Press Release 9.4.99


For more information:

Kathy Rowan – 704.541.7529
Stephanie Ansaldo – 704.347.3844


Charlotte, NC (September 4, 1999) – Tickets are on sale for the exhibit, Varian Fry: Assignment Rescue, 1940-1941, which commemorates the life of the American journalist who spearheaded the rescue of some 2,500 people, including some of this century’s most prolific artists, writers, and scientists from Nazi-occupied France.

This photographic representation of Varian Fry’s rescue operation runs September 26 – November 15, 1999 at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, 310 N. Tryon Street. Curated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the exhibit is the centerpiece of a two-month educational program, “The Varian Fry Project,” sponsored by The Echo Foundation. Dubbed “The Artists’ Oskar Schindler,” Fry secured freedom for such irreplaceable figures as Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Jacques Lipchitz.

The highlight of the project is a panel discussion on opening day of the exhibit at Spirit Square’s Performance Place from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Moderated by WFAE’S Mike Collins, the discussion will feature panelists who were original members of Fry’s 1940’s Marseilles rescue team. A Patrons’ Reception will follow at the Public Library in the Exhibition space.

Panel discussion tickets are available ($18 each for adults and $10 for students) through The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 704.372.1000. Tickets for the Patrons’ Reception and discussion ($35) are available through The Echo Foundation by fax, 704.347.3845 or by phone, 704.347.3844.

Educational outreach programs to heighten awareness of Varian Fry’s heroic efforts, and elicit dialogue among the Charlotte community about the moral courage to act against indifference will take place September 16-November 15, and are as follows.

• Thursday, Sept. 16 at The Mint Museum of Art (2730 Randolph Road)– “Voices Against Indifference”: Educators forum for middle and high school teachers. Free and open to interested educators. Registration by fax required- 704.347.3845. Deadline September 14. Curriculum packets available to all participants.

• Sept. 16 – Nov. 5–“The Davis Steel & Iron Art & Writing Contest, Courage: A Journey to Freedom”: Call for entries to be announced in mid-September for contest open to all students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region. Cash prizes awarded and winning entries published in The Charlotte Observer. Deadline for entries is Nov. 5

• Week of Sept. 26–Student Dialogues: Varian Fry Exhibit panelists will visit local schools and meet with students to discuss Fry’s life, and related concepts of justice.

• Sept. 27; Weapons of the Spirit, Oct. 4; Profiles: Varian Fry, The Artists’ Schindler, Nov.1; The Exiles, & Nov. 8; The Courage to Care, –The Varian Fry Project Film Series: free weekly films (Mondays at 7 p.m.) in Francis Auditorium at main branch of Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. (310 N. Tryon St.) Contact Sam Shapiro (704.336.6217).

• Sept. 26—Book Signing: Author Andrew A. Marino, whose new biography of Varian Fry, Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry, will be at the exhibit opening.

Founded in 1997 by Stephanie G. Ansaldo, The Echo Foundation was created to carry on the message that Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte — a call to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage. Ansaldo, who spearheaded the Wiesel visit, cites “The Varian Fry Project” as one among many of the programs The Foundation will bring to the Charlotte region in coming years that will elicit dialogue and inspire individuals to act against indifference.