Fundraising lag pushes back installation of sculptures promoting diversity in Sioux City park

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — An art installation promoting diversity at the Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation Center in Sioux City may be pushed back to next year as fundraising efforts for it lag.

Organizers have raised about $200,000 of the $500,000 needed to complete the Celebrating Community Project, the Sioux City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1wSuEeB ) Saturday.

The group's foundation commissioned McCook Lake artist Mark Avery to sculpt 13 bronze busts on pedestals of people who have contributed to often marginalized communities, including Hispanics, blacks, American Indians and Jewish people.

"I have seven done, and I'm currently working on another one," Avery said. "Seven of those are in clay form and one is already cast in bronze. We're just going to keep working on them and continue on until we're done."

The busts will include such figures as Beulah Webb, who founded the Sioux City Senior Center, and Sgt. John Raymond Rice, a World War II veteran and member of the Winnebago tribe.

Avery is also creating a large abstract sculpture to fill a green space on the site's northern boundary.

The group has targeted having the funding for the installation by this fall, but foundation president Flora Lee said the group might have to push it back until the coming spring.

"We're going to be optimistic and keep pushing" for a fall opening, Lee said.

Prospective donors can find ways to contribute at the organization's website.

___ Online:

Celebrating Community Project: http://www.celebratingcommunityproject.com


Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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