Heritage Park Kicks off Special Gifts Initiative To Construct Site, Endow Foundation


ARLINGTON, Mass. — Representatives from the 37 parishes and organizations serving on the Armenian Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors attended a meeting on Tuesday, November 10, at the Armenian Cultural Foundation.

The purpose of the meeting, the first in a series, was to kick off the Special Gifts initiative of The Campaign to Build and Endow Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston.  Special Gifts Committee members are asked to contribute and secure commitments of a minimum of $1,000 and above.

Haig Deranian, foundation vice president, in his welcoming remarks, gave a brief overview of the project’s history and extended thanks to all those whose commitment and leadership are making a significant difference.

James Kalustian, foundation president, in his update emphasized the importance of every member of the community supporting the campaign because “every gift makes a difference.” He emphasized that to reach campaign goals, the foundation was depending on the generosity and support of lead and major gift donors.  To date, $3.8 million has been raised towards the $5-million goal. Raising the additional $1.2 million required is now the key focus. Kalustian’s Power Point presentation gave an overview of the park’s design and financial goals.

Armenian Heritage Park both commemorates the Armenian Genocide and all genocides that have followed, and celebrates the immigrant experience consistent with one of the  themes of the Greenway, which is to acknowledge the history of Boston as a port of entry for immigrants worldwide and contributed to the richness of American life, he reported.

Kalustian also spoke of the importance of the North End and Rowes Wharf neighborhood associations and their leadership and commitment to the realization of Armenian Heritage Park.

Charles Guleserian closed the brief program by asking each person to reach out to others to support and participate in this Special Gifts Initiative, which paves the way for the Every Member campaign in early 2010.

“My day is always made,” he remarked, “when contributions are received.”

During October, the foundation’s leadership met with the New England clergy to engage their leadership in support of the campaign to build and endow Armenian Heritage Park. Their active involvement is making a difference.

A link between Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park on four-tenths of an acre on parcel 13 on the Greenway, Armenian Heritage Park has received support from neighboring community groups in Boston’s North End and Wharf District, as well as many of Boston’s civic, community and political leaders.

Construction is slated to be completed by fall 2010. The park will include lawns, benches, fountains, shade trees as well as a labyrinth and a sculpture.

The labyrinth, a circular winding path in grass and inlaid stone with a single jet of water at its center, is symbolic of life’s journey and in celebration of achievements in art, science, commerce and service.

The sculpture, a 12-sided abstract geometric sculpture rests on a 16-foot-diameter reflecting pool to commemorate lives lost in the Armenian Genocide and all genocides that have followed and to celebrate those who left their country of origin and reconfigured their lives in this country in new and different ways. The waters of the reflecting pool wash over its sides, commemorating lives lost and re-emerges as the single jet of water at the labyrinth’s center, representing hope and rebirth.  Annually, the sculpture will be reconfigured.

Annually an endowed lecture on human rights in collaboration with The Bostonian Society will be held at Faneuil Hall. The series is being fully endowed by a philanthropic family.

Endowed funds are also being established to annually support the care and maintenance of the park in perpetuity as well as the annual reconfiguration of the sculpture.

Visit www.ArmenianHeritagePark.net for further information.

For sponsorship information and naming opportunities, call or e-mail Jim Kalustian (781) 777-2407, [email protected]; Charles Guleserian(617) 484-6100, [email protected]; Haig Deranian (617) 484-2215, [email protected], Walter Nahabedian (781) 891/7249, [email protected] or Dr. Jack Kasarjian (617) 232-6350.