Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Governor Cuomo appointed business journalist Maria Bartiromo to the new commission that will oversee the process of creating a statue honoring Mother Frances Cabrini.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The State will commit up to $750,000 for the project to create a statue honoring Mother Frances Cabrini and will issue a request for proposals for the design of the new icon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday after appointing 19 members to a new commission that will oversee the process.
According to the administration, the panel will provide recommendations to Cuomo pertaining to the design, location, and installation of the new memorial. The State’s RFPs will seek ideas for the overall design and the statue’s exact location. The commission will initiate broad outreach to the art community as soon as possible, including contacting art institutions and organizations as well as direct artist inquiries. Once the design proposals are reviewed, the commission will select the finalists and present those to Cuomo, who will make the final selection.
“With the help of this new commission, we are going to get this done to help ensure Mother Cabrini’s legacy of service to her community and those who are less fortunate is remembered for generations to come,” the governor added.
Cabrini commission appointees are:
- Maria Bartiromo, journalist
- Frank Bisignano, CEO and chairman, First Data
- Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito
- Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Diocese of Brooklyn
- Bishop Orlando Findlayter
- Philip Foglia, Italian American Legal Defense and Higher Education Fund
- Mario Gabelli, CEO, Gabelli Asset Management and member of the Board of Directors, American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture
- John Leo Heyer II, Diocese of Brooklyn Italian Apostolate
- Maureen Sherry Klinsky, author
- Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
- Joe Plumeri, former chairman, CEO of Willis Group Holdings
- Erminia Rivera, member, Maimonides Medical Center Board of Trustees
- Joseph Sciame, past chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations; vice president for Community Relations, St. John’s University
- Carlo Scissura, chairman of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations; and president and CEO of the New York Building Congress
- Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of the New York Tri-State Region of CBRE Group, Inc.
- Veronica Tsang, executive vice president and chief retail administrator, Cathay Bank
- George Tsunis, chairman, Battery Park City Authority
- John Viola, former president, National Italian American Foundation
- Angelo Vivolo, president, Columbus Heritage Coalition
The process to secure a statue on City land dedicated to the first naturalized U.S. citizen to be canonized a saint has been shrouded in controversy since the summer, when it was revealed that, though she received 219 votes—more than double the second-place recipient—Cabrini was not picked by the “She Built NYC” panel to have a statue erected by the City in her honor.
Led by City First Lady Chirlane McCray, “She Built NYC” is an effort to commission a public monument or artwork on City property that honors women’s history in the five boroughs.
The snub of the Patron Saint of Immigrants incensed Bishop DiMarzio and several elected officials, including State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).