Banner For BASE Page


This community-driven effort to create a permanent, public art installation inspired by the Say Their Names Memorial is a collaborative project supported by individual community members, SOARB, as well as BASE, SOBLACC, and SOEquity, which are each Black-led organizations.

A permanent public art installation that looks to celebrate the power and resilience of Black voices while building bridges toward a collective culture of inclusion and legitimate understanding is underway and coming to Ashland Creek Park.

The aim of this permanent installation 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 to forging a community of acceptance, communication, and inclusivity in a real and sustainable way. 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.

Driven by members of the Ashland community with guidance from the city’s Public Arts and Parks Commissions, as well as the City Council, a permanent public art installation is being planned. On behalf of their community, the Say Their Names Collective, a grassroots coalition of Ashland and Rogue Valley residents, put out a call to 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 was to include but was 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 innumerable lives commemorated by the Say Their Names Memorial currently on display at Railroad Park in Ashland.

That Memorial came to be on June 28, 2020 - in recognition of the passing of Oregon's Lash Laws - and in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. It is the collective labor of passionate and concerned citizens of the Rogue Valley and part of a national undertaking to make sure the lives of those killed, especially at the hands of law enforcement, are never forgotten.

After two rounds of selection, “Ancestor’s Future: Crystallizing Our Call,” the concept proposed by beloved local artist, teacher and coach, Micah BlackLight, has been chosen as the design that will move forward to be installed in Ashland Creek Park. We are thrilled and excited to be moving into the fundraising phase, and cannot wait to see this beautiful project come to fruition!

See the proposal here: Symbology 1  |  Symbology 2  |  Location  |  Plaque Description

Timeline (an abridged history)

May 25, 2020 - George Perry Floyd, Jr. is murdered by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis

May 26, 2020 - Protests begin in Minneapolis and then, around the world

May 31, 2020 - Black Lives Matter protests held in Ashland

June 28, 2020 - The Say Their Names Memorial is put up in Ashland’s Railroad Park by local artists on the anniversary of the passing of Oregon’s Lash Laws.

August 22, 2020 - Less than 2 months after its installation, the Memorial is destroyed and taken down overnight.

August 23, 2020 - The community comes together to make an even more powerful memorial that still lives in Ashland’s Railroad Park.

November 23, 2020 - Ashland teenager Aidan Ellison is killed at Ashland’s Stratford Inn. His name is added to the many others.

February 2021 - The Say Their Names Coalition forms to shepherd the memorial into permanence

The Process

Call for Artists
Black artists in the Rogue Valley answer an RFP (Spring 2021)
Community Vote
The community votes for their favorite artwork from among 4 proposals (Summer 2021).
Parks Commission (APRC)
The top 2 art proposals work with the APRC to finalize their location (Summer 2021)
Selection Panel
A selection panel made up of Black members of our community decide on the piece to be presented to the PAC (Winter 2021).
Arts Commission (PAC)
The chosen artist presents their proposal to the PAC for approval (Summer 2022).
City Council
The chosen artist presents their proposal to the City Council for approval (Fall 2022)
Say Their Names