Renaissance Française Médaille d’or presented to six Americans committed to fostering French-American relations
(Washington D.C.-June 1, 2012) — La Renaissance Française, a non-profit organization founded in France in 1916 by French president Raymond Poincaré, is pleased to announce the nomination of six Americans for the Renaissance Française Medaille d’Or for the promotion of French language and culture in the United States. The 2012 nominees are Elizabeth Rohatyn of New York, NY, Ryan Brown of Washington, DC, Robin Massee of Brooklyn, NY, Mary Emory of Milwaukee, WI, and Jane and Bruce Robert of St. Louis, MO.
France’s ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency François Delattre, presented the medals at an awards ceremony at his residence in Washington, D.C. on May 31. The event was attended by members of the United States Delegation of La Renaissance Française, together with their president, Jane Robert of St. Louis, MO and members of the Congressional French Caucus. La Renaissance Française operates under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Education.
The organization’s highest award, La Médaille d’Or de La Renaissance Française, was conferred on Elizabeth Rohatyn for founding and serving as co-president of French Regional and American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a coalition of 26 French and North American museums, which has fostered the sharing of works of art between the United States and France for more than ten years with exhibitions, educational programs and exchange projects. She also serves on the boards of the New York Public Library and Teaching Matters. Mrs. Rohatyn’s husband is Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. Ambassador to France (1997-2000).
La Médaille d’Or du Rayonnement Culturel was awarded to Ryan Brown for founding and serving as artistic director and conductor of Opera Lafayette, a DC-based opera company specializing in rarely performed 18th and early 19th century French operatic repertoire, since 1995. Following a tour in New York City, Opera Lafayette made its debut at the Opera Royal in Versailles in February 2012, performing Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny’s Le Roi et le fermier. They included the same sets utilized for a performance of the same opera by Marie-Antoinette at Versailles in 1780.
La Médaille d’Or de Solidarité et Valeur was awarded to Robin Massee for her significant contributions to French-American relations in NYC as VP of External Affairs at the French-Institute/Alliance Française, Director of Communications for French Tourism and Director of PR for the French Cultural Services. She has coordinated the official visits of two French Ministers of Culture; overseen France Salutes New York, a performing arts festival at Lincoln Center, and acted as liaison for Liberty Weekend, the Statue of Liberty centennial celebration. She was responsible for the largest Bastille Day festival in Manhattan. Since founding Massee Productions, a film production company, her commitment to both cultures has been at the core of her work. She produced “A Hero’s Welcome-A Story of Friendship, Gratitude and Remembrance”, showcasing the impact of D-Day on the French-American relationship.