Wisconsin receives $60,000 to restore State Capitol statues

An orange cone stands were the Forward Statue once was
The pedestal that once held the Forward statue until demonstrators were able to knock it down on June 24.

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers announced that the Wisconsin Department of Administration was awarded two federal grants totaling $60,000.

The costs will assist with the restoration costs of the “Forward” and Col. Hans Christian Heg statues that were damaged this year, a release said.

The grants are from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gov. Evers also encouraged the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board, or SCERB, to consider diversifying the State Capitol statues by honoring Vel Phillips with a statue, a release said. Phillips was the first Black woman to win a seat on Milwaukee’s City Council and to become a judge in Wisconsin. She also became the first statewide elected African American in the state of Wisconsin as secretary of state.

“This is great news and we appreciate the NEH and NEA for their support in restoring and preserving our state history,” Evers said. “I look forward to not only getting Col. Heg and Forward back up on their feet at the Capitol, but also exploring new options to make the Capitol grounds a more accurate reflection of our state’s diversity and history.”

The restoration started in July. The statues are anticipated to be reinstalled in summer 2021.

Evers also announced a community advisory committee working on a proposal to create a monument on the Capitol grounds honoring Phillips. The committee will be chaired by Dave Endres, the corporate legal counsel for American Family Insurance.

Other members are Michael Phillips, son of Vel Phillips; Michael Johnson, President and CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County; Jessica Cavazos, President and CEO, Latino Chamber of Commerce; Anthony Cooper, CEO of Focused Interruption Coalition; Shelia Stubbs, State Representative, 77th Assembly District; Angela Arrington, Senior Attorney for Alliant Energy, Delta Sigma Theta; Jake Brown, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County and Lucy Mathiak, Former MMSD Board member, Historian.

The committee plans to bring a proposal to SCERB in early 2021.