Newsletter Articles

View Finalists Preliminary Designs – Thursday, April 2

Foundation News I  March 30, 2015

Finalists Tour Memorial Site, January 2015

Finalists Tour Memorial Site, January 2015

Exciting news this week!

The design team finalists are back and ready to show their initial ideas for the January 8th Memorial and El Presidio Park Master Plan.

You can see the finalists’ presentations first-hand here:

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Arizona Historic Museum, Auditorium
949 E 2nd Street, Tucson AZ.

This is the third phase of the design competition where each team will unveil their preliminary ideas to the public.

After a 30 day open comment period, the Selection Panel will choose a final design team to continue working with the community throughout 2015 to develop the final design for the January 8th Memorial and a final master plan for El Presidio Park.

Preliminary design concepts and videos will be posted on our website shortly after the presentations on April 2nd. Check back soon thereafter and lend your voice to the design process!

The permanent memorial will commemorate the January 8, 2011 mass shooting that killed six people and wounded 12 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The memorial is also intended to honor the spirit of our community in its responses to the tragedy and to inspire future generations to work together on community issues.

 The Four Finalists in the Design Competition are:

Sixty Design Teams Vie for Chance to Design Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

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Future site of Tucson’s January 8th Memorial

Foundation News I  October 1, 2014

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’s 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.”

Click here to read full story.

A Call to Tucson Artists and Community 

Foundation News I  October 1, 2014


Did you know that YOU too are able to use some of these tribute materials for your own artistic purposes?

Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation is forming partnerships with local artists in our community to transform candles, flowers, paper, balloons and various items to create meaningful works of art!  The wonderfully celebrated Tucson tradition of All Souls Procession will be held this year on November 9th.

Workshops to help you get ready are free and open to the public on Oct. 25-26, Nov. 1-2, and Nov. 8 from 11am – 5pm located in the warehouse at 411 North 7th Avenue next to Small Planet Bakery.

 You can help us make a January 8th Memorial Float for this year’s Procession or use our materials for your own mask, lantern, shrine, float, or some other creation.

There will be cardboard, wheat paste, tissue paper, glue, cutting devices…everything you need!

Free to everyone.

Memorial Foundation Donates Stuffed Animals

Foundation News I  October 1, 2014


Thousands of stuffed animals in all shapes and sizes were left at the three spontaneous memorials that sprang up in the days and weeks following the January 8, 2011 shooting.  This past year, volunteers logged more than 1200 hours sorting and inventorying all that was left at the community-made memorials sites.  Now with the cataloging complete, the stuffed animals are being distributed to kids in the community who will keep alive the loving spirit!

Child and Family Resources, whose CEO Eric Schindler is a Board member on the January 8th Foundation, will oversee the distribution of the animals.  A parade of pink bears, blue doggies and a few purple dinosaurs, which have been carefully stored and are in mint condition, will be distributed through Child and Family Resources Healthy Families program.

“I find it very touching and appropriate that these animals, given with so much love and emotion at a time of such pain, can now find homes with a few of the children in our home visitation program,” Schindler said.



National Search for Permanent Memorial Design Team

Foundation News I  July 22, 2014

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Future Site of Jan 8 Memorial

Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of a national search for a design team to create a permanent memorial to the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that killed six people and wounded of 12 others. (You are receiving this email because a member of the Foundation Board of Directors indicated you would be interested in learning of our progress.)

The Memorial will include indoor and outdoor space in the historic Pima County Court House and El Presidio Park to the west of the court house. The vision is to build a space that invites current generations to pause, reflect and remember, and enables future generations to fully understand the events that took place that day.

The location of the memorial was deliberately chosen. The proximity to Tucson’s government center and downtown’s central public plaza reinforces the critical role of the democratic process that was at the heart of the January 8th Congress on Your Corner. One goal of the memorial space is to encourage citizens to actively participate in the democratic process and exercise their fundamental civic right to engage in civil discourse.

Please forward this announcement if you have any suggestions about an artist or design team that you think would be interested in this opportunity.   Submissions are due by September 30, 2014, and final decisions on the design team will be made in early 2015. Click here for more information or to read the full Request for Qualifications,

We are excited to be moving forward with this important project, and will keep you posted with our progress. This is a community-wide effort drawing on partnerships at all levels of the community. Your support is vital to ensure we create a memorial that educates and inspires.


Memorial Powered by Loving Volunteers

Foundation News I  March 26, 2014

IMG_5673Our amazing team of volunteers has been working diligently to unpack and sort all of the memorial items. They have made significant progress in inventorying, scanning and photographing each item.

“I will never forget the incredible feelings of loss and helplessness that welled up as a result of what happened January 8.  When invited to take part in this project, I immediately knew this was for me.  I have been deeply moved by all the expressions of pain and hope and caring that the memorial items represent. Seeing and touching all of the things people took time to create and bring forward, and helping to categorize them, has been an amazing experience. I feel this project is a strong counter to chaos, and hurt and hopelessness that affected us all – it is helping to foster order and peace; it serves a testament to the resiliency of our community.”        -Liz Miller, Volunteer

If YOU are interested in joining our wonderful team of our archives inventory volunteers, please contact us at

 Read full article here.

Memorials Need A Home

Jan8PressConf:1-6-14:PALKA (sm)-060 copyFoundation News I  January 6, 2014

We are thrilled to announce that we have identified El Presidio Park and the Historic Pima County Courthouse as the place that will house our shared memories and serve as a space of inspiration and reflection.

Pima County and the City of Tucson, which own and maintain the property, respectively, shared a press conference to announce their commitment and support of a permanent memorial at the location they share. We are grateful for their collaborative work and support on this project.

With the site secure, the Foundation is ready to begin fundraising and to start the process of engaging with the community to create a vision for the memorial space itself. The Foundation hopes to be able to ask voters in the next Pima County bond election to support the memorial, as part of a redesign of El Presidio Park and the Historic County Courthouse that will serve as a catalyst to further connect citizens with their government.  To read full article click here.




First Memorial Exhibition – Remembering Together We Thrive

Jan8Luncheon:1-6-14:PALKA (sm)-12 copyFoundation News I  January 6, 2014

January 2014 marked the first time that a selection of the spontaneous, community-created memorial materials has been on public view since they were gathered for safe keeping from three Tucson locations in early February 2011.

Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation partnered with Pima County Public Library to bring the “Together We Thrive” exhibit to the public in time for the 3rd anniversary of the attacks. The exhibits were installed at three branches of the library: Joel D. Valdez Main library, Nanini branch library and Eckstrom-Columbus branch library. To read full article click here.