The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Bronx Museum of the Arts today announced a new international visual artist exchange program to stimulate dialogue and address local and global social issues. smARTpowerSM will send American visual artists abroad to collaborate with local artists and youth in creating original community-based works of art in China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela.
The smARTpower exchange is the Department’s first major initiative to send visual artists and their work beyond museum walls to work with youth and the local community. The program will use art’s unique ability to bridge differences and create new lines of communication that bring people and cultures together.
smARTpower directly ties to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “smart power” approach to foreign diplomacy, utilizing a variety of tools to work towards achieving our foreign policy objectives.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, professional, and sports exchange programs. ECA exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over 1 million people around the world, including more than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government.