Image of the mural wall featuring TDOR altar for Elise and trans lives lost in 2023

For Immediate Release: Chicago Therapy Collective Marks TDOR 2023 with mural to commemorate late Black Trans Activist Elise Malary

Released by Chicago Therapy Collective 11/20/2023 @1:30pm CST

In honor of TDOR 2023 and the enduring legacy of our late co-founder and Board Member, Elise Malary, a permanent mural will be created to honor her work and legacy. Utilizing the iconic location of the non-profit she co-founded, the Mural will serve as a landmark to celebrate her life and Black Trans Lives for years to come. The creation of the Mural will occur over 12 months, starting this Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) 2023 with the release of an RFP and culminating on TDOR 2024 with the unveiling of the mural.  Per the RFP, CTC is seeking proposals from artists with experience in visual arts to design, fabricate, and install a large mural that uplifts Elise’s legacy.  All applicants must submit a qualifying application by January 15th, 2024 at 11:59 PM Central. 

The objective of this project is to create a memorable installation visually featuring Elise and enshrining her legacy furthering the Black Trans Lives Matter movement in Chicago. The mural should reflect the beauty and challenge of Elise’s struggle and the vital cross-community support she won bringing activists, businesses, and community leaders together to advance trans-inclusion and economic justice for trans community members across the city. 

Since her death in March of 2022, a chalk memorial/mural honoring Elise has been maintained by community and collective members on the southeast wall of Clark & Farragut, adjacent to CTC offices, Women & Children First Bookstore, and at an intersection where Elise herself gave several speeches on behalf of the Trans Community. It has been regularly visited and maintained by loved ones, neighbors, and fellow activists, as well as leaders and elected officials including Governor JB Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, State Senator Mike Simmons, House Rep Kelly Cassidy, Alders Vasquez and Mana-Hoppenworth, and Mayor Brandon Johnson. 

We believe in the future that Elise worked tirelessly for, one where  the people and organizations that make up the neighborhood will continue to grow not just as  leaders of LGBTQ+ inclusion & equity, but Black and Brown inclusion & equity as well. The mural should inspire friends, family, and local leaders to continue working across conventional lines to accelerate Trans inclusion, equity & justice, and honor Elise’s vision with a spirit of optimism, hope, and resolve. 


Press Selects: 

Photos of community maintained chalk memorial/mural

Photos from June 4th visit: Senator Mike Simmons, CTC ED Iggy Ladden, Rep Kelly Cassidy, CTC Member KJ Whitehead, Governor Pritzker, & Lieutenant Governor Stratton at the mural/memorial wall

Photo of Mayor Brandon Johnson visiting the chalk memorial/mural Spring 2023

PDF of Elise Malary Mural RFP 

Press Contact: Lindsay Doyle, [email protected], 908-246-9735