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PR- 216-07
June 27, 2007


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today presented the 2007 Doris C. Freedman Award to the City Parks Foundation for its dedication to revitalizing parks and open spaces throughout the five boroughs. The Doris C. Freedman Award was established in 1982 by Executive Order by Mayor Edward I. Koch to acknowledge an individual or organization for a contribution to the people of the City of New York that greatly enriches the public environment.  It is dedicated to the memory and vision of Doris Chanin Freedman (1928-1981), New York City’s first Director of Cultural Affairs. Mrs. Freedman also served as President of the Municipal Art Society, Founder of the Public Art Fund and worked to establish New York City’s Percent for Art legislation. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at Gracie Mansion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Award by Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, City Parks Foundation Chair Jean Troubh, City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel and members of the Freedman Family including daughters Karen Freedman, Nina Freedman and Public Art Fund President Susan K. Freedman.

“On behalf of New York City, I am honored to present the Doris C. Freedman Award to the City Parks Foundation for its invaluable contributions to our City’s open spaces,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “By creating free outdoor opportunities that are good for our health, good for our environment, and good for our neighborhoods, City Parks Foundation has helped turn many of our parks and urban environments into places that communities admire and want to use.”

“Organizations like the City Parks Foundation are the life blood of our City, changing the landscape of many of our neighborhoods through arts and education,” said Public Art Fund President, Susan Freedman. “My mother, Doris Freedman, would have been thrilled to see Mayor Bloomberg applauding their efforts to not only connect people and parks but also to bring the joy of arts to so many on this, the 25th Anniversary of the Award named in her honor.”

 “We want everyone to feel that local parks are an asset for them, a place where people can enjoy nature, the arts, and fitness activities, and where they can create programs themselves for their entire neighborhood to enjoy,” said Chairman of City Parks Foundation, Jean Troubh.  “We’re honored to be recognized by Mayor Bloomberg with the prestigious Doris Freedman Award, and we’re proud to work as a partner with the City to improve parks and the neighborhoods around them.”

Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs. The organization works in over 700 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports and education programs and encouraging community development and revitalization of neighborhoods. This year, City Parks Foundation announced its most ambitious season of free performing arts programs, offering over 1,100 events in parks citywide, making it one of the largest presenters of the arts in New York City.  The organization’s arts programs include Central Park SummerStage plus free concerts, dance and theater performances, and children’s events citywide.

City Parks Foundation also offers free sports instruction programs to over 10,000 young people each year, including programs in golf, tennis, and track & field.  In the Spring of 2008, City Parks Foundation will open the CityParks Junior Golf Center in Brooklyn, the first comprehensive golf facility in the nation that will be completely free and exclusively for youth.  In 2006, the Foundation launched its seniors fitness program in parks, offering free tennis, yoga, and fitness walking programs in parks for New Yorkers ages 60 and over. In addition, City Parks Foundation serves over 6,000 children and teachers each year through its CityParks Education program, using parks as outdoor classrooms where students learn core subjects and important skills while discovering the natural world right in their neighborhoods.  In partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, City Parks Foundation also supports activities for 65,000 volunteers each year.

Past recipients of the Doris C. Freedman Award, include: Barry Benepe and Robert Lewis, 2006; Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2005; Richard Kahan, 2004; Edward I. Koch, 2003; The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, 2002; The J.M. Kaplan Fund, 1992; Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and its Founder, Halina Rosenthal, 1991; Dancing in the Streets, 1990; Richard J. Haas, 1989;  Studio In A School, 1988; Mark di Suvero, 1987; Margot Gayle, 1986; The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 1985; William H. Whyte, 1984; and Ronay Menschel, 1983.


Stu Loeser/ Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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