Holiday Monkeys – Retired

During the winter holiday seasons from 2014-2019, neighborhood businesses “fostered” 200 LED-lit monkeys from the PNA to display in their windows. The project, along with the Phinney Center’s air raid tower “GloCone,” were the brainchildren of the PNA Business Group and were made possible by the Greenwood Arts Council, a grant from the city’s Department of Neighborhoods, and many volunteer monkey-building hours.

The PNA Business Group chose monkeys as a unique complement to WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo (perhaps as “escaped animals”), to draw visitors to the neighborhood and, through their fostering fees, generate money the business group uses to sustain the troop and seed other community projects. (See KING-5’s news coverage of the project.)

However, in 2020, it came to the PNA’s attention that, in choosing monkeys, we did not take into account the extended history of monkeys being used as a racist symbol, with Black people being derogatorily referred to as monkeys symbolically and in language. Because the PNA does not want to cause any hurt or harm to our Black community members or visitors, nor reinforce this symbolism, the Board of Directors unanimously voted on July 21, 2020 to permanently retire the monkey project.

Read the full announcement