Olmsted Park to host new family-oriented festival

May 30, 2008
By

SARAH DANIELS

PONDSIDE—The Sounds and Scenes Festival, a new outdoor family event celebrating music and landscape at Olmsted Park in the Emerald Necklace, will premier on Sat., June 7, presented by several Brookline- and Boston-based organizations.

The Sounds and Scenes Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. near Allerton Overlook on the Brookline side of Leverett Pond in Olmsted Park. The festival is free, open to the public and will feature concerts and a variety of participatory activities involving musical and visual elements geared primarily to children ages 3 to 10. Children’s concerts will take place on the hour every hour and will last for about 45 minutes each. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and enjoy the sounds and scenes of this outdoor festival. There will also be a few pre- and post-festival activities.

“Music is the chosen medium for helping establish and cement a connection for people with the landscape of Olmsted Park,” said Mark Swartz, National Park Service Ranger at Brookline’s Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. “We are looking for people to develop an emotional connection to their local park. Visual and musical elements both evoke emotions. Emerald Necklace designer Frederick Law Olmsted wrote in 1886 that “the visual experience of landscape is, like the aural experience of music, basically a subconscious and emotional one.”

The festival is part of a series of programs organized over the past seven years by Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and Brookline Adult & Community Education, using arts and humanities to highlight Olmsted’s legacy and the importance of parks. “Our goal in this particular program is to reach families by trying to create an early positive park memory for their kids that will lead them to want to return, hopefully many times,” Swartz said.

“Whenever the arts are presented in the outdoors, each medium enriches the other and makes both the art form and the outdoor setting that much more exciting and tangible,” said Susan Knight, Director of Development of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, a participating organization. “We are charged with the work of creating park stewards who care deeply about these parks that are their front and back yards.”

Just before and after the Sounds and Scenes regular events, a bird watch, stroller fitness class and “Sounds of Spring” walk also have been planned.

For further information on the Sounds and Scenes Festival, contact Brookline Adult & Community Education at 730-2700, or go to www.brooklineadulted.org.

The primary groups organizing the Sounds and Scenes Festival are the National Park Service/Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Brookline Adult & Community Education, Brookline’s Parks and Open Space Division and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

This event is funded by a grant from the Brookline Community Foundation. Brookline Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote a strong, engaged and inclusive community by identifying and raising public awareness of community needs, inspiring philanthropy and volunteerism, advocating for equal access to community resources, and supporting local nonprofit organizations. Additional financial support has been provided by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

The writer is a volunteer with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Sounds and Scenes Schedule

9 a.m. Emerald Necklace Bird Club “birding by ear” walk (begins at Daisy Field parking lot, Boston side) with Stephen Baird
9:30 a.m. StrollerFit exercise class for moms with babies led by Diane Pokorny Wilson
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Participatory activities for families offered by Mission Hill’s Sociedad Latina, Jamaica Plain’s Boston City Singers and La Piñata and others
10 a.m. Performance by singer-songwriter Maria Sangiolo
11 a.m. Brookline Music School faculty and student concert
Noon: Folksingers Lorraine & Bennett Hammond
1 p.m. One-mile “Sounds of Spring” walk through Olmsted Park for adults with Friends of Leverett Pond co-chair Hugh Mattison

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