Cultural Diplomacy

Fostering Artistic Interactions

Organized by Olga Garay, program director for the arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and Jeanne Butler, senior advisor, Creative Capital; presented by Patricia Gray, Ph.D., artistic director and pianist, National Musical Arts; Lea Perez, director, US Department of State; András Szantó, Ph.D., director, National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism; and Noreen Tomassi, president, Arts International, Inc.; moderated by Claire Fronville, acting president, Center for Arts and Culture.

Foreign perceptions of United States' values and policies have changed markedly in the post-9/11 world. The use of US “soft power” has been ardently debated of late, and the role of art and culture could figure prominently in changing external perceptions. Cultural diplomacy, historically defined as “the exchange of ideas, information, art, and other aspects of culture among nations and their peoples to foster mutual understanding,” was explored from four points of view: the artistic viewpoint looked at the importance of cultural diplomacy for multicultural understanding through the arts; the policy viewpoint considered government and non-governmental agents as cultural ambassadors; research (commissioned by the Center for Arts and Culture) revealed a perspective to understand impact; and the funding viewpoint examined how philanthropy should play a critical role on this international stage and explored benchmarks for good funding practices.


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