Designated "Bill of Rights Day" by Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, this year the date marks the 221st anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.
Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be on hand to accept the new monument on behalf of the people of Arizona and the host City of Phoenix, respectively.
The project was spearheaded by MyBillofRights.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit founded by writer/comedian Chris Bliss. "The Bill of Rights is the most powerful and successful assertion of individual rights and liberties ever written; one of history's most important and influential documents" says Bliss. "And yet it's barely taught in our schools any more, and nowhere to be found in our public square. Until now, that is."
Bliss continues: "I grew up in Washington DC, so I know firsthand the power of monuments to make history visible, tangible, and unforgettable - especially for younger people. This monument will be visited by over one million of Arizona's school children, and millions more visitors of all ages, during it's 100+ year lifespan. That's the unique legacy that only monuments can offer."
The monument was designed and sculpted by Joseph Kincannon of Kincannon Studios in Austin, Texas, long regarded as one of the country's leading stone artisans. The design consists of a sequence of ten individual limestone monoliths, 7'- 8 1/2' tall, arrayed across the crest of an arcing hillside, facing the Capitol. (www.kincannonstudios.com)
The monument's $400,000 budget was raised privately, with Newman's Own Foundation providing initial seed money. Bliss's comedy brethren then joined in, raising over $125,000 via an all-star comedy concert at Phoenix Symphony Hall this past May, headlined by Lewis Black, and featuring comedy legends Tommy Smothers and Dick Gregory; along with Steven Wright, Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Father Guido Sarducci.
Final phase funding was completed with leadership gifts from Arizona's business and legal communities, along with grants from the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, The Herberger Foundation, and the Arizona Community Foundation, and over 1000 small contributors in 43 states.
A full list of major donors is available upon request. For further information, and media requests for Mr. Bliss, email info@MyBillofRights.org, or contact our offices at 480-290-8530