Rosenwald completes its run at the Avalon Theater

Rosenwald opened on August 28th at the Avalon Theatre, DC’s independent movie theatre, and played for a wonderful eight weeks. As the theatre is located close to The Ciesla Foundation and was saved by us in the community, this run was very significant. Audiences in the Washington, DC area came in droves to the theatre where lively discussions were held. Director Aviva Kempner was surprised on the film’s last night, October 22nd, when flowers were presented to her from the talented Brian Henderson, who designed the film’s poster. Thanks to Brian and the wonderful audiences who came to see the movie!

Aviva with her flowers from Brian!

New Gallery Opening Thanks to Past Donation by Jacob Lawrence

A new art gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan will be opening this week, giving art lovers everywhere a chance to check out some fresh works. This gallery is no average institution, however: it’s funded by a donation left by Jacob Lawrence and his wife Gwendolyn, before Jacob’s untimely death in 2000.

Equity Gallery is founded by the New York Artists Equity Association, or Artists Equity for short. Mr. Lawrence was a long-time member of Artists Equity and even served as its president. He and his wife were avid supporters.

The gallery is located at 245 Broome Street and will be open starting Wednesday. The opening show is titled 2015:1947 and will feature paintings, sculptures and videos by eight different artists.

Jacob Lawrence’s Great Migration paintings and backstory can be found featured prominently in the Rosenwald film.

Julius Rosenwald mentioned by Paul Theroux on NPR!

On October 15, Paul Theroux went on NPR to talk about his new book, Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads. In the interview, Theroux- along with host, Michael Kransy- discusses the condition of poverty in the deep south. They state that the best way to lift people out of poverty is by creating jobs in lieu of outsourcing them. Theroux also argues that education is an important aspect of poverty prevention that is overlooked. He uses Julius Rosenwald’s actions to set an example of what can be done to help impoverished areas. He also mentions our movie!

You can also read more about Theroux’s views on poverty in this article he wrote for the New York Times.

In addition to Theroux’s comments about Julius Rosenwald, North County Public Radio also ran an article all about the Rosenwald schools that you can read here.

Listen to the full interview here:

The Liberty Ship- SS Julius Rosenwald

Recently, a fan of the Rosenwald film, Christine Clark, reached out to us with information about a ship named after Julius Rosenwald. Christine writes;

“I don’t have information on the Rosenwald schools, but I have often wondered who Julius Rosenwald was. My father, Francis Clark, was a Merchant Marine and during WWII (when the Coast Guard commissioned the Merchant Marines into service), my Dad was on the liberty ship, Julius Rosenwald. … [Rosenwald] touched more lives than we can imagine”

Francis Clark (left) aboard the SS Julius Rosenwald
Photo courtesy of Christine Clark

“I am pretty sure that photo is from World War II. My Dad enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1941 and stayed with them until his retirement in 1969. He died in 1984 and I never knew which liberty ships he was on during the War. My Mom died in 2014 but had dementia so I was never able to get details from her. I found this photo after we cleaned out Mom’s home. I just did some research via the Net to find out who Julius Rosenwald was because I was curious as to why a ship was named after him.”

Between 1941 and 1945, the United States produced 2,710 Liberty ships for use by the U.S. fleet and for delivering war materials to Britain and the Soviet Union. The first Liberty ship constructed, the SS John Henry, set a precedent for naming the ships after prominent American figures. The cargo ship design was chosen for its low-cost construction. Surprisingly, many of the ships outlived their 5 year life expectancy with over 2,400 surviving World War II.

On the note of surviving Liberty ships, Christine also shares this information with us:

“… only two that I know of remain, one is the Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco and the other is John W. Brown (not sure where that is located)”

image from

“This Liberty Ship was built by J.A. Jones Constr. Co., Panama City, Florida, Hull #1533. It was at Normandy on June 6, 1944.
It was scrapped in March 1963.
Hope this information helps some.

Best regards,
Christine Clark”

The ship was laid in the Panama City shipyard on July 7th, 1943, and launched on September 13th of the same year. Throughout the next year, the ship spent a total of 84 days on ways and in the water. During this time it was badly damaged during an enemy attack. It was sold to a private seller in 1947, and as we’ve learned from Christine, scrapped in March of 1963.

Additional Sources: