The restoration of the Fort Greene Park entrance plaza at Myrtle & Washington Park that we took on this past month is complete. The Belgian Blocks are as level as they'll ever be, the tree pits are larger, and there's space for future plantings along the stone wall. So be sure to stop by this entrance to see the small but significant change. We hope to bring some activity to this plaza in the future, possibly as soon as next month with holiday lights and Christmas Tree sales. Stay tuned!
But the bigger news is that the restoration of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument is also complete, and the festivities to celebrate its centennial take place this weekend.
The majestic, Stanford White-designed Prison Ship Martyrs Monument which stands in the heart of the Park is one of the most important and sacred memorials in our country. The monument honors over 11,500 Prisoners of War who perished for the cause of freedom aboard British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War of Independence. Remains of the Prison Ship Martyrs are interred in a crypt beneath the Monument. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1908 dedication of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument a grand Centennial Celebration will take place this weekend in Fort Greene Park.
The Centennial Celebration begins Friday November 14th with a kick-off reception at MoCADA at 5:30 PM featuring an exhibit of prize-winning art works created by neighborhood high school students who were inspired by the experiences of the British Prison Ship Martyrs. MoCADA, (The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) is located at 80 Hanson Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
On Saturday, November 15th, a full day of free family events begins in Fort Greene Park. Highlights include: the official return of the bronze eagles, Revolutionary War Re-enactors, a parade of flags, entertainment, genealogy workshops, and a 21-gun salute - leading up to the official re-lighting of the urn at the top of the monument - which has been dark for over 70 years.
FULL CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, Nov. 14, 2008 - 5:30 Free Kick-Off Reception at MoCADA, 80 Hanson Place
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 - Full Day of Free Spectacular Activities in Fort Greene Park
10:00 AM - Sign up sheets will be made available for advance reservations for the limited space events. Location: the Visitor's Center.
11:00 AM - NYC Department of Parks and Recreation unveiling of the Monument eagles and Ribbon Cutting.
NOON to 3:45 PM - Family Activities. Visitor's Center: Family Roots Project: free genealogical workshops conducted by the African Atlantic Genealogical Society; Entertainment stage: Jeff Newell's New Trad and Wade Barnes' Brooklyn Four plus One, Brooklyn High School of the Arts band, performers from Irondale Theater; * Guided bus tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; Revolutionary War re-enactors; meet Mr. Walt Whitman; Ranger-led tours of the park; * a horse and buggy will provide rides and transport for people in need of help to reach the Monument Plaza. * = These limited space events must be reserved in advance at the Visitor's Center.
3:15 PM - Fife and drum led procession and parade of flags from South Oxford Park to Fort Greene Park's Monument Plaza for the beginning of the formal tribute.
3:30 to 3:45 PM - Flag-posting ceremony on Monument stairs.
4:15 PM - Formal commemoration: National Anthem sung by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman; keynote address by Dr. Edwin G. Burrows, the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner and author of "Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War;" 21- gun salute; wreath-laying; color guards; solemn military pageantry and much more!
5:00 PM - Re-lighting of the Eternal Flame of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.
5:30 to 7:30 PM - Reception and Benefit for the Fort Greene Park Conservancy at Brooklyn Technical High School, 29 South Elliott Place. Food by Akhtar Nawab, chef & owner of Eletteria, entertainment by cabaret singer, Victoria England. Note: there is a required $25 donation per person for this event, paid in advance. For online donation reservations, click here to go to PayPal site or call Ruth Goldstein at 718-596-0899.
7:30 PM - Free Concert at Brooklyn Technical High School Auditorium. The world premiere of "Brooklyn Bones: Requiem for the Prison Ship Martyrs" by composer Alvin Singleton, with text by Patricia Hampl. Commissioned by the Fort Greene Park Conservancy to commemorate the Centennial, "Brooklyn Bones" is a work for chorus, orchestra and solo tenor. Enter Brooklyn Tech at the main entrance at 29 South Elliott Place. Seating begins at 7:15 PM.