(Roosevelt Island, NY - August, 2019) – The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has received several responses to the Call for Artists it issued back in June for the creation of a memorial for Nellie Bly, the ground-breaking journalist who exposed the horrors of the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum in 1887 here 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 now closed, but a winner will be announced in the Fall 2019. For more information, please visit https://rioc.ny.gov/448/Call-for-Artists
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The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation with a mission to plan, design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island. With a focus on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, RIOC is committed to providing services that enhance the island's residential community. RIOC manages the two-mile long island's roads, parks, buildings, a sports facility, and public transportation, including the iconic aerial tramway. Additionally, RIOC operates a Public Safety Department that helps maintain a safe and secure environment for residents, employees, business owners, and visitors.