Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Role of the Arts in International Relations

The Initiative for Russian Culture (IRC) - a joint initiative between the History department at the American University and the Russian Embassy in the US - held its (by now annual) grand event at the Library of Congress on Thursday, October 25. I had mentioned the Initiative on this blog last April, when they put together an interesting conference on "Overcoming Cold War Stereotypes". The monthly Russian movie screenings at the Embassy have resumed, as well, with "The Messenger Boy" kicking off this academic year.

The event last Thursday - titled "The Role of the Arts in International Relations" - was of slightly different nature, however. It involved a lavish reception in the main hall of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, live performances by the Brass Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theater and amazing pianist Denis Matsuev, presentations on the role of culture and public diplomacy in international affairs by John Beyrle (former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow) and Valery Gergiev (General Director of the Mariinsky Theater and Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra), and - perhaps most impressive - a wonderful live ice skating performance, right there, inside the Jefferson Building.

Monday, October 22, 2012

PCDF Launch at AU

Last Wednesday, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine attended the launch of the Public and Cultural Diplomacy Forum (PCDF) at the American University. Her remarks centered on the issue of collaboration in public diplomacy, especially between the public and private sectors. You can read the full text here.