What Is At Stake:
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the State Department is responsible for our nation’s public diplomacy activities including international cultural exchange programs. Within ECA is the Cultural Programs Division of the Office of Citizen Exchanges.
This division provides grant opportunities to U.S. nonprofits for cultural exchange activities; residencies, mentoring, and training programs; programs sponsored by U.S. Embassy public diplomacy offices; and presentations at major international visual arts exhibitions and cultural centers.
The Performing Arts Alliance advocates with the broader arts and exchanges community for appropriations and increased capacity for the Cultural Programs Division, for research and evaluation on the impact of cultural diplomacy, and for increased outreach and transparency about cultural exchange programs.
What We Are Asking Right Now:
We urge Congress to:
- Appropriate $110 million to the Office of Citizen Exchanges at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs within the FY 2017 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill.
- Direct the State Department to dedicate increased resources to, and increase operational capacity within, the Cultural Programs Division to strengthen its ability to oversee grants and programs. Despite increases overall for the Office of Citizen Exchanges, this division is funded at lower levels now than five years ago. This funding includes the competitively awarded programs run by the division and those run by the State Department.
- Encourage the State Department to evaluate and publicly report on the impact, value, and success of arts diplomacy as part of its smart power strategies to build cross-cultural understanding.
Learn more and take action in the Performing Arts Alliance Arts Advocacy Issue Center.
Information provided by the Performing Arts Alliance.
APAP is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance.