SIOUX CITY -- Five new sculptures will be dedicated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation Center in downtown Sioux City in October.
The Celebrating Community Project in a Tuesday release announced the upcoming dedication of bronze sculptures, which are designed to honor the courage, sacrifice and selflessness of ordinary Siouxlanders at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4.
The people honored with new sculptures include: Native/Indigenous Americans: Susan LaFlesche Picotte; Homeless Americans: Mike Wood; African Americans: Evelyn Freeman; Women’s Advocate: Marilyn Murphy; and Victims of Domestic Violence: Rhoda Tenuta.
The public is invited to attend the event.
The first group of sculptures were placed in the MLK center in June 2015. Sculptor Mark Avery, of North Sioux City, designed and built the pieces, which will incorporate busts of community equality advocates.
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Avery and his wife, Terri, were inspired to undertake the project by a Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Avery said he wants to inspire people with the project, and he "encourages individuals to recognize that we are more alike than we are different, to celebrate our differences, and (remember) that we can have a positive impact in the lives of others."
The NAACP and the Celebrating Community Foundation co-sponsored the sculpture park in cooperation with the city of Sioux City. Funding was provided without taxpayer money through foundation grants, corporate donations and individual donations.
Along with the sculpture additions, the overall project will also be renamed the Rudy and Flora Lee Celebrating Community Project, in honor of the two Sioux Cityans for their dedication to equality and justice.
Previously dedicated sculptures include Hispanic/Latino Americans: Tomasa Salas; Jewish Americans: Rabbi Albert Gordon; Asian Americans: Nguyen Thi Hong Cuc; Elderly: Beulah Webb; Children’s Advocate: George Boykin; Veterans: Sergeant First Class John Raymond Rice; Disabled Americans: Richard T. Owens; and Recovery from Addiction/Substance Abuse: Connie Spain.