U.S. Department of State Launches smARTpower, Will Use Visual Arts to Engage Underserved Youth Overseas and Strengthen People-to-People Diplomacy
U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Bronx Museum of the Arts launched smARTpowerSM., a new initiative that sends 15 American artists and collaborative artist teams to 15 countries worldwide to engage in people-to-people diplomacy through the visual arts.
smARTpower builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case the visual arts – to bring people together and foster greater understanding.
For up to 45 days during the next year, the following American artists will travel to all corners of the globe, where they will partner with local arts organizations to engage with underserved youth and create community-based projects. The first smARTpower artist, Kabir Carter of Brooklyn, New York, will depart October 24 for Istanbul, Turkey. Other artists will follow throughout 2012 with travel to China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela.
The artists participating in smARTpower, the countries to which they will travel, and their in-country partner arts organizations are:
Duke Riley of Brooklyn, New York – Shanghai, China
Partner Organization: Arthub Asia
Chris “Daze” Ellis of New York, New York – Quito, Ecuador
Partner Organization: Cero Inspiración
Arturo Lindsay of Atlanta, Georgia – Cairo, Egypt
Partner Organization: Medrar/Nagla Samir
Rochelle Feinstein of New York, New York – Accra, Ghana
Partner Organization: Foundation for Contemporary Art
Caroline Woolard of Brooklyn, New York – New Delhi, India
Partner Organization: KHOJ
Miguel Luciano of Brooklyn, New York – Nairobi and Dadaab Province, Kenya
Partner Organization: Kuona Trust
Samuel Gould of Minneapolis, Minnesota – Pristina, Kosovo
Partner Organization: Stacion Center for Contemporary Art
Ghana Think Tank (comprised of Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Maria del Carmen Montoya) of Little Neck, New York; Roxbury, Massachusetts; and Corvallis, Oregon – Beirut, Lebanon
Partner Organization: Arab Image Foundation
Pepón Osorio of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Kathmandu, Nepal
Partner Organization: Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre
Brett Cook of Berkeley, California – Lagos, Nigeria
Partner Organization: Wy Art Foundation
Art Jones of Bronx, New York – Karachi, Pakistan
Partner Organization: Vasl
Mary Mattingly of New York, New York – Manila, Philippines
Partner Organization: Green Papaya Art Projects
Xaviera Simmons of Brooklyn, New York – Colombo, Sri Lanka
Partner Organization: Theertha International Artists Collective.
Kabir Carter of Brooklyn, New York – Istanbul, Turkey
Partner Organization: PiSt///Interdisciplinary Project Space
Seth Augustine and Rachel Shachar of Los Angeles, California – Caracas, Venezuela
Partner Organization: Centro Cultural Chacao
More than 900 individuals from nearly all 50 states and U.S. territories applied to the program. Those chosen include both emerging and established artists who work in a variety of media, from site-specific happenings to portable art installations. Selection criteria included the strength of the artists’ work, and their experienced commitment to community-based art making.
smARTpower is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Click here to learn more about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and click here to learn more about The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
For more information, contact Talley Sergent, U.S. Department of State at SergentRT@state.gov.