Two out of five members of the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District met last night to discuss fund raising for the Perfect Park monument to anti-war protesters.
The monument will be located in I.V.’s Perfect Park, which was a popular location for peaceful protests by UCSB students, faculty and I.V. community members during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations of the late 1960s and early ’70s. A volunteer committee from the IVRPD has been planning the memorial and running fund-raising efforts for the past five years.
Bob Potter, chair of the IVRPD’s Perfect Park Monument Implementation Committee and former UCSB dramatic arts professor, said the group has raised $16,000 of the necessary $25,000 needed to build the monument, mostly through individual donations and small fund-raising events. The I.V. Community Relations Committee, funded by UCSB Associated Students, made two donations totaling $5,000, Potter said.
“The monument will hopefully be completed, or at least the ground will be broken, by the end of this academic year,” he said.
The design features four archways which represent the way of the teacher, the way of the warrior, the way of the visionary and the way of the healer. The arches are collectively meant to show that peace can be reached by many pathways. The paths through the arches converge in the middle to form a sitting and meeting area.
“Our goal is to create a place where people can come to think and talk about peace, especially in today’s world with the threat of war with Iraq,” Potter said. “We want this monument to preserve the memory for future protesters and future generations of the many peaceful protesters that were in this community, at Perfect Park during the Vietnam-era events.”
The design for the monument – which was submitted by artist Colin Gray – was approved unanimously by a selection committee in May 1999. According to an IVRPD information packet, Gray’s design was inspired by Angeles Arrien, a Bay area anthropologist who has traveled the world studying the ways in which native peoples live in balance with their environments.