On Saturday, September 23rd, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park welcomed visitors for a day of free events to celebrate the beginning of fall, in recognition of the United Nations General Assembly and International Peace Day, and in collaboration with Roosevelt Island’s 2017 Fall for Arts Festival. Events included a kite-making workshop, storytime hosted by the Roosevelt Island library, and a conversation with real life human rights heroes.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Park hosted a free kite-making workshop and demonstration. Visitors of all ages were instructed in the craft of kite-making by expert Charles A. Stewart of Let’s Fly Kites. Free kites were provided, and Park education staff helped hundreds of families create and decorate kites of their own during this very popular event. Artist and educator Archie E. Stewart provided instruction in kite-flying, while treating all visitors to a demonstration of his magnificently hand-crafted kites.
The New York Public Library’s Roosevelt Island branch was on hand at the Park throughout the day, welcoming visitors with fun prizes, providing information about the library’s resources, and encouraging reading. The highlight of the library’s day at the Park was storytime with Marie Letourneau, author of the critically acclaimed children’s book Argyle Fox, which features animals decorating and flying kites of their own.
The Hawaii Institute of Human Rights co-hosted a talk about the Four Freedoms in Today’s Time. Khmer Krom monk and U.N. refugee Venerable Chanda Ly and President of Alliance for Democracy in Laos Bounthone Chanthalavong led the timely conversation about fundamental freedoms and human rights. The exchange provided all visitors with a reminder that FDR’s vision of “a world founded upon four essential human freedoms” was meant for everyone, “everywhere in the world,” and that there is still much work to do before we can declare that Roosevelt’s universal freedoms have been achieved.