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Cultural Diplomacy in Your Neighborhood

To fully understand the dynamics within a city, we attend to actors across the municipal landscape, from representatives of city governments to representatives of urban neighborhoods, cultural districts, businesses and non-profits. The aim of this discussion is to extend conversations to the diverse players that constitute the city—those who are not only involved, but in many cases driving new networks and relationships with global implications. This session will push us to consider the nuance of the local—the types of spaces, organizations and communities that facilitate city diplomacy today.

On December 9, 2021, panelists shared how the city and its constituent actors as players in their own right shape global cultural relations. Specifically, the event delve into the diverse ways that local spaces and communities are actively engaged in cultural diplomacy in North America, including a cultural actors in Toronto, Koreatown in Los Angeles, and San Antonio as part of a global network of creative cities.


  • Jutta Brendemühl, International Arts Programmer, Goethe-Institut Toronto
  • Edward T. Chang, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Founding Director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California at Riverside
  • Shahrzad (Sherry) Dowlatshahi, Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer, Global Engagement Office, City of San Antonio
  • Heather Kelly, Founder, Bloor Street Culture Corridor, Toronto
  • Jay Wang, Director and Professor, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (moderator)



This program is in partnership with the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI) to examine cultural relations at the local level and is also part of CPD’s project on Re-imagining Koreatown: City Diplomacy in Action, supported by the Korea Foundation to explore Koreatown and its cultural significance through the lens of city diplomacy.

This session is part of NACDI’s Players: We Are All Practitioners summit, the second in a series of its three research summits on cultural relations approach to diplomacy. Additional sessions of the 4-day We Are All Practitioners summit are linked below. Please register separately for the November 17, 19, and December 1st programs here.

November 17, 2021: Decolonizing Diplomacy

November 19, 2021: (Re)Constructing Identity: Diaspora Diplomacy

December 1, 2021: Cultural Practice and Transnational Outreach



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