Friends of the Parks’ 6th Annual “Parks as Democracy? Luncheon and Conference: Looking Back to Look Forward in a Landmark Year” will remember the 200th Birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted and the 100th anniversary of the Fountain of Time in Chicago’s South Parks. The event consists of virtual sessions from 12noon to 2pm CST on Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10, with the keynote presentation and awards ceremony taking place on Friday in lieu of an in-person luncheon. Key remarks by Friends of the Parks’ board chair, Bronwyn Nichols Lodato, will focus on the challenges associated with plans for the Midway Plaisance in light of the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Dede Petri of the National Association of Olmsted Parks also will say a few words marking the Olmsted 200 celebration. This will be followed by presentation of FOTP’s “Olmsted Award” to the Washington Park Camera Club for their virtual exhibit “South Park Then and Now” along with some discussion and Q&A with members of the camera club. Discussion about what it means for parks to be democratic spaces and what issues we should present to municipal election candidates will follow. Saturday’s agenda will include remarks by FOTP’s executive director, Juanita Irizarry, regarding the recent illegal construction in historic Humboldt Park, followed by a panel presentation of other hot topics and then breakout sessions akin to Friday’s discussions about parks as democratic spaces.
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM