Dr. William Parkinson, Associate Curator at The Field Museum, opened the event and introduced the new president of ARCS, Dr. Shari Stocker. Dr. Stocker greeted the guests and gave Mr. Frank Bauer, the former ABF president, a certificate of appreciation to acknowledge his generous support of the American Research Center in Sofia.
The vice president of ARCS, Dr. Nora Dimitrova Clinton, was also among the speakers at the evening lecture. She discussed the mission goals of ARCS, which include supporting Bulgarian museums, research institutes, and universities; encouraging them to improve their facilities and working conditions; and strengthening Bulgarian-American ties in research endeavors. Dr. Dimitrova Clinton also asserted that publishing the outstanding work of Mrs. Kralevska-Owens fulfilled part of ARCS’ mission to popularize the history of communism in Bulgaria and thereby helped to prevent the rebirth of the regime. During her talk, Kralevska-Owens discussed the crimes committed under the communist regime and the advent of the democratic order in Bulgaria. She explained to the audience why, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the road toward democracy in Bulgaria was thorny and uneven. Dr. Aaron Owens read selections from the book following her presentation.
The lecture was followed by a reception, during which the guests were able to continue a discussion of the communist and post-communist past in Bulgaria with the speakers. Among the guests of the event were the president of The Field Museum, Dr. Richard Lariviere, and the General Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Simeon Stoilov. Members of the Bulgarian community, Field Museum staff members, and other American guests were also in attendance.