As part of its ongoing Project on Cultural Diplomacy, the Brademas Center proposes a conference at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center to bring together practitioners in the field of international cultural activity to examine the opportunities and challenges of engagement between the Western and Islamic Worlds.
Participants from cultural institutions and organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia will discuss the international programs and exchanges they have organized; the challenges and problems they've encountered; their successes; and ways in which the private sector and government interact to enable this work. This practical perspective offers a chance to better understand the networks and circuits which exist across the globe facilitating cultural engagement – how they developed, how they work, and ways in which art and artists enter into the flow.
Analysis and sharing on-the-ground experiences among participants will offer concrete counsel for policymakers, funders, cultural organizations and artists themselves to broaden exchanges between the West and the Islamic World.
Given the host of challenges pressing on the relationship between Muslim and Western states – from security to energy, trade to tourism, environmental issues to belief structures – greater cultural understanding across societies is critical today. Through exploration of activity and networks and analyses of their functioning, we hope to encourage more and better engagement and contact.
"Artists engage in cross-cultural exchange not to proselytize about their own values but rather to understand different cultural traditions, to find new sources of imaginative inspiration, to discover new methods and ways of working and to be influenced rather then to influence"
- Joan Channick, Managing Director of Theatre Communications Group
The Project on Cultural Diplomacy, organized by New York University's John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, engages artists, foundation and cultural institution leaders, scholars and policymakers in this effort. The Project is working to enhance visibility and resources for America's international cultural engagement in the cause of peace, economic growth and stability, and mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance. The goal is an expansion of exchange programs and structural reforms to foster better strategic planning, coordination, and implementation by the Federal Government and American citizens of this critical component of our relations with the governments and peoples of other countries. The Project has been on-going since it's inception in 2009.
A special thanks to the following organizations for their support: