Monday, June 24, 2019

RIOC Artist Call To Create Roosevelt Island Memorial For Legendary 19th Century Muckraking Journalist Nelly Bly Who Exposed Horrors Of Blackwell Island Insane Asylum - Initiative Of Governor Cuomo To Bring Attention To Contributions Made By Woman To NY State History

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is calling for artist proposals to create a Memorial to 19th century muckraking journalist Nelly Bly. According to RIOC


Will be placed near site of former Blackwell Island Insane Asylum

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has issued a formal Call for Artists to create a memorial for Nellie Bly, the ground-breaking journalist who exposed the horrors of the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum in 1887 her on Roosevelt Island. The proposed memorial is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ongoing initiative to bring attention to the many contributions that women have made to New York State’s history.

While working as an investigative reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World in 1887, Ms. Bly went undercover as a patient at the infamous insane asylum for ten grueling days. Upon her release, she went on to publish a harrowing account of her experiences in the book titled Ten Days in a Mad-House. The work not only made Ms. Bly famous, but also led to reforms at other mental health facilities throughout the United States. She went on to have an impressive career as a journalist, where she covered important historic events such as the women’s suffrage movement in the early twentieth century and the Eastern Front during World War I.

“Nellie Bly’s life serves as an inspiration that transcends history,” said Susan Rosenthal, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. “Her commitment to reform, whether in the workplace, in healthcare, or as an important voice in the suffrage movement serve as an example to the women of today. Since her impressive career began here, I believe Roosevelt Island is the ideal place for a memorial that honors her achievements.”

The Call for Artists is open from now until July 12, 2019. Anyone who would like full details about participating in this project should visit
RIOC adds:

Although RIOC is open to other locations, it is intended that the proposed piece will be in the vicinity of the Octagon Building, which sits on the foundation of the former Blackwell Insane Asylum (Attachment A). The prospective areas for the art piece are the following:
  • Octagon Park- located on West Road of the island. The current park provides passive recreation activities for picnic and barbecues and a great view of New York City Skyline.
  • Lighthouse Park- located on the northern most tip of the island, the 3.78-acre park will be expanded early next year to include additional passive and active recreation opportunities for the public.

The due date for Roosevelt Island Nelly Bly Memorial proposals is July 12. More info below

Learn more about the legendary

Nelly Bly.