NHS, National Hellenic Museum Collaborate on Marathon Project Bringing the Marathon Spirit to Larger Audiences
WASHINGTON (March 19, 2012) — The National Hellenic Society (NHS) and the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) are pleased to announce their continued collaboration by developing Spirit of Marathon: From Pheidippides to Today, a traveling exhibition showcasing the origins, history and culture of the marathon in the context of the modern world. The exhibit is slated to be featured at the nation’s Marathon venues, including Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.
Spirit of Marathon will explore iconic moments, including the messenger Pheidippides’ original twenty-six mile run during the Battle of the Marathon, Spyridon Loues’ victory at the first organized marathon race at the 1896 Olympics, and Sylianos Kyriakides’ inspirational run to win the 1946 Boston Marathon—a promise of hope following the devastation of World War II.
“Marathon events serve as an inspiration for individuals aspiring to reach new heights of personal achievement with collective meaning,” said NHS Chairman George Marcus. “The marathon is a rallying call for worthy causes and a catalyst for unifying people—Hellenic ideals still relevant in today’s world.”
NHS is taking a lead role by providing a $75,000 grant toward the project’s creation with support from other national corporate sponsors anticipated.
“The National Hellenic Society is proud to collaborate with the National Hellenic Museum on this and other endeavors fulfilling our shared mission to preserve and pass on our heritage to our children and future generations,” said NHS Executive Director Timothy Maniatis
The exhibition is organized in four segments: The Legend and Spirit of Pheidippides,The Modern Marathon, Running with Purpose, and The Spirit Today. Each segment will follow the ancient marathon run to modern races. Aimed at appealing to all age groups and communities, the exhibit will encourage visitors to explore the spirit of the Marathon that exists today in a way that relates to everyone’s personal marathon in life. The exhibit will also inspire younger generations with a number of proposed interactive elements that invite participation.
“The marathon is a global phenomenon, but few recognize it as an iconic part of Greek history with a fascinating story,” said NHM President Stephanie Vlahakis. “We’re excited to introduce this story to Chicago and other cities across this country.”
The exhibit will debut in October 2012 at the all-new National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, located at the half-way mark of the 26-mile race in the historic Greektown neighborhood. The exhibition will reach hundreds of thousands of people throughout its tour.