A New Project Gives a Voice to NYC Statues

Written By Diana Eastman | September 26, 2017 | Published in Neighborhood News, NYC Lifestyle
2017%2f09%2f18%2f20%2f06%2f42%2ff19ee00c 37f9 41ec 8241 b2ea32d77e5e%2fstatue

If you ask a New Yorker how many statues they pass on their daily commute to work, they’d probably have a hard time remembering. These figures are everywhere, yet more often than not they get overlooked by the thousands of people who pass them each day. Statues all over New York pay homage to individuals who have made an impact in our nation’s history, but the meaning and story behind each one often go unnoticed. A small plaque placed near the statue may give a brief explanation of who the person was and what they accomplished, but even that can be easily looked over.

But a recent project put together in conjunction with the NYC Parks Department is aiming to change that. The project, Talking Statues, gives these quiet pieces of art a voice of their own. Launched by filmmaker David Peter Fox, the project uses the vocal talents of major authors and actors to tell the stories of 35 statues across the city. From well-known heroes such as Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln, to lesser-known figures like Annie Moore, the first immigrant to the United States to pass through Ellis Island, the project covers a wide variety of individuals who were prominent in US history.

Hearing the stories of these otherwise silent statues is easy. Those interested in listening to the stories behind the statues can simply download the map to see the location of each talking statue. Each participating statue has a blue sign indicating that it has a story to be told. Using a smartphone, listeners can scan the QR code near the statue and wait for their phones to ring. When they answer, they will hear a dramatic and engaging story from the honoree’s point of view. Statues can be found all over the city, mostly in Manhattan but also in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

In a recent interview, Fox admitted the project is lacking in women’s voices but blames it mostly on the fact that NYC just doesn’t have very many statues honoring women. When choosing which statues would participate in the project, two themes helped Fox make his decision: diversity and immigration. Many of the statues tell stories of coming to America from far off places and the positive impact they had on the county after they arrived.

NYC has a diverse and eclectic art scene, but very rarely does the art have the opportunity to tell its own story. Talking Statues is an educational way to explore the city and gives some of the country’s most iconic individuals a chance to tell their tales.


Mentioned neighborhoods

Carnegie Hill

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on Elegran.com. All data displayed on Elegran.com is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.