"I have also been made to understand that these competitions also contribute meaningfully to the aspect of cultural diplomacy and tourism," he said, indicating that those who got podium positions at national level were sometimes accorded international exposure through participation at international expositions or performing at Botswana Day abroad in collaboration with the country's diplomatic missions.

This story serves as a reminder that culture and education have long played a crucial role in Britain’s standing in the region – creating opportunities for people who are affected by conflict and preserving their cultural and educational institutions.

July 4, 2015

From 'cultural desert' to a city with 66 arts performances a day, Singapore has come a long way. A week of half-price tickets for local shows sponsored by companies could help bring the arts closer to average families.

In Art Hats In Renaissance City, artists, arts managers and academics share their reflections on the development of the arts in essays and interviews. They include Esplanade chief executive Benson Puah, Asian Civilisations Museum director Alan Chong and Pangdemonium! co-artistic director Adrian Pang. [...] The hardcover book is divided into four sections: Leaders; Curators, Critics and Historians; Artists and Practitioners; and Academicians.

The Havana Biennial art exposition wrapping up Monday has been held 12 times since the 1980s. But this is the first since U.S. efforts to improve relations with Cuba began six months ago, allowing an unusually large contingent of American visitors. Here are some observations from U.S. art collectors and their representatives about how Havana's art scene has evolved and the impact of detente. Janda Wetherington, whose Pan American Art Projects gallery in Miami specializes in Cuban art, says prices have gone up since the last Biennial.

It is one of the great allegorical paintings celebrating the French revolution: Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix, shows a barefoot, bare-breasted woman – representing Marianne, the female symbol of the republic – brandishing a tricolour in one hand and a bayonetted musket in the other, leading the people over the bodies of the fallen. Pupils at the French Lycée in Kuwait, however, might be forgiven for missing the symbolism of the celebrated work of art used to illustrate their history books after local censors slapped a large red sticker over

Themed "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life", Expo Milano 2015 focuses on food and agriculture, with exhibitors presenting their respective food cultures while exemplifying the crucial role of building a "community of common destiny" for food security. Peking duck, Argentinian wine, Japanese sushi, Spanish ham... All the characteristic specialties represent the culinary culture of different nations. Food differs, but cuisines have something in common.

Even during the height of the Cold War with its threat of Nuclear Armageddon, the cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union never ground to a halt. But in the last few years, because of the "boomerang effect of a rancorous legal battle between the Russian government and the Chassidic Jewish group, Chabad" (LA Times 1/17/13), Russia imposed a ban on all art loans to American museums. This legal case is based on Chabad's decades-long effort to recover religious books and manuscripts that the Russians expropriated after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.