Armenian Heritage Park on The Greenway inspiring innovative public programs

Armenian Heritage Park (Photo: Peter Vanderwalker)

BOSTON, Mass.—Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway in Boston continues to inspire a series of innovative programs and initiatives. The park graces public space with its unique design and geometric features that tell the story of the immigrant experience. Throughout the year, programs are offered at the park in collaboration with civic, arts, cultural and educational organizations, all connected under the theme Remembering, Honoring and Celebrating. “Armenian Heritage Park is about creating the kind of bonds that make communities connect and flourish,” said Laura Bilazarian Purutyan, an active member of the Friends of Armenian Heritage Park, an initiative of the Armenian Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the park.

On Saturday, September 9, restaurant anoush’ella will host the very first Let’s Meet at the Park for College Students from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. College students from the greater Boston area and beyond are welcome to meet and greet, marvel at the Abstract Sculpture, walk the Labyrinth and write a wish on a colorful ribbon for the Wishing Tree. 

The Midday Labyrinth Walks, launched this year, are held every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. Led by health and wellness coach Katrina Piehler, the program includes a guided meditation walking the Labyrinth. Offered in collaboration with the City of Boston, Boston Public Health Commission and the Greenway Conservancy, the weekly program will continue until the end of October. “The labyrinth has been a tool for relaxation for centuries,” said Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.  “Walking meditation, supported by the Labyrinth, creates a space to be in the moment. It’s a practice of returning to a sense of balance and grounding and one’s own inner strength. Walking the Labyrinth is an experience that can be shared across cultures and age groups and offers an opportunity for people to enjoy a common space. Labyrinths have existed in all the world’s cultures, including the indigenous cultures of North America.” 

Tea & Tranquility is held weekly on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. to meet and greet, walk the Labyrinth and enjoy refreshing iced tea and desserts. 

Celebrating What Unites Us!, the monthly series offered in collaboration with the City of Boston Age Strong Commission, is now in its fifth year. Each month highlights the country of origin of one of the many immigrant communities living in the greater Boston area. The series builds community, cross-cultural understanding and common ground while promoting active, healthy and engaged living. “For the first time, I am meeting people from different parts of the city,” said Rita Pagliuca, who is also active with the Friends of Armenian Heritage Park. 

On Thursday, September 21 at 2 p.m., the Welcome Reception for New Citizens following their Naturalization Ceremony at Faneuil Hall will be held at the park. Supported by the park’s Noubar and Anna Afeyan Endowed Fund, the festive celebration will feature Dan Teager’s 12-piece Black Sea Salsa Band and luncheon, catered by anoush’ella. New citizens will be greeted with gifts from Boston’s arts, cultural and civic organizations including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Children’s Museum, New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

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“The park and the experiences it creates are a gift, a thank-you from the Armenian American community to those who have welcomed us, whether in the recent or distant past. The park tells the story of the immigrant experience, highlighting Massachusetts’ historical leadership in welcoming new arrivals, including Armenians, to its shores. We have the opportunity to carry forward this welcoming legacy by celebrating our newest U.S. citizens during this gathering at the Armenian Heritage Park. I hope you will continue the proud Boston tradition of welcoming newcomers with open arms by joining us on this special day,” said Armine Afeyan, founding chair of the Welcome Reception. 

On Saturday, September 23 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Jean Appolon Expressions Dance Company will premiere an original dance inspired by the design and key features of Armenian Heritage Park. The rain date is September 24. The dance performances are a part of the Greenway Conservancy’s Momentum Dance Series, presented by Amazon. Jean Appolon, founder and artistic director of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), chose the park to create this original piece. “This collaboration means a lot to JAE, because our work revolves around connecting different communities and cultures,” he shares. JAE is a contemporary dance company “deeply rooted in Haitian-folkloric culture that celebrates, nurtures and empowers a global community.” Momentum Dance Series on the Greenway will culminate with a Dance Festival on Saturday, October 7, when Jean Appolon Expressions performs at the park at 1:30 p.m. 

On Sunday, October 1 at 1 p.m., children’s book author and illustrator Meghri Dervartanian will present her recently published book Դէպի Արարատ Լեռ, Toward Mt. Ararat (2022). Dervartanian recently returned from Armenia where she and friends hand-delivered backpacks and school supplies to young students. Refreshments will be offered by Eastern Lamejun Bakers.Visit the Armenian Heritage Park website for a complete listing of programs at the park held throughout the year, beginning with the Annual Reconfiguration of the Abstract Sculpture in April. All programs are free and open to the public with the purpose of building community and coming together on common ground.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

  1. Great article and a great event.
    I suggest that during “On Thursday, September 21 at 2 p.m., the Welcome Reception for New Citizens following their Naturalization Ceremony at Faneuil Hall will be held at the park.” to hand each naturalized citizen a small armenian flag of Armenia and Artsakh so they may learn about our history.
    I am suggesting this idea, because when I became naturalized in 1976, right in the court house in Lowell Mass, I was handed the American flag and the Jewish Israeli flag.
    If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact me Mike (978)314-6663.
    Thank you.

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