The W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture Project of Great Barrington, Massachusetts has exceeded its fundraising goals for February and is now poised to hire a sculptor for a monument to Du Bois in downtown Great Barrington.
A donation of $7,500 and an offer of an additional $7,500 in matching funds from Anne Fredericks and Mark Fasteau resulted in $22,000 in private donations in February. In addition, the Sculpture Project has received three important grants: $10,000 each from Berkshire Bank, The Whitehead Foundation, and Housatonic Heritage.
These donations bring the total funds raised in February to $67,000. An additional pledge of $25,000 from The Feigenbaum Foundation of Pittsfield raises the anticipated funds to $92,000. Total funds raised exceed $150,000 for the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $350,0000.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our all-volunteer Board, and a testament to the enthusiasm for a sculpture of this distinguished civil rights leader on our main street,” said Julie Michaels, co-chair of the Du Bois Sculpture Project.
The group’s Call for Applications from qualified sculptors has resulted in 17 contestants for the sculpture commission. The three finalists will be announced on April 5.
Donations to the Du Bois sculpture can be made online at www.webduboissculpture.org or mailed to W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture Project, P.O. Box 155, Great Barrington, MA 01230. “Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated; they will help us reach the goal of recognizing a great man who is part of our nation’s story,” said Michaels.
About the W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture Project
The W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture Project was launched in May 2022 by a volunteer group of local citizens with the goal of recognizing Du Bois’ scholarly achievements in the fight for racial equality. The Project celebrates Great Barrington, a town whose long abolitionist history and powerful commitment to public education helped shape the person Du Bois became. The Sculpture Project is endorsed and supported by town officials including the Great Barrington Select Board, the Great Barrington Library Trustees, W.E.B. Du Bois Town Legacy Committee, among many others.
About W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was born and educated in Great Barrington. He was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. A world-famous sociologist, historian, and founder of the NAACP, he wrote The Souls of Black Folk, a seminal work in African American literature.