Skip to Content

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Announces Formation of Fire Memorial Task Force

Memorial Will Honor Those Lost in 2017 Wildfire Complex

February 14, 2023

In June 2022, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the creation and installation of a memorial artwork recognizing the impact of the Sonoma Complex Fires on the County’s residents and specifically honoring the memories of those whose lives were lost. The project will be overseen by a Fire Memorial Task Force in conjunction with Creative Sonoma, a division of the County’s Economic Development Board.

Preliminary goals for the memorial include:

  • Create a place for acknowledgement, remembrance, gathering, and reflection
  • Create opportunities for community healing that acknowledge the community’s individual and collective grief and sense of loss
  • Recognize that people have experienced and are processing grief and trauma in individual ways, and accommodate those differing paths as much as possible                            

"Communities are defined by how they come together in the face of adversity,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Creating a commemorative artwork is a long-lasting opportunity for us to honor the values that we shared before the Tubbs and Nuns fires changed our county forever, and to provide a place for solace, reflection, and remembrance.”

The Memorial Task Force will:

  • finalize the work plan, including project goals and themes (the complete work plan is available at
  • ensure that appropriate artists are invited to participate in the RFQ/RFP process
  • support and participate in community engagement processes designed by the Task Force, staff and artist;
  • selecting finalists and a subsequent artist or artist team to receive the commission
  • support the development of the project concept including reviewing design development as appropriate;
  • advocate for the project as it is being developed and when it is completed.

The process will be designed with significant flexibility for artists to conceptualize many types of
memorial artworks, based on feedback gathered through community engagement activities.
Proposed memorial artworks might include physical sculptures, gardens, mosaics, story
collections and kiosks, and other process-oriented works.

Membership Composition
The Memorial Task Force of approximately 7 members will consist of a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including representatives of families who lost loved ones in the fires, first responders, artists, and arts workers. The Task Force will be drawn from across the County.

An ad hoc committee, including representatives from Districts 1, 3 and 4, and the Creative Sonoma Advisory Board, will review the pool of applications, hold interviews as necessary, and recommend potential members to the Board of Supervisors for review and approval.

Meeting Schedule
The Memorial Task Force will meet no less frequently than bi-monthly at the Creative Sonoma office: 141 Stony Circle, Suite 110, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Additional meetings will be scheduled as needed based on the project workload.

Self-nominations are eligible. To learn more about the Fire Memorial and the Task Force, please go to: The Fire Memorial Task Force application is here:

Creative Sonoma is a division of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board dedicated to
supporting and advancing the creative community of Sonoma County. Please visit for more.


Contact Information

Kristen Madsen
(707) 565-6120