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Principal Ryan Cleary said the idea came from the school's desire to work on cultural learning in an authentic way. "Learning about different cultures is part of the West Hartford curriculum and we do a lot of things with the resources we have," Cleary said. "We wanted to go a step further and learn about another culture through an authentic, real relationship and actually get to know somebody else. We wanted them to find a deeper meaning. We felt this would have a lasting impression." 

Mark Bradford, one of America’s most acclaimed painters, could not figure out what to put in the grand rotunda. This artist, who is set to represent his country in May at the 2017 Venice Biennale, found an unusual way of working long-distance. In a warehouse in South Los Angeles, not far from where he grew up, he created a full-size model of the Biennale’s United States pavilion, a stately building with echoes of Monticello. Then he spent the last year testing out his ideas in it.

At the stringing table, most of the women wear hijabs. Natives of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, they have been in the U.S. less than two years, arriving in Houston through Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston's refugee services program. They speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashto or Dari. Which is to say, they sometimes speak with each other only slightly better than they can talk with me.

This week’s PD News roundup looks at the connections that can be forged through cultural exchange.  

Amid spiralling Indo-Pak tensions, eminent Urdu poets believe cultural exchange between the two countries and visits of artists must be kept away from the purview of politics. Many Urdu poets expressed this desire on the sidelines of the 'Jashn-e-Bahar Mushaira' here last evening. A galaxy of poets, including Javed Akhtar, recited their poetry at the symposium to a packed house. In its 19th edition, this was the first time the Urdu poetry symposium had no representation from Pakistan.

Art is not a luxury, not an adornment of civilization. It is a necessity. It is one of the central purposes of civilization. Artists lead in ways politicians, chief executives, or generals cannot. They enable us to explore the mysterious - deep within us and all around us. They find the universal within the quotidian and in what has never before been imagined - the links that bind us to one another in the most profound ways.

Visit the world's most famous museums from your phone.

World Theater Day, instituted by the International Theater Institute (ITI) on March 27, 1962, to mark the opening of the Theater of Nations in Paris, France, has since been annually celebrated on March 27 to focus on the importance of theater as a diverse and complex art form that taps the creative work of the playwright, director, actors, artists, and composers. In musical theater, acting is combined with music, song, and dance. 

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