Jay Wang spoke with artists, scholars, and funders in New York about the value of cultural diplomacy.
In his eight years leading the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert has witnessed the power of music to connect cultures - and watched as political strife consumed much of the world. Closing his tenure in one of classical music's most prestigious positions, he is planning a next chapter by creating a sort of United Nations of orchestras. [...] The musicians will "play concerts that express hope for peace and cooperation and shared humanity", he said.
About two dozen municipalities, mainly from the region, have partnered with most of Guam’s villages throughout the years to form sister-city relationships. The bond is meant to be mutually beneficial as the two cities from different nations share business, cultural and educational ideas. The relationship is often established through an agreement with elected officials, such as mayors. [...] The council’s latest travel record showed that teams of village mayors attended festivals in the Philippines in recent months.
Panama’s Chinese community is celebrating Monday’s announcement of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. [...] In Panama City this week, members of the Fa Yen community – the largest of its kind in Panama, representing Panamanian descendants from the Chinese province of Guangdong, gathered for a type of celebration usually reserved for big holidays, like the Chinese New Year. But this is June. People like lawyer Luisa Lam Siu said they were very happy that the government announced it had severed diplomatic ties with Taipei in exchange for Beijing.
I believe that a final, negotiated FY 2018 budget request for the State Department should include continued funding – if not a gradual increase – of what has been a relatively small amount of money allocated every year to the soft power of “cultural diplomacy.” Roughly defined as the use of an exchange of ideas, traditions, and values to strengthen relations and encourage engagement, cultural diplomacy is perhaps most easily seen in the use of music, arts, and sports to build cross-cultural understanding.
Former U.S. Ambassador Curtis S. Chin on the proposed funding cuts to cross-cultural programs.
On June 9, at Rike Park, diplomats celebrated the 25th anniversary of Georgian-Chinese bilateral relations. It was organized by international media holding GBTIMES Georgia and the Chinese Embassy in Georgia, and supported by Tbilisi City Hall. All day long visitors at Rike Park had the opportunity to see and purchase Chines goods, as well as attend master-classes of traditional martial arts, sample Chinese dishes, see Chinese costumes, as well as shows, exhibitions and concerts.
Saudi Arabia's religious leaders have labelled some areas of Western culture as harmful and corrupting. They've banned movie theaters and rarely permit public concerts. But this is slowly changing -- and one Japanese orchestra is taking center stage. Over 80 musicians and a conductor arrived in Riyadh in April to give the first classical concert Saudi Arabia has allowed in decades.