Sixty Design Teams Vie for Chance to Design Permanent January 8 th Memorial

Decision Expected By Selection Committee in January 2015

Sixty design firms and artists, both national and international, have submitted applications to the Tucson January 8th Memorial Foundation to create the permanent memorial to the January 8, 2011, mass shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 12 others.


Twenty of the submissions are based in Tucson and more than half are in Arizona. Submissions were also received from 12 other states ranging from California to Texas, and extended to Spain, Toronto and New Delhi.


“We are thrilled with the strong response to our call for the right design team to create for our community a permanent memorial that embodies the strength of our region,” said Karen Christensen, president of the Tucson January 8th Memorial Foundation Board of Directors. “The winning design will meet our challenge to create a design that honors those who died and were wounded, captures the spirit of community our citizens demonstrated in the wake of the tragedy, and celebrates the democratic process that was at the heart of the gathering that 8th day of January.”


The Memorial will include three components:

  • Exterior community space in El Presidio Park, the hub of Tucson’s government center, which provides a natural connection to the active democracy that was taking place at Congress on Your Corner where the tragedy occurred;
  • Interior space on the first floor of the Historic Pima County Courthouse, created in partnership with Pima County and the Tucson Museum of Art, to tell the story of what happened including the overwhelming community response in the days and weeks that followed;
  • Deeper story-telling through an array of technologies including oral histories of those impacted, which will be available as an ongoing source of research, as well as an archive of selected tribute items left after the tragedy at the spontaneous memorial sites.

The winning design team chosen from this selection process will focus on the exterior community space in El Presidio Park and be charged with creating both a design for the Jan. 8 Memorial and a Master Plan concept for the park, with significant public input.  The other components of the Memorial will be developed through a separate process. Design team selection is set for January 2015. Total price tag for all three components is expected to be $4 million.

“We have a top-notch selection committee and The Tucson Pima Arts Council is guiding the design process,” said Mary Ellen Wooten, Public Art Manager for Tucson Pima Arts Council. “The process we have in place will include substantial community input and assure selection based on the highest design standards and we are confident the memorial will bring new vitality to this historic civic space.”

The January 8 Memorial Foundation Selection Committee members are:

  • Stephen Brigham, Director of Capital Planning and Projects, University Arizona Health Network
  • Johna Cronk, El Presidio Neighborhood, Artist and Member of El Presidio Historic Neighborhood Association Advisory Board
  • Monica Zavala Durazo, Artist
  • Helen Erickson, Landscape Architect
  • Gloria Giffords, Art Historian, Artist and Conservator
  • Dr. Paul Ivey, Professor, School of Art, University of Arizona
  • Robert Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Tucson Museum of Art
  • Corky Poster, Architect, Poster Frost Associates
  • Betty Villegas, Housing Program Manager, Pima County
  • Carter Volle, Pima County Facilities, Architect
  • Peg Weber, City of Tucson Parks and Recreation


The Tucson January 8 Memorial Foundation formed as a 501 (c)(3) in 2012 has as its sole mission the completion of a permanent Memorial to the January 8, 2011 tragedy. For more information about the plans, visit

Jan Howard,, Office: 520-795-1566, Cell: 520-245-7302