Clinton Presidential Center to Open New Permanent Installation in October

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‘Anne Frank Tree’ Explores Complex History of Human Rights in Arkansas and around the World

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The Clinton Foundation and the Sisterhood of Congregation B’nai Israel, in conjunction with the Anne Frank Center USA, have joined together to create a new powerful exhibit, The Anne Frank Tree, which will be located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Park. The permanent installation, which will surround the Anne Frank Tree sapling, will open Friday, October 2, 2015.

In 2009, the Center was one of 11 entities in the United States to be awarded a young chestnut tree by the Anne Frank Center USA’s “Sapling Project.” The sapling was taken from the white horse chestnut tree that stood outside Anne Frank’s Secret Annex when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. The young writer cherished and wrote about the tree frequently in her famous diary.

“As long as this exists,” Anne wrote on February 23, 1944, “how can I be sad?” During the two years she spent in the Secret Annex, the solace Anne found in her chestnut tree provided a powerful contrast to the Holocaust unfolding beyond her attic window. And as war narrowed in on Anne and her family, her tree became a vivid reminder that a better world was possible.

Anne’s tree would outlive its namesake by more than 50 years before being weakened by disease and succumbing to a windstorm in 2010. But today, thanks to dozens of saplings propagated in the months before its death, Anne’s tree lives on in cities and towns around the world. The Anne Frank tree saplings provide an opportunity for these sites to tell the story of Anne Frank and connect it to incidents of injustice witnessed in each locale. To date, seven saplings have been planted at locations as diverse as the U.S. Capitol and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

The Center’s installation consists of five framed, etched glass panels – arranged to evoke the feeling of being inside a room – surrounded by complementary natural landscaping. The two front panels feature quotes from Anne Frank and President Clinton. The three additional panels will convey the complex history of human rights in Arkansas through descriptions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis of 1957. These panels will feature quotes from Chief Heckaton, hereditary chief of the Quapaw during Arkansas’s Indian Removal; George Takei, Japanese-American actor who was interned at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County, Arkansas, in 1942; and Melba Patillo Beals, member of the Little Rock Nine.

In collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, Little Rock landscape architect Cinde Drilling and Ralph Appelbaum Associates, exhibit designer for both the Center and The National Holocaust Museum, assisted in the design of the exhibit. The installation has been made possible thanks to the support of the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation and other generous partners.

The Center’s sapling is currently housed in a local nursery where it is acclimating to Arkansas’s environment. And although it will be present during the ceremony, it will be returned to the nursery where it will be cared for until it has matured and can thrive in its new home, located on the grounds of the Park. A similar chestnut tree will be temporarily planted in its place until the Anne Frank tree can be permanently transplanted.

About the William J. Clinton Presidential Center
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park is a world-class educational and cultural venue offering a variety of special events, exhibitions, educational programs, and lectures throughout the year. Located on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Center has welcomed more than 3.7 million visitors from around the world since opening in 2004. Most importantly, the Clinton Center is a reflection of the work – past, present, and future – of the 42nd President of the United States.

Learn more at http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org, on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/ClintonCenter, and @ClintonCenter on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Anne Frank Center USA
Founded by Anne’s father Otto Frank in 1959, The Anne Frank Center USA uses the diary and spirit of Anne Frank as unique tools to advance her legacy, to educate young people and communities in North America about the dangers of intolerance, antisemitism, racism and discrimination, and to inspire the next generation to build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect.

Through its permanent exhibition, as well as a variety of innovative education programs and exhibitions, the Center uses Anne Frank as a role model for today. Her insights and courage continue to inspire students, educators and citizens more than 70 years after her diary was first published.

The Anne Frank Center USA Sapling Project is made possible, in part, by public funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and KLM Royal Dutch airlines, the official airline of The Anne Frank Center USA.

Learn more at http://www.annefrank.com, on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/AnneFrankCenterUSA, and @AnneFrankCenter on Twitter. For information on the Sapling Project, visit http://www.annefranktreeusa.com

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Ashley Nelson
The Anne Frank Center USA
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