This community-driven effort to transform the Say Their Names Memorial into a permanent installation is a collaborative project sponsored by individual community members, BASE, SOBLACC and SOEquity, which are all Black-led organizations.

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The Say Their Names Memorial in Ashland will be replaced by a permanent installation that celebrates Black lives and reflects on this important chapter in our nation’s history.


Driven by members of the Ashland community and supported by the city’s Arts and Parks Commissions, a permanent art installation is being planned in Ashland’s Railroad Park. This grassroots coalition is commissioning an artist or group of artists to create a public, community-oriented art installation around the theme of Black Lives Matter in the Rogue Valley. This theme includes but is not limited to: a reflection on the Black Lives Matter movement and this important chapter in our nation’s history, an illumination of the experiences of Black residents in the Valley, and an homage to the life of Aidan Ellison. 


This installation will replace the Say Their Names Memorial that is currently on display at Railroad Park in Ashland. The Memorial came to be during Juneteenth 2020, in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. This art was the collective labor of passionate and concerned citizens of the Valley and part of a national undertaking to make sure the lives of those killed are never forgotten. 

In August 2020, the memorial was tragically vandalised. Through a community effort, it was subsequently rebuilt, all while the memorial continued to grow. In November 2020, Ashland teenager Aidan Ellison was murdered and his name was added to the many others. Nineteen-year-old Aidan was born August 17, 2001 and killed on November 23, 2020 at Ashland’s Stratford Inn.

The aim of this endeavor is to create a dialogue about race, bring together Rogue Valley residents of all backgrounds, and serve as a declaration of our commitment in Ashland and the Rogue Valley that Black lives matter. We hope that through continued conversation, recognition of our shared history, and this public avowal, that we can work towards becoming a more united and inclusive Rogue Valley community.


To stay informed about the development of this installation, please sign up for updates here

Submission Components

  • Personal information (name, city of residence, birthdate)

  • Personal background

  • Link to website and/or CV (not required)

  • Referrals (welcomed but not required)

  • Personal statements about the Movement for Black Lives and your connection to the Rogue Valley

  • Written concept

  • Supporting imagery

  • Expected budget for materials 

  • Estimated timeline



  • Artists should acquaint themselves with the proposed site to inform the footprint of their installation and stay within the dimensions of the current installation, which is 750 feet long and 5.5 feet tall. There is no minimum dimension requirement. And the final dimensions may be altered once an artist is selected and we present the final proposal to the City of Ashland.

  • Materials should be non-toxic and weather-proof.

  • Projects that incorporate community participation in the creation of the installation will be prioritized.


  • Submit your proposal by April 2, 2021 here.



Artists must reside in, or have ties to, the Rogue Valley. All artists are welcome to apply but we encourage Black artists to submit their vision and will prioritize the voices and talents of Black artists in this project. Entries must be original in concept, composition, and execution. 


Entry and Selection Process 

Deadline for Application: Friday, April 2

Notification of Finalists: Monday, April 12

Artist(s) Selection Announced: Saturday, June 19

Finalists will be selected by community vote, with the final selection being decided by committee.

For more details, like this project's Facebook page and stay tuned to this page!

Send all questions to Cassie at