Tucson January 8th Foundation launches national search for permanent monument design team

The Tucson January 8th Memorial Foundation is launching a national search for a design team to create a permanent memorial to the January 8, 2011, mass shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 13 others. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released today to select a team of designers to create the external portion of the Memorial.

January 8 was a day that landed Tucson on another page in the history books,” said Karen Christensen, president of the Tucson January 8 Memorial Foundation board of directors.  “We are committed to creating a space of remembrance, inspiration and education. A place for people to reflect on what happened that day, remember those who died or were injured and be inspired by the ‘Together We Thrive’ spirit that the community demonstrated in the days, weeks and months afterwards.”

The Foundation, since its launch in 2012, has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders to gather input on the permanent memorial. The release of the RFQ reflects its progress in launching phase two of the campaign to build a memorial that includes three components:

  • Exterior community space in El Presidio Park, the hub of Tucson’s government center, which provides a natural connection to the active democracy that was taking place at Congress on Your Corner where the tragedy occurred;
  • Interior space on the first floor of the Historic Pima County Courthouse, created in partnership with Pima County and the Tucson Museum of Art, to provide information on what happened that day and the overwhelming community response in the days and weeks that followed; and,
  • Deeper story-telling through an array of technologies including oral histories of those impacted to be used as an ongoing source of research, an archive of items left in tribute onJanuary 8 and other on-line resources.

The RFQ is seeking designers for the exterior space.  The goal is to select a team in early 2015, with construction beginning in 2016.  The ribbon-cutting for the completed memorial is planned for January 8, 2017. Total price tag for all three components is expected to be $4 million.

“The Tucson Pima Arts Council is guiding the design process,” said Stephen Brigham, immediate past president of the Foundation and selection panel member. “The process will include substantial community input and assure selection based on the highest design standards. We hope to attract talented local and national design teams to suggest concepts to bring new vitality to this historic civic space.”

The Tucson January 8 Memorial Foundation formed as a 501 (c)(3) in 2012. Its sole mission is the completion of a permanent Memorial to the January 8 tragedy. www.tucsonmemorial.orgThe RFQ can be found at www.tucsonpimaartscouncil.org/publicart/opportunities/design-concept-tucson’s-january-8th-memorial-tucson-arizona.