avenue in Lakeview
  • Lucy Parsons: Noon-1:50 p.m. at West Walton and State streets in the Near North Side
  • Jane Addams: 2:30-4:20 p.m. at 140 N. Carpenter St. in West Town
  • Ida B. Wells: 2:30-4:20 p.m. at 526 E. 43rd St. in Bronzeville
Credit: Provided
The Wing has been advertising its live statues event with posters.