written by Joshua Midgett

The expansion of marketplaces from local to global is rapid. As technology continues to evolve and the world ‘shrinks’, cross-cultural exchange and appreciation are vital to the success of an individual in any field. It is especially significant in the field of the arts, where so often culture finds its voice.

In a field where planning is already a difficult task, it is significant to discuss this expansion of perspective. The international aspects of audience, cooperation, cultural differences, and philanthropy add an extra piece or pieces to the organizational puzzle. This new challenge has not gone unnoticed by the arts management community.

Here at American University, a new Certificate in International Arts Management has been recently unveiled. Nearby, the Kennedy Center has been working with and training international arts managers since 2008.

Programs across the country are beginning take notice, and if entire degrees aren’t dedicated to the topic, many classes will be. While this field is as young as the technology that is accelerating its development, there is little doubt that it will soon be an integral part of any arts management training.

The growth of audience and competition along with the decline of government support in many areas only cements the necessity of strong foreign relationships and understandings, which can be utilized as precious resources moving forward.

Questions in this arena often include:

How are organizations abroad approaching challenges differently?

Where and how are they succeeding?

What can we learn from one another?

How do we represent our cultural interests while present the ideas of others? Are there projects that might benefit from international exchange?

There is an opportunity to join a panel of experts in discussing answers to these questions and more while sharing experiences in this increasingly important field on April 7 at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium in Washington, DC.

The panelists include:

Todd Dellinger – Rider University: Dellinger is Coordinator of the Arts Administration Center at Rider University, near Princeton, where he also is Assistant Dellinger headshotProfessor of Arts Administration for Rider’s rapidly growing undergraduate program, the curriculum for which he has recently revised.  His scholarship while at Rider has focused largely on a multi-year study of “Arts In Transition” in various global regions of dramatic socio-political and/or economic change. His first (current) phase of exploration is the former Eastern Bloc, most recently in the Czech Republic. Prior, Mr Dellinger served as Executive Director of the historic Martha Graham Dance Company and School, also establishing the Martha Graham Trust and Foundation out of the Martha Graham estate while revitalizing the company’s European and American Touring and, in 1998, returning it to the New York stage following a five-year absence.

Stacy White – U.S. Department of State: Stacy White is the Cultural Programs Division Chief in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State.  Her division develops, coordinates and directs the implementation of cultural exchange programs in the arts and humanities worldwide in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives. Stacy joined U.S. government diplomatic service in 1988. During her twenty-four year diplomatic career she has served in a variety of cultural, press and public affairs positions at U.S. embassies in Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Panama.  Past assignments in Washington include a stint at the State Department’s Foreign Service Training Institute training fellow officers in public affairs work and two years in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs supporting U.S. Missions in Mexico and Canada with their public diplomacy activities.

Gail Humphries-Mardirosian – American University: Gail Mardirosian spent the 2008-09 AY as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Prague, CZ, at the Academy of Performing humphries-gailArts and writing book entitled Exceptional Teaching, Exceptional Learning: Using the Arts as a Pathway to Success in Learning, K-16. Current research areas include the arts and globalization as well as arts education. Recent and past awards include the University Award for Outstanding Service, the Alpha Chi Omega Award and College of Arts and Science Award for Outstanding teaching. Directing includes 106 productions to date including dramas, musicals, children’s theatre, new works and the classics.

  • Moderator  Ximena Varela – American University: Ximena Varela is a researcher, educator, and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in D13_292_138international cultural policy, management practice, marketing strategy, arts management research, and sustainable development. She has worked with and advised international organizations, national and regional governments, city agencies, as well as private and nonprofit organizations in arts funding and arts policy. Currently, she chairs the Research Council of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, and has been a board member of the Latin American Institute of Museums since 2000.

Register for EALS 2013 HERE