COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Franklin Park Conservatory has a Community Day on the first Sunday of every month. For February’s theme, staff wanted to celebrate Black History Month for the very first time.
Ruby White is the Community Engagement Specialist and planned Sunday’s event. “Our community days have been very much inspired by all of the diversity of cultures within the city,” says White. “So it just made a lot of sense to make sure that we also honor Black History Month as well in this amazing community that has so many roots in Black history for Columbus.”
Visitors took tours around the gardens, listened to live music and browsed art made by Black locals. Al Edmondson organized the Heritage Community Resource Room where all the artists gathered. He says he wants people to know that Franklin Park and the conservatory are for everyone.
“I think in the past the Black community didn’t think the park was for them. So this is an opportunity to come back to the neighborhood and be a part of this Black History celebration,” says Edmondson.
One of the featured local artists at the Community Day was Crystal Garnes, who grew up nearby the conservatory. “Franklin Park was really a big part of my life when I was younger. We used to come and hang out here at the park for hours,” says Garnes.
She says she is honored to be part of the Franklin Park Conservatory’s Black History day. Garnes says the event is not only about honoring the past, but looking toward the future as well. “I want people to understand that we can come together and do great things, a lot of great things together. If we could just do that, unify I think it would be really nice,” says Garnes. “We could do this every year.”
The theme for the park’s January day was Yoga and for March, they will honor Women’s History Month. To follow the community day theme announcements, click here.