Dedication of Peace Through People Pavilion on April 22, 2017

Dedication of Peace Through People Pavilion on April 22, 2017

Architect-Pavillion-renderingThe Springfield Sister Cities Association announces the April 22, 2017 dedication ceremony of the new Peace Through People Pavilion to welcome more cultural performances and events at the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.

Following the 3 p.m. ceremony, there will be a free 3-5 p.m. concert featuring Mariachi Viva Xalisco, and special guest, Paco Padilla, all visiting from Tlaquepaque.

At about 4 p.m., as the band takes a break, the Springfield Sister Cities Association and Friends of the Garden will unveil a new sculpture near the pavilion by Tlaquepaque-based sculptor Rodo Padilla. The sculpture, titled “Amigos,” features bronze spheres with happy smiles atop a black ceramic-covered body that serves as a reclining park bench.  Part of the sculpture wraps around a dogwood tree, planted as part of the installation.

“The sculpture comes to life expressing a true relationship of friendship and peace between people and their God-given environment,” Rodo Padilla wrote in a statement about the piece, translated from Spanish. Rodo Padilla, brother to Paco Padilla, will also be in attendance for the event.

Construction began the summer of 2016 on the pavilion, a partnership among SSCA, Friends of the Garden and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. The Pavilion is a band shell powered for stage lighting and amplified sound facing a landscaped natural amphitheater that can accommodate about 500 patrons using lawn chairs or blanket seating. Read more about the pavilion at

After its opening, the Peace Through People Pavilion will be available for community reservations as well as special events developed by SSCA, FOG and the Park Board.

The Pavilion’s name reflects the mission and goals of the Springfield Sister Cities Association to advance awareness and understanding of many cultures, particularly through avenues such as performance, art and music.

The project was funded entirely by private donations through the Springfield Sister Cities Association and Friends of the Garden, the Springfield Sister Cities Association, Friends of the Garden, and a $5,000 grant administered by the Springfield Regional Arts Council on behalf of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. In addition, the Tom and Kay Finnie Endowment Fund has been established at the CFO for long-term maintenance of the project. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is providing in-kind services such as site preparation for the construction.

Springfield-based Butler, Rosenbury & Partners is the architect for the project. Frank Zanaboni of FrankZ Landscaping is the landscape architect working with Dennis McCain, landscape architect for the Parks Department.

“With the growing popularity of the Springfield Botanical Gardens as one of the city’s premiere amenities and our strong partnerships with FOG and the Park Board, the SSCA board believes this is an ideal location to build upon our success in creating more cultural opportunities for the community,” SSCA Past-President Michael Thomas said.

For more information about the SSCA, visit

For media information, contact: Cindy Jobe, SSCA Executive Director, at