Society’s Cage

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces the Baltimore debut of Society’s Cage, an experiential public art installation, to be exhibited on War Memorial Plaza, at 101 North Gay Street, from Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 30, 2020, 9AM – 9PM daily. Created by architects Dayton Schroeter and Julian Arrington in the aftermath of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the installation highlights the historic forces of racialized state violence in America. As both a powerful work of public art, and a racial and social justice teaching tool open to all, Society’s Cage debuts in Baltimore as a signature event for this year’s Free Fall Baltimore, presented by BGE and Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), and produced by Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, with programming support from the Baltimore chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Baltimore).

ABOUT SOCIETY’S CAGE
Society’s Cage is a fully accessible, raised, open-air pavilion that educates visitors about the Black American experience. The design is rooted in the fundamental question: “What is the value of Black Life in America?” and is shaped by data graphs describing how Black Americans have been impacted by 400+ years of anti-Black state violence. 500 hanging steel bars form a cavernous cube with a habitable void allowing visitors to experience the symbolic weight of institutional racism. A commissioned soundscape offer an emotive experience designed to build empathy and understanding. The installation offers the opportunity to consider the severity of racial biases within our institutional structures of justice and allows for moments of reflection and healing.

Society’s Cage was first exhibited this summer on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Initiated by a diverse team of architects at SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading integrated design firms and led by designers Dayton Schroeter and Julian Arrington, the Society’s Cage installation was created as a way for the design team to contribute to the ongoing conversations about racism in our society using their craft of architecture. SmithGroup is the lead sponsor for Society’s Cage and is partnered with The Architects Foundation to raise funds for their Diversity Advancement scholarship program through the installation, to support historically underrepresented youth to pursue careers in architecture. The initial opening of the installation coincided with the 2020 March on Washington in support of Black Lives on August 28, 2020. Thousands visited the installation during the 16 days it was installed at the 12th Street NW site on the National Mall. The exhibition travels to Baltimore this month and then plans to continue touring cities across the country.

VISIT SOCIETY’S CAGE
The Society’s Cage installation will be on view to the public from Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 30, 2020 at War Memorial Plaza, 101 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, 9AM to 9PM daily. More information about the installation is available at www.smithgroup.com/societys-cage.

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SmithGroup (www.smithgroup.com) is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 15 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design, and delivery. SmithGroup creates exceptional design solutions for healthcare, science and technology organizations, higher education and cultural institutions, urban environments, diverse workplaces, mixed-use and waterfront developments, and parks and open spaces.

The Architects Foundation (www.architectsfoundation.org) leads philanthropic efforts to attract, inspire, and invest in a next-generation design community through scholarships and exhibitions.

AIA Baltimore (www.aiabaltimore.org) serves as the voice of the architecture profession in the Baltimore metropolitan area. By advancing our values of community, knowledge, and advocacy, AIA Baltimore strives to make the Baltimore region a better place to live, work and play. AIA Baltimore will open a new Center for Architecture and Design at One Charles Center on October 30, and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2021.

Free Fall Baltimore, presented by BGE and Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and produced by Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), is held each October, in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities Month, and showcases the importance of the arts with free concerts, dance and theater performances, festivals, lectures, workshops, art exhibitions, and

special events. This year, Free Fall Baltimore will occur as a hybrid of virtual and small in-person events all month through Saturday, October 31, 2020. Society’s Cage will travel to Baltimore City as a part of Free Fall Baltimore. Visit www.freefallbaltimore.org to see the schedule of events and participating organizations.