What role does art play when it comes to international relations? The poet W. H. Auden famously wrote “for poetry makes nothing happen” in his 1940 eulogy In Memory of W.B. Yeats. While no poem can be credited with stopping a war or brokering a treaty, the role of the arts is conceivably larger than we might imagine. By forming a conception of ourselves in an ever-changing world, the arts allow us to better define how we relate to and how much we share in common with people across the globe. The arts are used as a diplomatic tool precisely because they are at the root of cultural exchange.
Initiatives by organizations both locally and nationally are a testament to this. The Cleveland Museum of Art has helped the world's great art reach the broadest possible audience since 1913. Since 2008, the Cleveland Foundation has worked to foster global learning and relationship building through the arts with their Creative Fusion program. This year, the program will bring Cuban artists to Cleveland for residencies, while also sending some two-dozen Clevelanders to Havana in the spring. The Washington, D.C. based Antiquities Coalition also recognizes the cultural importance of art to our global identity by fighting against the criminals and terrorist organizations that endanger artifacts in cities from Aleppo to Mosul.
Join us, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Global Cleveland, International Partners in Mission, and the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies (NOCMES) for a free conversation on the important role of the arts in international relations.
Peter Herdrich, Co-Founder, The Antiquities Coalition
Lillian A. Kuri, Vice President, Strategic Grantmaking, Arts & Urban Design Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation
Thomas M. Welsh, Director of Performing Arts, The Cleveland Museum of Art
This conversation will be moderated by WCPN host/producer Tony Ganzer.