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'Wind Me Up, Chuck' Interactive Sculptures to Be Installed in Chuck Brown Memorial Park

Friday, March 7, 2014
Mayor announces selected artwork by Jackie L. Braitman

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities announce today the selection of local artist Jackie L. Braitman to create a permanent art installation that celebrates the life of musician Chuck Brown. Braitman proposes to create an interactive sculpture that reflects Chuck Brown's force of personality, echoes the "call and response"inclusiveness of Go-Go music and evokes the captivating rhythms of the Caribbean-inspired Funk music. The Chuck Brown Memorial Park broke ground last year.

"The new sculpture will help honor and elevate Chuck Brown's legacy," says Mayor Vincent C. Gray. "The installation will be a centerpiece of a vibrant and welcoming community space that will serve both the local community and the entire District."

"The challenge to the artist is to create a work of art that communicates a multidimensional musician in a public space,"says Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "Artist Jackie L. Braitman responded with sculpture and designs that encourage the viewer to experience Chuck Brown's multiple contributions."

"Public art seeks to engage audiences while enlivening spaces,"says Lavinia Wohlfarth, Acting Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "The new 'Wind Me Up, Chuck' installation will do both, as well as celebrate one of the District's most influential musicians."

Braitman was one of 10 artists who responded to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities request for proposals last year. From that 10, an Art Selection Panel selected three artists to further develop their proposals and present to the neighboring community, the public and also the family of Chuck Brown. The Artist Selection panel received comments and selected Braitman's design to be installed in the summer of 2014. 

Braitman describes the "Wind Me Up, Chuck"installation as a park-within-a-park setting: a design that invites passersby to enter and encourages them to stay: Braitman's design installation is composed of:

  • three plate-steel figures representing Chuck Brown and two dancers placed on a concrete stage and dance floor
  • an interactive LED display
  • sitting walls surrounding both the stage and the dance floor
  • landscaped park setting
  • laser-cut, stainless steel wall surrounds & signage
  • stage canopy & solar array

The Chuck Brown Memorial Park is located at 1800 Franklin Street, NE. The Park project partners are the Executive Office of the Mayor, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of General Services and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia. The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' DC Creates! Public Art Program purchases, commissions, and installs artworks for public sites throughout the District of Columbia. The DC Creates! Public Art mission is to maintain a quality public collection of diverse media and to create a dynamic, vibrant, nurturing community through art and design.