NEARLY 1,000 ARTISTS VIE TO SERVE AS CULTURAL AMBASSADORS FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S smARTpowerSM INITIATIVE
Bronx Museum of the Arts Receives Overwhelming Response to New Visual Arts Effort
Nearly 1,000 visual artists from nearly all 50 states and United States’ territories are vying to be cultural ambassadors through the smARTpowerSM initiative, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the U.S. Department of State announced today. Through smARTpower, an initiative created by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, 15 American visual artists are slated to travel to 15 countries, including China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela. The artists, who will be selected and announced in May, will work with local communities to collaborate on works of art that may address local or global social issues, such as women’s empowerment, education, health, the environment, and civic engagement.
“We are excited by the tremendous response to the smARTpower initiative,” said Bronx Museum of the Arts Director Holly Block. “We had high expectations for the number of proposals we would receive, but the response far exceeded those expectations. This is an exceptional opportunity for U.S. artists to serve as cultural diplomats, strengthening ties with commmunities around the world and using the visual arts to reach across the barriers of language and cultural differences.”
The 15 American artists will be selected at the end of May by a distinguished panel of artists and leaders in the arts community, in consultation with the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Department of State. Panelists are:
Tomie Arai – Visual Artist
Sandra D. Jackson-DuMont – Deputy Director of Education and Public Programs and Adjunct Curator at the Seattle Art Museum
Carin Kuoni – Vera List Center Director, Curator and Critic
Tumelo Mosaka – Curator of Contemporary Art at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Holly Block – Executive Director at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ smART Powersm initiative is a partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, with additional financial support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.