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Speakers Bureau

KYKLOS Project Unites America and Athens

HASTINGS ON HUDSON, NY - The Olympic art of Euripides "Rip" Kastaris will be showcased on Saturday, March 20, 2004 during "An Evening of Olympic Celebration." It takes place amid the neo-classical architecture of the Newington Cropsey Foundation in Hastings on the Hudson just north of New York City. The event will culminate with the dramatic unveiling of a life-sized replica of "Kyklos-Circle of Glory," his epic mural, which was made in America, but is being permanently installed at the Spyros Louis Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Mr. Kastaris, who was commissioned by the Hellenic Cultural Foundation based on his award-winning models and designs, worked for more than five years to make his vision a reality. Like the odyssey undertaken by many a gold-winning athlete, the renowned Greek-American artist and a number of the Foundation's board members had to travel thousands of miles and overcome numerous obstacles to secure the prize: A placement agreement with the Greek government for permanent installation in the international VIP Reception Center at the preeminent stadium for Athens 2004.

"Similar to the Statue of Liberty, KYKLOS is a gift symbolic of achievement and excellence; and like Ellis Island, it provides a monument in Greece where the names of families, individuals and organizations can be permanently honored," explained Rip Kastaris.

Event organizer Nick Kyriakos, of Greenwich, Connecticut, described the upcoming gala as having "a breathtaking venue, an award-winning line up of talent and a carefully staged program that will leave our audience beaming with pride and inspiration."

"Kyklos," which means circle in Greek, is a fitting name for this historic project. It unites the largest Greek cultural organizations in the US and around the world working together through the Hellenic Cultural Foundation. The Kyklos mural and celebrations honor the Hellenic origins of the Olympic Games, the Athenian revival of the Games in 1896, and their return to their birthplace for the 2004 Summer Games.

"The Greek-American community is excited about the 108 year Olympic Homecoming. This gala celebration will provide a unique opportunity to stir the spirit of the champion in all of us," said Nicholas Karakas of St. Louis, Missouri, Chairman of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation.

In keeping with the spirit of the grand setting, new original works of art will be on display and available at a silent auction. Noted master painter Peter Politis of Atlanta will have several pieces of his work featured. Politis was the original architect for the Newington Cropsey Foundation galleries where the event will take place.

Kastaris will have a cross-section of his original works on display as well. Along with being selected for the KYKLOS commission at Athens Olympic Stadium, Rip is the first Hellenic-American to be chosen by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to create original work commemorating US athletes. This includes official images for the 2002 and 2004 Games. At the last winter Olympics, the artistic torch was passed "From Salt Lake to Athens" in a ceremony honoring his mural for the upcoming 2004 Games, which was attended by Olympic officials from both nations.

The March 20 New York Gala is scheduled to attract distinguished guests for an elegant evening of celebration, original art, live performances, film and fine dining. Performances will include original dance compositions from Lori Belilove & Company, the resident performing company of the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation in New York City. Vocalist Monica Matthews from Atlanta will sing both spiritual Greek and contemporary American compositions. Pianist Alexander Constantine will perform an original piece crafted just for the event. Demetrios Kastaris and the Latin Jazz Coalition will demonstrate the masterful arrangements made famous by the Greek-American musician. Emmy award-winning producer George Veras will be Master of Ceremonies and provide a private viewing of excerpts from his newest film production in "The Greek-Americans," series titled "Homelands Greece."

Like the rare paintings on display, the tickets to the March 20 gala will also be limited. This event is designed to give audience members preferred seating for an intimate view of the performances and unveiling within a classical gallery.

For more information contact Nick Kyriakos, event organizer, at (203) 769-4422 or Penny Kastaris, media relations, at (646) 662-1227/(718) 470-6563 or log onto

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