Welcome to the July 2015 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online version

Volume 22, No. 7, July 2015
Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois. JPAC's fiscal agent is The Chicago Parks Foundation, a 501c3.
President is Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225, commissioner751@comcast.net.

Editor Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary. Hosted by hydepark.org (archive section Hyde Park Record) website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner, hpkcc@aol.com) by Dot Easy and OnShore Communications

The purpose of the JPAC is to provide a forum for …users of Jackson Park; to advise and make recommendations to the Chicago Park District on park improvements and programs (and create/ ensure programs); to encourage long-range planning; promote community utilization and awareness of park and program and participation in planning; and seek alternative funding sources.
Protecting Nature, Preserving History, Promoting Recreation"


June 8 meeting agenda.

Upcoming meetings or events. SEE CALENDAR IN PDF


Visit JPAC's official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find also our Facebook link there.

Contacts: JPACChicago@gmail.com, 773 357-7617; Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, 773 047-9541, President Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225.

Visit also, esp. for workdays http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/ and http://www.friendsofthewhitecity.org.

JPAC posts the monthly newsletter, with updates, to those who provide their email- garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.
LINKS TO NEWSLETTERS (starting from 2006) and lots of other material- (index is in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html- whicis also the RETURN link to the Jackson Park homepage in this website with navigator to the many Jackson Park pages in hydepark.org).

It's time for membership renewal- to 2015 printable letter and form.

KEEP CURRENT at Jackson Park News and Bulletins in the hydepark.org website.

Page on the Obama Presidential Library with links.
Record of the January 12 2015 open discussion of the Library at JPAC meeting

To Army Corps Project -JPAC's information page with links including to the USACE official site.
http://www.project120chicago.org. Recent material is posted on the park Framework and 4 projects underway or provisionally proposed. See also gardenofthephoenix.org.

Running set of minutes and standing resolutions.

WHAT'S UP AT THE JULY MEETING? (items may be made to the agenda from now until the meeting)

JULY 13 2015 MEETING - POTLUCK PICNIC BEGINS c6:30 pm. Meeting at 7
IOWA BUILDING, 1750 E. 56TH ST. between Everett and South Shore Drive, across from Montgomery Place Retirement Community.
Guest speakers if any
Your opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions for Iowa Building repairs, improvements, upgrades
Business - including vote to fill vacancy in the vice presidency until November elections
Reports and updates from council officers and committees, park staff, Wooded Island project,
announcement of next nature photography contest.

Upcoming meetings and events- SEE FULL CALENDAR IN PDF. (JUNE 21, 27, JULY 4, JULY 11, 13)

Visit us at our table in Nichols Park July 4 at the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic. Free children's books.
Come to the Golden Lady area on Hayes for fireworks at dusk.

Saturdays (except July 4?) White City Columbian Exposition tours. Meet east of Darrow Bridge at CPD surface lot.

Workdays- Bobolink Meadow July 18 (moved). Meet at the south end. parrybell@ameritech.net.
Wooded Island- check with Jerry Levy as access to the Island is limited.
June 27 workday and progress tour- meet at the soutb end/bridge to the Island or at the Japanaese Garden at 10 am.

Pickleball Sundays at 4 at the 59th tennis courts. Lawn Bowling. Croquet. Bird walks Saturdays at 8 in the Bobolink Woods and Meadow.

August 3, Monday, dusk. Movies in the Park. Jackson, exact loc. tba. "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Minutes of the June 8 meeting.

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. with a quorum present and several new visitors or members we haven’t seen for a while.

Guest presentation. 10,000 Ripples- Public Art, Peace, and Civic Engagement. Indira Johnson, artist and 2013 Woman of the Year and teacher at the School of the Art Institute presented, along with Mark Rodriguez, Executive Director of Changing Worlds. Indira showed how the several indoor and outdoor installations led to the program and collaborative of c35 organizations that has resulted in installations in 19 Chicago communities so far of sets of white Buddha heads emerging from the earth and of programs and spaces for peace, personal reflection, and outreach in violence reduction. The heads are made of cast fiberglass filled with sand and generally anchored in concrete. Each community set its own themes and goals, sites, and programs or activities—indeed the process of community engagement, input, dealing with community differences, and planning itself served often as a catalyst for change as well as a sense of ownership, community upkeep, and new community collaborations. The number of heads at each varies from one or two to nearly a dozen, and the sites chosen by the communities vary from beaches to street corners to the front of a church, and more recently parks such Palmisono (2700 S. Halsted)- even the back of a truck to be moved around! Indira and Mark emphasized that outreach with community stakeholder groups (including schools) and a full community decision-making process must take place, and unless there is independent funding to make more heads, a community must wait until the one-year residency of a set of heads in a park runs out before heads can be installed. To learn more: changingworlds.org, indirajohnson.org, 10000 Ripples on Facebook, and a booklet.

President McCurry explained that Jackson Park reached out to 10,000 Ripples and the Park District to start the conversation and suggested the Iowa building location on 56th St. as an example of a beautiful historic structure that needs peace healing (a homicide having occurred a year ago, for example), needs to have something that makes more of a destination so that repairs and upkeep are justified, and the place is a logical place (next to the retirement community) for peaceful reflection and small gatherings and activities as well as teaching and programming for youth. (There are already some tai chi etc. there.) The Iowa building has also attracted the interest of architects and outside groups such as the School of the Art Institute. JPAC can do some short term improvements there also, such as plant a shade-plant peace garden, McCurry said.
Members of the audience asked many questions and were enthusiastic about the 10,000 Bubbles programs and the possibilities for the location, asked for it for other sites on the South Side, and were interested in starting a process of community engagement and input. 5th Ward Office—Lanita Ross-- will help coordinate.

Discussions and updates. Dwight Powell said in regard to engagement that he met with the kids in the gym, as has the president and with their families, to let them know the many supplies and goods JPAC has given park kids and the fieldhouse and to ask for their input in decisions and participation—the tip of the iceberg in needed outreach and collaboration. Perhaps we could have a special meeting with the kids. He said preparing the gala was a wakeup call on need outreach, citing with appreciation the work and advice of Donna Hodge.

All who worked on the gala fundraiser were thanked.

Artist Yoko Ono will hold a ceremony this month ground breaking for the SKY LANDING project at the site of the Phoenix Pavilion on Wooded Island. (Report attached.)

Selection the South Side Bid for the Obama library was announced May 12 but actual site (which could be in Jackson) seems to be several months away.

Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District project manager said work is progressing fast on infrastructure for the Island and lagoons- for example, the limestone and gravel pathways are nearly done. They expect they can have a planting component as part of a public update walkthrough on June 27, but the plantings will be complex and strategic, so planning for a volunteer activity will have to be very careful.

Norm Bell reported that Bobolink is gorgeous; the contractor has done some thinning. Volunteers are needed for invasives cleanup June 13, 9 a.m. meeting south end. (July Bobolink workday will be on the 18th.)

There will be lots to clean up at LaRabida June 20, 9 to noon. 2

White City tours have had some large turnouts, and Midway tours are starting on Sundays at 1- skating rink.

McCurry reported on JPAC help getting new PACs started. A “Big Ideas for Small Parks” seminar at Nichols, hosted by Elm Park shared many ideas for PACs and the parks.

Business. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported May 31 balance of $4,102.96, expenditures and as of yet partial accounting from the May 17 gala.

Minutes of the May meeting were moved by Norm Bell and approved.

Dwight Powell was given JPAC’s “No Child Left Behind” Award, to enthusiastic applause.

Jake Young and Cherry Theard continue to activate and update our website and calendar and Facebook and to work with the Chicago Parks Foundation and its bank.

McCurry introduced our intern, Michael Bradley, Jr., a student at Illinois Wesleyan in history who will work on surveys, outreach, tour/educational development and bring computer and writing expertise to bear.

Frances Vandervoort announced that she is retiring from the position of Vice President. She will continue to help in other capacities. She was heartily thanked. Next meeting- elect an interim VP for the rest of the term.

Make Music Chicago will host events at the 63rd beach house and on the Midway. MakeMusicChicago.org, mnichol16@earthlink.net.

We will march with AYSO and have a table at the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic—combined PACs will give away from 10 boxes of children’s books donated by IIT. July 4 evening there will be fireworks by the Golden Lady (Hayes Drive). July 20 is 5th Ward shredding day at Jeffery Plaza.

Decision was to have July 13 meeting be a picnic at the Iowa building—we can start before the usual 7 pm.

Move to adjourn.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Yoko Ono’s “SKY LANDING” inaugurated June 12 2015 on Wooded Island site of the historic Japanese Phoenix Pavilion from the Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park

By Gary M. Ossewaarde

On June 12, 2015 artist Yoko Ono celebrated SKY LANDING, her first permanent installation in the Americas, in a ground-breaking ceremony by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, Project 120 Chicago, and Garden of the Phoenix Foundation. The ground has already been prepared with an elegant u-shaped, now turf-covered double mound designed by wHY LLC that will be landscaped. It will be the site, when dedicated in June 2016, a sculpture to be called SKY LANDING, by artist Yoko Ono and a marker—a space for both congregation and contemplation, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. No information was provided about the sculpture except as suggested by the title. The project is being funded with private money under direction of private-public partnership Project 120. The project was given several public and stakeholder vettings.

The project is sited in Jackson Park, Chicago’s Wooded Island, on the site of the Phoenix Pavilion, a gift from Japan to Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and located next to the later Japanese Garden. SKY LANDING and the Garden together comprise The Garden of the Phoenix.

The ground-breaking event was designated a “Ground Healing,” to establish the site as a bridge between sky and earth. The public ceremony consisted of a stirring drum, music and dance performance led by award-winning Tatsu Aoki and his Miyumi Project featuring the Tsukasa Taiko drummers, an ensemble of three saxophones, flute, and bass, and a traditional Japanese fan dance. Any further ceremony after on the hill was perhaps postponed because of weather, but the weather could not dampen the enthusiasm and warmth. Ono said, “It is almost like Chicago and Japan, that there’s an incredible, intense opening of the heart from the Chicago end, and I didn’t even know that. It’s like, the intensity is almost insane. And I think ‘wow, this is incredible’”. Ono reflected that more Japanese should learn the Chicago-Japan story and give Chicago something back and that SKY LANDING can generate peace.

Context was given by host Robert Karr, and remarks made by Michael Moskow, Vice Chair and Distinguished Fellow, Global Economy of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Chairman of the Japan Society of Chicago; Tushiyuki Iwado, Council General of Japan at Chicago; Hon. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Derek R.B. Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement, The University of Chicago; and Yoko Ono. Honored guests included descendants of J. Donnersberger, South Parks Board Commission Chairman 1893.

Outlined was the long and deep relationship between Japan and the United States (first treaty March 31, 1854) and Chicago (first visit by a Japanese mission in 1872 with a gift to the fire-ravaged city). The gift of the Phoenix Pavilion to the Columbian Exposition and as a permanent gift to the City of Chicago was carefully worked out, including with Fair designers Daniel Burnham and Frederick Olmsted, then inaugurated--also on a March 31 in 1893 at an elaborate convening of national and Fair officials and notables. The accompanying ceremony of the “landing” of the phoenix on the site helped inspire today’s SKY LANDING. The pavilion was modeled on a 12th century temple, shipped in sections from Japan, and assembled on the Island. The phoenix is associated with “kanji” (rebirth) and the idea that people and all are reborn on their 60th birthday and hence that history moves in cycles of 60 years. The pavilion was a well-used and loved facility in Chicago and by its growing Japanese community for many years. After its destruction by fire, four partially-burned panels were in storage for many years, but are now restored and on view in the Art Institute of Chicago.

SKY LANDING was conceived during an invited visit by Yoko Ono as Project 120 planted over 120 cherry trees as part of an evolving plan to restore and rethink the environs of the Japanese Garden and create ways that would serve as a living history lessons honoring Olmsted, the Columbian Exposition, the relationship with Japan, and the planting in 1913 of the cherry trees in Washington D.C. Cherry blossoms are iconic of spring in Japan and that appealed to Ono, as well as the site as the location at the Phoenix Pavilion, representing the Japan-Chicago relationship and at the center of major axes of both the park and the Columbian Exposition. Ono, releases state, was immediately drawn to and struck by the power of the place “I recall being immediately connected to the powerful site and feeling the tension between the sky and the ground. I wanted the sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again.”

2013 marked the passage of two 60-year cycles since 1893 (celebrated with giant banners celebrating “120 Years” at today’s ground breaking.) Speakers noted that while the first cycle post-World’s Fair was marred by an era of disastrous relations between the U.S. and Japan; the second has been marked by deepening alliance and mutual reliance. SKY LANDING marks the start of a third cycle and that is celebrated by SKY LANDING, standing in as a reconstruction of the Phoenix Pavilion. SKY LANDING project’ undertaking today conveniently dovetails with the U.S. Army Corps reconstruction of Wooded Island and the lagoons and a larger framework planning to restore habitat and landscape in accord with Olmsted’s vision, but resilient and sustainable. And Mayor Emanuel also took advantage of the event to announce another aspect of the City’s renewal of its commitment to public art, 50 new pieces of art in each of the 50 wards.

Chicago Park District CEO and General Superintendent Michael Kelly said about SKY LANDING in a release, “The City of Chicago was honored to receive such a gift from Japan at the time of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Understanding our past and our relationship today as global partners, we are privileged that the site, with the addition of ‘SKY LANDING’ by Yoko Ono, will teach and inspire us and future generations who visit The Garden of the Phoenix.” It’s an expression of the “enduring legacy of Eastern and Western collaboration” and unity the city press release adds. Mayor Emanuel said, “We will be most honored with the only place in the Americas with her artwork, and I want to thank you for choosing Chicago for that.”

Yoko Ono is an internationally-renowned installation and performance artist who grew up in Japan and has kept her connections to her homeland strong. She has overseen large outdoor installations: in New York City’s Central Park (“Strawberry Fields”) and Reykjavik, Iceland (“Imagine Peace Tower”). SKY LANDING is her first permanent installation in the Americas. A retrospective is currently on view at the MOMA in New York. Ono is widow of John Lennon, and is devoted to peace, meditation, and mystic powers and significance.