Voices from the Garden will be the first monument of its kind in the nation recognizing the full range of women’s achievements when a dozen life-sized statues of women find their place on a newly constructed plaza. The addition of these Virginians – representative of the state’s regions, its 400-year history, and the diversity of achievement, ethnicity and thought that has made the Commonwealth what it is today – will complete the story of Virginia told at Capitol Square, and celebrate the importance of women in that history.
Voices from the Garden draws visitors into an oval forum to interact with the twelve women who await them. At the center stands a bronze sundial on a granite pedestal. Tempered glass panels, a metaphor for the social filter that has long obscured women’s accomplishments from public view, provide space for the names of additional important women of history, with room to add the names of women of today and tomorrow.
The Virginia General Assembly established the Women’s Commission in 2010 (Senate Joint Resolution 11) to "determine and recommend … an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the contributions of the women of Virginia.Agreed to by the Senate, March 11, 2010
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, March 10, 2010
Senate Joint Resolution 85 - Reconstituting the Virginia Women's Monument Commission and coordinating the dedication of the Virginia Women's Monument, March 7, 2018.
The Need for a Tribute:
From the Founding of the Commonwealth, the genius and creativity of women and their presence and contributions have been evident in every aspect of Virginia history and the life of people in the Commonwealth; however, they have received little appreciation, recognition, or official acknowledgement.
The Purpose of the Monument is History, Education, Importance, Appreciation
The Monument is to Honor: Virginia Women who Contributed to Virginia's History Over Four Centuries, Through Individual, Collective and/or Symbolic Interpretations That May Include:
The Virginia Women's Monument Commission is comprised of 19 members. The Secretary of Administration, Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, one member of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and one member of the House of Delegates are the legislative members of the Commission. The Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Delegates, Citizen and Ex Officio members also serve on the Commission.The Honorable Ralph S. Northam, Chair