This summer will be a time of healing. From what I can tell, there are a number of events coming up that are all dedicated to unity, peace, and healing.
One event series that I am particularly interested is set to take place at a long-underutilized waterfront park. When the City first completed the Broderick Park Masterplan, I anticipated that community groups would begin to host summer concerts and festivals at the new amphitheater. While there has been a little action, not much has materialized in the live music department, until just recently.
The FOBP is a 100% volunteer-led collaboration of community leaders, working together to increase awareness of the park as a designated Network to Freedom site.
2022 marks the second annual “Summer Freedom Celebrations” at Broderick Park, starting on July 7 and running every Thursday and Sunday from 5pm to 8pm, until September 29. The event series – hosted by The Friends of Broderick Park (FOBP) – will focus on history, culture, and community. This year’s series will be aptly themed Healing by the Water, in light of the recent tragedies.
According to historian Frank Severance, … “as early as the 1830’s and through the civil war, the ‘Black Rock Ferry’ (modern Broderick Park) was a last American stop on the Underground Railroad for thousands of freedom riders. These brave riders traveled hundreds of miles to board the Black Rock Ferry and cross the Niagara River to reach freedom on the Canadian shore. The FOBP chose this year’s event theme, Healing by the Water, in honor of the lives lost and saved during the targeted tragedy the city recently experienced; as well as the previous two years of global loss and personal isolation.
Activities and amenities will include live music, food, drinks, a vendor market, educational resources, and family activities.
“Over the last 12 years, The Friends of Broderick Park have worked to develop the park into a destination for family, culture and community. With the support of local organizations and national institutes, we have accomplished our foundational objectives to restore and transform the park into a welcoming and accessible greenspace that proudly shares its history.” – Friends of Broderick Park.
“Broderick Park symbolizes the end of trauma through courage and the start of healing through freedom. This summer, Healing by the Water, will bring our common ground to sacred ground. We aim to use theater, storytelling, art, music, dance, open mics, gardening, group circles, one-on-one counseling, journaling and exercise. We will celebrate the park’s historical significance, while offering healing activities and information regarding mental, emotional, and physical health and wellness for Buffalo residents.” – Friends of Broderick Park.”
The FOBP is currently recruiting sponsors and donations to support event and programming costs. Donations can be made at their website by clicking this link.