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8/4 Memorial Committee sends out request for artists

The memorial for victims of the Dayton shooting outside of Ned Peppers, a bar in the city's Oregon District in which a gunman opened fire on Sunday and killed nine people.
Bobby Allyn
/
NPR
The memorial for victims of the Dayton shooting outside of Ned Peppers, a bar in the city's Oregon District in which a gunman opened fire on Sunday and killed nine people.

It’s been three years since the mass shooting in the Oregon District. Last week, a local committee sent out a call for artists to design a memorial to honor the lives lost.

The 8/4 Memorial Committee is looking for artists, artist teams, designers, or architects to design the public artwork memorial. Up to five artists could be awarded $200,000 to design and build the memorial.

The Committee is currently asking for a Request for Qualifications. That’s the artist’s experience and prior work.

This call for artist’s RQF is actually the second phase of the process to build a memorial. Previously, the 8/4 Memorial Committee organized focus groups and created surveys to learn what the community would want from a memorial.

“We do know that it needs to be some place that people can go to to reconnect with one another. A place where they can find peace and solace,” Sandy Gudorf, one of the co-chairs of the Committee, said.

The community also said they wanted the Memorial to be located within the Oregon District and to honor those who were killed. You can find summaries of the Committee’s findings here.

Gudorf and her co-chair, Sandy Hunt, were asked to co-chair the Committee by the then mayor of Dayton Nan Whaley in early 2020. Gudorf immediately knew the task was going to be a difficult one.

“It’s been a journey, let me put it that way,” she said. “It’s been emotional, but it’s also been very rewarding.”

Gudorf and the Committee established a few other criteria for the memorial. 50% of the project must be produced locally in Dayton.

There will also be a prioritization of local artists in the search process.

“By [local], I mean that they could live in our community, they could have recently lived in our community, they could have family in our community. They might have been affected by this tragedy,” Gudorf said.

Artist RQF's are due by December 15. You can submit your information here.

After receiving all RQFs, a selection committee will review and narrow down the applicants.

Gudorf said they hope designs can be presented in early 2023, and the piece will be installed by late 2023.

No location for the memorial has been decided on yet.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.