RELEASE THE FEAR BREAKS GROUND FOR MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE IN CENTRAL PHOENIX
The first phase of construction for the Release the Fear sculpture will begin with a marking off of the lot at Sweet Acacia Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at 8:30 a.m. The marking of the site will be conducted by the City of Phoenix Transit Department by direction of Deputy City Manager Jack Tevlin.
The land for the sculpture was donated by the City of Phoenix but had originally set a deadline of June 2003 for the sculpture to be completed. The site is along the route of the planned light rail.
The location is the intersection of N. Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street, Phoenix. The sculpture, the vision of artist Robert Miley, is a twenty-two foot tall work to be constructed of melted weapons used in crimes. It will depict a human figure rising upward, arms to the heavens, in a symbol of transformation and empowerment. Near the bottom of the sculpture, actual parts of guns, knives and other deadly weapons, will be visible.
“The sculpture is a touchstone for those who realize the danger that violence in our society poses for our future,” said Miley, who began working on the project in 1995.
Kitchell Contractors has agreed to donate the base and foundation for the sculpture. In all, some $150,000 is being raised to subsidize the cost of construction.
Mary Almassy of Fund Raising Consultants, Ltd. has been retained by Release the Fear to procure funding. Fund Raising Consultants, Ltd. has established Release the Fears over all project and operational budget at one million dollars with a projected goal of two million dollars as Release the Fear launches its National Campaign from Phoenix, Arizona.
The Very Reverend Rebecca McClain is dean of Trinity Cathedral, which is adjacent to the sculpture site. Dean McClain, who also serves on the Release the Fear board of directors, said: “Part of the vision of the church is as a place of hospitality for the community. If we cannot open our doors and be free of fear, we can’t extend our hospitality. This sculpture represents us setting free our fears.”
The Release the Fear project is not just about a sculpture. It has an educational component, as well. R.J. Shannon, a state social worker and Release the Fear vice chair, developed a series of workshops and programs that target mostly young people whose lives have been influenced by violence and intimidation. The workshops help participants realize a sense of empowerment by learning about their own fears, expressing and facing them, with the desired outcome of a new awareness about the choices available to them. The workshops endeavor to show that picking up a gun or knife to resolve conflict only increases conflict.