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The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy announced today that MassDevelopment, a State agency, has granted $250,000 in support of a custom carousel on the Greenway. In addition, the Conservancy has launched a Community giving campaign to fund the $2.9 million project, of which $1.6 million has been pledged by a private donor. The custom carousel is planned to replace the seasonal carousel on the Greenway’s Parcel 14, next to the Harbor Islands Pavilion between Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park. More information is in the press release below.

(Boston) – January 18, 2012The board of MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s partner in the administration of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund has approved a grant in the amount of $250,000 for the custom carousel currently being designed for the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway.  The Greenway Conservancy, stewards of Boston’s newest park, also announced today the launch of a Community giving campaign in support of the Carousel.

This Cultural Facilities Fund grant was funded through a $7 million appropriation made by the Governor as part of a 2011 capital bond allocation.  The custom carousel will cost $2.95 million, the majority of which was gifted to the Conservancy for this purpose by a single donor.

“The idea of a custom carousel has been on the City’s list of long-term projects for the Greenway,” says Nancy Brennan, executive director of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.  “In June of 2010, The Boston Foundation introduced us to an anonymous lead donor who pledged $1.6 million for the planning, design and a portion of the construction of the carousel. She sees this as an opportunity ‘to contribute to the happiness of Boston’s children.’ This new grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council will allow us to move forward even more quickly on this most important project.”

“The Greenway Carousel is a great example of how the arts can bring a community together to celebrate its heritage and

reaffirm its identity,” said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the MCC. “The Cultural Facilities Fund is delighted to support a project of such enormous value to the people of Boston and the Commonwealth.”

This one-of-a-kind carousel is being designed and sculpted by Massachusetts artist Jeffrey Briggs, a nationally renowned carousel craftsman.  Boston Public School children supplied the inspiration for the carousel’s characters by brainstorming and drawing animals that remind them of their hometown or past visits to Boston.  What emerged is a theme that is uniquely Boston: air, land, and sea creatures of Boston and its harbor.  The carousel will offer visitors the chance to ride a Green Sea Turtle and Harbor Seal, both of which can be seen in the neighboring New England Aquarium. While sitting atop the Peregrine Falcon, riders can be on the lookout for the real falcons nesting in the surrounding skyscrapers of the Financial District.  Even the mythical Sea Serpent Gondola has been designed based on historical accounts of giant oarfish that surfaced in Gloucester Bay in the 1800s.

The Greenway carousel will be a highly engaging work of art that will embed an experience of pure delight in the heart of the city center. Its environmental theme will make the carousel educational and playful, linking the carousel experience to visits to the Aquarium and Harbor Islands, walks along the Harbor’s edge, and play within the parks.  As the only custom carousel in New England, it will increase visitation to the Greenway and surrounding attractions, lodgings, restaurants and other businesses. For Boston area residents, the carousel will offer the opportunity to form new, shared traditions. The carousel will have an extended operating season to include Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities. It will be the only ADA-compliant carousel in New England, and will employ universal design principles beyond wheelchair accessibility to integrate subtle but important features that will address the specific needs of people with a wide range of physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities.  The Greenway carousel is destined to become a new Boston landmark.

Members of the community wishing to donate to the custom carousel should contact the Conservancy or donate via our website: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/RoseKennedyGreenwayConserva/OnlineDonation.html

Media wishing more information, call Lisa Quackenbush of cuePR at 781.801.0347. The Wharf District Parks in the Rose Kennedy Greenway are accessible through the MBTA Aquarium (Blue Line) Station, and in close proximity to both North Station (Green, Orange and Commuter Rail Lines) and South Station (Red, Silver and Commuter Rail Lines). The Greenway parks are fully accessible to people with disabilities.

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About the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a ribbon of contemporary urban parks that connects people and the city by providing beauty, fun, and a sense of community in Boston.  Now, four of Boston’s most diverse and dynamic neighborhoods – formerly divided by a massive structure of steel and asphalt – are linked by beautifully landscaped parks, gardens, and plazas and reconnected with the harbor.  For more information, visit www.rosekennedygreenway.org.

About The Greenway Conservancy

The Conservancy is the designated steward of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, a new ribbon of contemporary urban parks in the heart of Boston. We are delivering on the promise of a beautiful, vibrant, innovative city park. Established in July, 2004 through an agreement with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, the City of Boston, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization, which operates, maintains, preserves and manages the parks on behalf of the public. The conservancy raises private and public funds to support the parks, aspiring to excellence in design, operations, and public programming.

Carousel at Night on Greenway (NorthEndWaterfront.com photo)
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