On Tuesday, November 9, the Pack Square Conservancy will present the Asheville premiere of a new documentary about Frederick Law Olmsted and America’s urban parks, according to Gary Giniat, executive director of the conservancy. Olmsted, a world-famous landscape architect and urban planner, designed Central Park in New York City, the landscape around the United States Capitol, and the grounds of the 120,000 acre Biltmore Estate — his last great project before his death in 1903.
The Olmsted Legacy, a one hour documentary, examines the formation of America’s first great city parks in the late 19th century and features the voice of actor Kevin Kline as Olmsted. The event will begin with a one hour reception at the Blue Spiral Gallery (38 Biltmore Ave.) at 6 p.m., followed by the film premiere at neighboring Fine Arts Theatre. After the film, a panel discussion and a Q&A will be conducted about the importance of urban parks, and the conservancies and foundations that work to protect and maintain them.
Panel participants include the director of the documentary, Rebecca Messner, Frederick Bonci of LaQuatra Bonci & Associates who designed the newly opened 6.5 acre Pack Square Park; Ed Uhlir, Executive Director of Millennium Park (Chicago), Meg Cheever, President & CEO, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Ken Bounds, Board Member of the Seattle Parks Foundation (and former head of Seattle Parks & Recreation Department) and George Briggs, Executive Director of The North Carolina Arboretum.
The event is presented by the Pack Square Conservancy. Friends of Pack Square Park members are free; reservations required by calling 828-252-2300. Tickets to the general public are $10. Seating is limited to 250 and includes the reception. Entry is free if you join the new Friends of Pack Square Park program the evening of the event. Proceeds from the film will benefit the Conservancy, a non-profit organization.