New program will send artists abroad as cultural ambassadors

The Obama administration announced $1 million in funding for a new cultural diplomacy program which will send visual artists abroad to create public art in 15 countries.

The idea of such cultural diplomacy programs is to “show people that America is more than just Hollywood movies, McEverything and two drawn-out wars,” but in recent years, the State Department has relied only on performing artists to carry out only minimal cultural outreach.

The new program, known as smART Power, will be administered by the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which will choose the artists to be sent to places that include Pakistan, Egypt, Venezuela, China, Nigeria and a Somali refugee camp in Kenya.  The museum will put out an open call for proposals early next year; the 15 artists will be selected by a panel of experts put together by the museum.

You can read more about the issue at The New York Times.

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