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Fearless Women for the Fearless Girl

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Update: On March 27th Mayor de Blasio announced that the "Fearless Girl" will remain in place until early 2018. This is entirely due to the many people from New York and beyond who wrote letters, signed petitions, and encouraged their elected officials to ask for the statue to remain. 

On March 15th thirteen prominent women leaders in New York City urbanism and public space sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio asking him to let the "Fearless Girl" statue continue to call Bowling Green home for longer than the month currently authorized. The signers are aware that the City is exploring the possibility of keeping her for longer, after hearing from many New Yorkers who want to see her stay, and they applaud the Mayor’s receptivity. 

Reach the full letter, below.


March 15, 2017

Hon. Bill de Blasio
Mayor
City of New York
City Hall, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

It is hard to find a statue of a woman in New York City. Just ask Troop 3484 of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York who, after learning that there were no statues of real women in Central Park decided to do something about the underrepresentation.  They pledged to donate a portion of their Girl Scout cookie proceeds this year to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, an initiative to place statues of the two famous women’s rights activists in Central Park.

Last week, however, that search got a little bit easier.  Greeting all of us in Lower Manhattan was a petite bronze statue of a young girl, adorned in high-top sneakers and a ponytail, planted squarely across from the iconic Charging Bull sculpture in Bowling Green Park. She stands fearless and confident, hopeful and empowered. “This is a piece of work,” said the artist Kristen Visbal, “all women of any age, shape, color, or creed can relate to.”

By now, you’ve heard of her, The Fearless Girl. 

Fearless Girl has been photographed, tweeted, and shared thousands of times in the last week.  Resident New Yorkers and tourists alike have flocked to Bowling Green to see the symbolic statue in person.  In fact, some of us, leaders and directors of various nonprofits and businesses in New York, made last minute changes to our schedules to meet up and take a picture with her.

Fearless Girl represents not only the importance of sculpture in the urban environment but the power of our public spaces, where all kinds of people gather over shared interests and common experiences.  Fearless Girl has resonated with thousands of women, just like us.  As women in leadership roles in New York City, we are all too familiar with underrepresentation and the challenges that women continue to face in society.  Know that each one of us has been, and continues to be that girl – emboldened, resilient, courageous and willing to lead in the face of adversity. 

We commend your Administration for supporting women in leadership roles in government and in the workplace.  Your support bolsters what we do and we thank you for your leadership.  Allowing Fearless Girl, this important symbol of equality and strength, to appear on International Women’s Day was both moving and inspiring to all of us and it is equally thrilling to see how she has been embraced by people of all races, ages and gender. 

We fully respect the City’s permitting and review process but still believe that this timeless, empowering statue belongs in our public realm for longer than its permitted week or requested month.  We request that that the City will consider granting a longer ‘temporary’ status to Fearless Girl, as we find her no less symbolic than the Bull.  We want generations of New Yorkers and visitors to feel we what we feel when we look at her  – proud to have made a difference, proud to be a New Yorker. 

Mr. Mayor, we ask you today to please make Fearless Girl a longer-standing fixture of this forward-thinking, amazing city we call home.

Sincerely,

Lynn B. Kelly
Executive Director
New Yorkers for Parks

Betty Chen
Principal
BYC Projects and Former NYC Planning Commissioner

Susan Chin
Executive Director
Design Trust for Public Space

Susan M. Donoghue
President
Prospect Park Alliance

Amy L. Freitag
Executive Director
J.M. Kaplan Fund

Elizabeth Goldstein
President
The Municipal Art Society of New York

Kamillah M. Hanks
President & CEO
Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership

Vivian Liao Korich
Principal
Totem

Holly Leicht
Former Executive Director
New Yorkers for Parks

Regina Myer
President
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Angela Sung Pinsky
Executive Director
Association for a Better New York

Kathy Shea
Executive Director
American Society of Landscape Architects, New York

Claire Weisz
Principal
W X Y architecture + urban design 

cc:  Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, DCLA

      Commissioner Mitchell Silver, DPR

      Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, DOT

      Mr. Justin Garrett Moore, PDC     




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