The U.S. Embassy in Athens announced on Thursday the official launch of “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship,” a publicity campaign which aims to highlight the “enduring ties and shares” values between the two countries over the centuries.
The campaign will last for all of 2021 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire.
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt announced the initiative in a live television interview with Greek broadcaster ERT which followed the January 1st launch of the “Greece 2021” Committee’s campaign to commemorate the landmark anniversary.
The “Greece 2021” Committee will organize programs to celebrate Greece’s history, honor its people, highlight its achievements and envision its future. The U.S. Mission’s “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship” campaign will support this effort through educational and cultural events to showcase the historic bilateral relationship.
During his interview, Pyatt told stories of the centuries-old Greece-U.S. ties including the role which American philhellenes (lovers of Greece and Greek culture) played in the Greek people’s fight to establish their country.
In a statement, the ambassador said he believes relations between the two nations are the “best they’ve been” in the modern era.
“Our friendship began during Greece’s war for independence,” Pyatt said. “Greece’s 2021 bicentennial is an opportunity to celebrate this history and the values of liberty and democracy our peoples have defended for over 200 years.”
The U.S. Mission will fund several programs in 2021, partnering with Greek and American civil society and educational and arts institutions.
Campaign programs include the following:
- Virtual Entrepreneurship Project “Connect the Dots”: A virtual entrepreneurship mentoring program conducted in partnership with The Hellenic Initiative (THI), this program will provide online mentorship by U.S. business leaders to Greek entrepreneurs. This program is placed under the auspices of the “Greece 2021” Committee.
- Athens Science Festival 2021 – 200 Years of Innovation: An experiential space will be created, comprising multiple exhibits that refer to the historical anniversary and the evolution of the Greek state, highlighting areas of shared scientific excellence with the U.S. and featuring prominent American speakers. This program is placed under the auspices of the “Greece 2021” Committee.
- Greek National Opera, Stavros Niarchos Hall: The Greek National Opera will present two special musical performances of works reflecting the shared values of the U.S. and Greece.
- The “American Philhellenism” Exhibition at the Museum of Philhellenism: A special exhibition entitled “The American Philhellenism” at the Museum of Philhellenism in Athens, featuring unique artifacts and historical documents capturing the birth and evolution of Philhellenism, U.S. support for the Greek Revolution, and the impact of Greek culture on the values, institutions, artistic and architectural expressions in the U.S.
- Exhibition “The Free and the Brave: American Philhellenes and the Glorious Struggle of the Greeks (1776-1866)“: At the Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, this will be an exhibition exploring the movement of Philhellenism that flourished in the U.S. in the 19th Century, influenced by Greek classical thought and democratic ideals.
- American Studies: Scholarships towards the establishment of an American Studies curriculum at a Greek university.
- “Greek Fire:” A seminar at the Delphi Economic Forum and online report on the lasting impact that the Greek Revolution has had on American culture and politics.
- City of Sparta: Sparta will host a conference on American Philhellenes and conduct a range of programs throughout 2021 to commemorate the bicentennial.
- U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki: The creation of an exhibit that chronicles the history of the Consulate General and the U.S. presence in Thessaloniki.
For more information about the “USA & Greece: Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship” campaign and its programs, visit the U.S. Embassy in Athens website.
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