Looking Forward, Flashing Back: The RFC at 25 and Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Happy New Year to the entire RFC community! I hope you all are enjoying a good start to 2015 despite the dismal weather and even more depressing national and international news.

This fall marks the RFC’s 25th anniversary. We are planning to honor this milestone in a variety of ways as 2015 unfolds, culminating in a celebration near our office in western Massachusetts in October or November (we’ll share information about our plans a little later this year).

Call to Artists

When Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were fighting for their lives at the height of the McCarthy-era Red Scare, many high profile people were among the tens of thousands of concerned individuals worldwide who rallied to try to save them. From that dark time to the present, artists have been some of the most prominent individuals to call for justice for the Rosenbergs and to champion the progressive values that Ethel and Julius died defending.

The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100: a new blog series

If she were still living, my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, would turn 100 on September 28th of this year. The same month will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.  My Executive Director’s Report in the spring 2015 issue of our newsletter explores how the RFC plans to honor these milestones in a variety of ways as 2015 unfolds, while reflecting on how much has changed and what has remained constant at the RFC over our first quarter century.

Ethel at 100 (part 1): Ethel in the Kitchen

(Part 1 of the The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100 series)

What was the cultural context of Ethel’s trial and execution? The era of the 1950's was captivated by the idea of the housewife in her kitchen. This image was used to sell a multitude of products, to remind women of their proper place, and to reassure the war-weary populace that everything was back to normal and “cooking” again.

Ethel at 100 (part 2): Communists in the Kitchen

(Part 2 of the The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100 series)

The first blog in this series explored the public response to the press conference my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, held in her kitchen in support of her husband, Julius Rosenberg, after his arrest in 1950. As I mentioned in my previous blog, an image of Ethel from that day is the centerpiece of "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler.* Numerous atomic images and anti-communists “frame” or surround Ethel in Rosler’s artwork.

Ethel at 100 (part 3): "The Ideal Woman" - Ethel Rosenberg and Women’s Magazines

This is my third blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler*, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg.

Ethel at 100 (part 4): Strong Woman/Weak Man?

This is my fourth blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.

Celebrate the RFC at 25 & Artists as Activists on Oct 17!

2015 is the RFC’s 25th anniversary year. This extraordinary project—which only exists because of the generosity of tens of thousands of concerned people—has grown from funding summer camp for two children of a political prisoner in our first round of grants, to our plan to award $370,000 in 2015 to help hundreds of kids across the U.S. who are living through similar nightmares to what my father and uncle experienced as children.

Ethel at 100 (part 5): Anti-Semitism and the Rosenberg Case

This is my fifth blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.

A New Look for the RFC at 25

As you hopefully already noticed, we updated our materials this fall. As part of our year-long 25th anniversary celebration, we created a new logo (below), updated this website and redesigned the print and e-newsletters. I hope you like the changes and encourage you to share your feedback with us (via email to info@rfc.org or by commenting below).

Activist Artists Join the RFC's Advisory Board

As we gear up for our 25th anniversary celebration of Artists as Activists on October 17th, I am thrilled to announce two exciting additions to the Rosenberg Fund for Children’s Advisory Board who embody the intersection of art and activism (a full list of members is available here).

Ethel at 100 (part 6): Lessons for Supporting the Children of Today's Targeted Activists

This is the sixth and final blog in this series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler*, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, anti-Semitism, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.