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Ron Waterman poses for a photograph at the site where the Confederate fountain stood in Hill Park. Waterman is currently in the process of funding a replacement monument.

Members of the Helena Community,

As the public is aware, the city commission has accepted the gift of the Equity Fountain. We are off and running so to speak. There remain some issues about the precise language around the edge of the fountain but those issues should be resolved shortly through meetings with the Helena Public Arts Council and the City Commission during the upcoming weeks.

Additionally, our artist James Dinh will be coming to Helena at the end of this week, March 8 through 10, to view this site and to get a sense of the community as he moves forward with this exciting project. While the site will be covered with snow and while it may be cold, the artist was aware from our call that these are the conditions for which the fountain had to be designed, to extend its message and to convey the core values of the community, equity and equality, tolerance, diversity, service, peace and justice both during the warm and sunny months of the summer but equally during the winter months of snow and ice.

The Equity Fountain committee will be hosting a reception for James at the Holter Museum of Art on Saturday, March 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. giving the Helena community a chance to meet with James and understand his vision of this design and how he intends to transform the words selected into a visualization of those values. The public is invited to attend. Please come if you are interested and able.

Also, the fund-raising effort continues. To date, the project has received wonderful support but there remains funds to be raised to complete the total cost of the project. Individuals who are interested in making a contribution can donate to the Equity Fountain Project by sending a check to the Montana Community Foundation, the partner agency for the project, signifying on their check that the gift is for The Equity Fountain Project.

This community is embarking on an exciting endeavor to speak to the future about our core values and have a fountain created for the horizon in Hill Park which the community will be forever proud.

Ron Waterman is chair of the Equity Fountain Project.

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