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4th Russian-American Innovation Technology Week Will Feature a Visit to "The Princess & the Patriot Exhibit" Highlighting the Lives of Ekaterina Dashkova and Benjamin Franklin

Press Release

Press Release in Russian 

Photos of the April 7th viewing and musical performance

Invitation to visit "The Princess & the Patriot" 

The Mid-Atlantic Russia Business Council (MARBC) is pleased to announce that the 4th Semi-Annual Russian-American Innovation Technology Week (RANIT) being held from April 6-12, 2006 will include a viewing of "The Princess & the Patriot" exhibit at the Museum of the American Philosophical Society and a Russian musical performance at Benjamin Franklin Hall which compliments the exhibit. The viewing of the exhibit will take place on April 7 from 6-7:30 pm and the concert will follow at 8 pm. The exhibit has been chosen to be part of the RANIT program because it illustrates the long history of Russian-American cooperation. MARBC encourages those interested in Russian history and the Age of Enlightenment to view the exhibit.

"The Princess and the Patriot" exhibit is being held from February 17 - December 31, 2006 as part of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. The exhibit presents Franklin's life in a novel way, emphasizing his role as an Enlightenment thinker and placing him alongside Ekaterina Dashkova, an important figure in 18th century Russia. Though the two came from very different backgrounds, both Franklin and Dashkova were profoundly influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment that had been developed in Western Europe. Franklin made his mark as a scientist, a printer and a politician, playing an important role in the development of American democracy. In 1743 he founded the American Philosophical Society, an internationally respected organization dedicated to scholarly pursuits.

During the same era, Princess Ekaterina Dashkova was making a name for herself in her native Russia. In 1762, at the age of only 18, she helped her friend Catherine Alexeyevna (Catherine the Great) take the Russian throne in a coup d'etat. Ekaterina was an intellectual who studied literature and mathematics. She traveled extensively in Europe and became a friend of major literary figures including Voltaire and Diderot. Dashkova achieved further prominence as an intellectual when she was appointed as director of the Academy of Russian Language and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Franklin and Dashkova met face to face only once - in 1781 in Paris - but each developed a strong respect for the intellect and achievements of the other. In 1789 Franklin nominated Dashkova to become a member of the American Philosophical Society, making her the only female member of the group. In the same year, Franklin was nominated by Dashkova to join the Russian Academy of Sciences, making him its first American member.

The Russian musical performance will feature the group "Talisman" performing Russian Women Composers from the Court of Catherine the Great, which includes pieces written by Ekaterina Daskhova. The program will honor the legacy of these forgotten composers by combining their music with readings from their own memoirs to produce a vibrant performance that explores both history and music. The Benjamin Franklin Hall is located at 427 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

The Museum of the American Philosophical Society is located at 104 South Fifth Street in Philadelphia. For further information about the exhibit, visit www.amphilsoc.org/exhibitions.

For further information about the 4th Semi-Annual Russian-American Innovation Technology Week, contact Val Kogan, Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council, by phone: (215) 708-2628, or email: val@ma-rbc.org, or visit the MARBC website at: http://www.ma-rbc.org


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