Rescue Scholars in the Arts

NEW YORK, February 25, 2014—The first-ever award to rescue scholars in the arts from parts of the world where they are oppressed and denied freedom of expression was announced today by the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the largest international exchange organizations in the world.

Established with gifts from IIE Trustees Robert L. Dilenschneider and Mark A. Angelson, the Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts will provide life-saving fellowships to 10 threatened scholars in fields such as painting, dance, music, architecture, and the performing arts.

Candidates apply through IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which provides fellowships of up to $25,000. Each selected scholar is then placed at a host university, which matches the fellowship and provides a safe place for the scholar to continue to advance his or her work.

The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts becomes part of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which over more than a decade has rescued 525 scholars from more than 50 countries.

“Scholars of the arts are among the most threatened during war and by oppressive regimes.  Ancient treasures and new works of art alike are being destroyed in conflict zones, especially in the Middle East and Africa,” said Mark A. Angelson, Chair of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund. 

“The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts will be the first major effort to focus specifically on saving threatened scholars in the arts.  IIE is extremely grateful to the Dilenschneider family for establishing this unique program that will help assure that scholars who represent these essential creative endeavors can continue their work in freedom and safety,” he added.

“Scholars of the arts are an extremely important part of the intellectual fabric of open societies and, sadly, are too often neglected in the face of emergencies or persecution from tyrannical regimes,” said Dr. Allan E. Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO.  “We lose their creative work, which includes teaching the next generation of artists.  This new program will protect free expression and creativity, so essential to any country’s growth and development, and to fostering peace and prosperity.”

“The world is in turmoil and we are in danger of losing the creativity contributed by artists, writers, musicians, if we don’t rescue them from oppression.  The record of our time should be from the arts and not the computer chip,” said Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider.

About Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider

Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider is known for her charitable efforts.  She has been recognized with the Helen Gratz Rockefeller Award from Family Centers, Inc. in Greenwich, Connecticut, an organization which she chaired from 2004 to 2008. Family Centers is one of the most prominent social service agencies in the United States (started in 1894).

Ms. Dilenschneider received the Family Champion Award from the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies in 2013 and has served for nearly a decade on the Board of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County.

Ms. Dilenschneider has had a deep involvement in the arts.  She developed her love of painting from her mother, Betty Ellen Hennessey.  In July 2013 she enjoyed a successful show at Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier which was positively reviewed in the United States by publications such as Connoisseur Magazine, and in France by Le Figaro and other major newspapers.  She has received awards from the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Silvermine Arts Center.  She has studied with noted artists David Dunlop and Wolf Kahn.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education, a private not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements over 250 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. It has a network of 19 international offices and affiliates around the world and more than 1,200 college and university members. More than 60 Fulbright alumni, IIE alumni, IIE trustees and advisers have received Nobel Prizes.

About IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund

The IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund provides fellowships and additional vital support for scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These yearlong fellowships permit professors, researchers, and public intellectuals to find temporary refuge at universities, colleges, and research centers anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues, and the broader campus community. In its first 11 years, IIE-SRF has provided fellowships to over 525 remarkable scholars from 50 countries, including leading an effort of historic proportion to save the intellectual capital of Iraq. The Iraq Scholar Rescue Project has supported more than 270 of Iraq’s most senior and threatened academics in a wide range of academic disciplines through academic positions at universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning in the Middle East and North African regions. Scholars of the arts interested in applying to IIE-SRF can find eligibility information here.


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