On Saturday, July 29, volunteers from Adopt A Monument, including a conservator from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will join Romanelli West Homes Association residents to clean two marble figures — Hippocrates and Diana the Roman Goddess of Hunting– at 68th Terrace on the west side of Ward Parkway. (The rain date is August 12th.)
Adopt A Monument is an offshoot of the Save Outdoor Sculpture project (SOS). In the early 1990s, SOS, which was funded by three national arts organizations, provided grants to enable organizations and individuals in all 50 states to document outdoor public art. The surveys and photographs compiled due to these endeavors were then entered in the Smithsonian Art Inventory database in Washington, D.C. In 1994, with further funding in question, SOS advised grant recipients to begin their own grass roots efforts.
The following year, Adopt A Monument was created by the Historic Kansas City Foundation. In its early days, Adopt A Monument received a major gift from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and additional funding by the William T. Kemper Foundation. Today, it is part of the City of Fountains Foundation, which was founded in 1973 by Peggy and Harold Rice. Not only does Adopt A Monument provide training to organizations that are responsible for the maintenance of public art and fountains, it also is involved in fundraising, conservation and lobbying activities.
The weather in Kansas City, with its extremes of hot and cold temperatures, can be very damaging to outdoor artwork. The best cleaning methods are complicated. Soap and water aren’t enough, and the wrong treatment can be harmful. When sculptures and fountains are properly maintained, it shows that the city and its neighborhoods take pride in public art. Please call the City of Fountains Foundation office at 816-842- 2299 to learn more – or to schedule a class.