Newsletter: Volume 2, Issue 2

MARCH 2016

This year, spring is arriving earlier than we expected. The blossoms of our Little Leaf Linden trees have begun to unfurl, flocks of birds have gathered in the East River en route (or already) home, and our ever dedicated runners-cum-visitors have come out in droves. Spring signifies the start of the Park's busy season, and we have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on a year's worth of programs and events.

In April, we will present this official list of programs to you. From a talk on the making of public space today to a panel discussion on art and the four freedoms, the goal is simple: to initiate a conversation about the meaning of freedom. Seventy-five years ago, President Roosevelt gave a speech that would leave a resounding impact on human rights around the world. He called these freedoms by name - freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear - and he asked the American public to protect and uphold them. 

And yet, there is still more to do. With this wonderful weather, we invite you now to visit the Park and join us in this dialogue about freedom.

We recently commissioned artist Victo Ngai to create a series of images representing the four freedoms in celebration of the 75th anniversary (see above). You may recognize her work from the New York Times and the New Yorker, or from our annual appeal campaign last year. Using birds, international symbols of peace, Ngai represents each freedom in careful detail and interpretation. Under her pen, freedom takes on form: words take flight, wings fold into prayer and give shelter, and a life is filled with abundance.

We are absolutely thrilled with her artwork and are so very excited to share them with you. Prints and other merchandise will be made available for purchase online and at the Park soon.

As always, please let us know if you have questions or ideas to make the Park even better, or if you simply wish to say hello. We look forward to seeing you soon and often! 

All the best,

Sally Minard
President & CEO
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy


We are thrilled to be the recipient of a NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program grant, which will help us firmly establish Four Freedoms State Park as a premier NYC destination through new marketing initiatives! Many, many thanks to Parks & Trails New York, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Governor Cuomo for their incredible help and support. We look forward to sharing more information about our marketing projects with you shortly.
Volunteer at the Park
Join us at one of our two drop-in Volunteer Open Houses and become part of the dedicated & enthusiastic group who has helped us welcome more than 490,000 visitors from around the world.
Saturday, April 2, 11am - 3pm
Sunday, April 10, 11am - 3pm

Free, no registration reqired.
On the Blog
If you love Four Freedoms Park, history, architecture, design, or another subject related to the memorial and are interested in guest blogging, we’d love to hear from you! Please email and tell us about your blog post idea.
An excerpt from

On April 9, 1939, a crowd of seventy-five thousand covered the green expanse of the National Mall. They stood shoulder to shoulder, jamming the path to the Lincoln Memorial, pressing in around the Reflecting Pool, and fanning up the hill to the Washington Monument. The nation’s capital had never seen such a gathering. Even the cold, damp, and dreary weather could not keep the people away. Wearing their finest Easter attire, they had come to hear Marian Anderson sing.

The struggle to stage this concert—to find an appropriate venue for the African American contralto critics extolled for her “perfect singing voice”—had captivated the nation and awakened a complacent city to the cruel hypocrisy of segregation.

Most in the crowd knew that the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), a women’s group made up of descendants of Revolutionary War patriots, had refused to rent space for Anderson’s performance because she was black. They also knew that Eleanor Roosevelt had resigned from the DAR to protest the decision, that the DC Board of Education had followed the DAR’s lead by limiting Anderson’s access to its own auditoriums, and that it had taken the combined efforts of the White House, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a wide coalition of Washingtonians to arrange this performance.

Now Anderson, with Daniel Chester French’s famous statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln looming behind her, walked toward the microphones to enthrall her audience in the capital, as well as those listening by radio all around the country. Everyone involved knew it was an important event. But few, if any, realized the impact it would have on America.

Continue the story here.

Photo: A view from the Lincoln Memorial, with the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument in the distance, as Marian Anderson performs to an estimated seventy-five thousand people of all races. The dramatic, long-awaited concert took place on April 9, 1939—Easter Sunday. LOC is made possible by its lead donor, Stavros Niarchos Foundation. 
Illustrations by Victo Ngai
Volunteer photo by Quixxle Studios © 2015
Blog photo by Setsuko Winchester, Freedom from Fear Project

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions help to further the mission of the Conservancy and are tax-deductible as provided by law. A copy of our last filed financial report may be obtained by contacting us at 1110 2nd Ave, Suite 301, New York, NY 10022, 212-204-8831 or by contacting the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.
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