World Learning and the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the selection of six new cultural heritage projects to receive funding as part of its Communities Connecting Heritage exchange program (CCH). CCH, a State Department initiative administered by World Learning, empowers youth to protect the cultural heritage of at-risk communities around the world.
“World Learning is thrilled to support projects that celebrate diversity and foster mutual understanding through Communities Connecting Heritage,” said Lisa Posner, World Learning’s vice president for global exchange. “This program will also help build new global bonds to improve overall cooperation and collaboration between the U.S. and communities in key areas of the world.”
Through virtual and in-person exchanges and exhibitions, the program supports new partnerships between U.S. and foreign cultural organizations and the communities they serve. CCH specifically helps these communities preserve their tangible and intangible cultural heritage, reinforce positive messages, and advance cultural heritage through community outreach and public education.
The projects will be carried out among six U.S. organizations from four U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and six international organizations from five countries. Each organization was matched with an overseas counterpart during initial training and has been collaborating to develop engaging cultural heritage projects. The following six projects were just selected for funding in 2017:
- The Creative Economy Group (Serbia) and Global Ties Akron (Ohio)
Global Threads will train up to twenty university students as citizen journalists to capture the stories of artists in their communities and use that content to launch an online publication and Food/Art Expos in both countries.
- The Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (BOZAR; Belgium) and Gallaudet University(Washington, D.C.)
Connecting Capitals will connect to empower up to twenty Deaf youth from the U.S. and Belgium, advocating for them to become more engaged citizens through a deeper understanding of their respective Deaf heritages.
- Cultural Heritage without Borders (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Cultural Heritage Alliance (Maryland)
Saving What Matters will train up to ten university students in the skills of digital storytelling and show them how cultural heritage preservation can be used as a tool in community development projects on a local, regional, and international scale.
- Athar Lina (Egypt) and Avenue 50 Studio (California)
Through Walls: A Heritage Dialogue will empower up to ten young female artists, enlisting them in the creation of two murals celebrating the heritage of specific neighborhoods in both Los Angeles and in Cairo.
- Khoj International Artists Association (India) and Global 1-to-1 (New Mexico)
Voices from the Margins will connect up to twelve at-risk youth and provide opportunities for them to explore the role of their traditional languages in cultural expression, especially in music and poetry. Together, they’ll create a music video reflecting what they’ve learned.
- Contact Base (India) and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (Washington, D.C.)
Learning Together Toward a Brighter Future will challenge up to twenty U.S. university students from disadvantaged backgrounds and twenty traditional artists and underserved youth from India to explore community-based cultural enterprise and heritage preservation through storytelling and folk music. The project will culminate in broad-reaching public exhibitions in each country.
The twelve organizations will now receive additional training on projects. The virtual exchanges will commence in early 2018, leading up to the in-person exchanges and public exhibitions in the spring and summer of 2018.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs moves people to move ideas. ECA builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships. The State Department’s cultural diplomacy programs employ the arts to advance U.S foreign policy by sharing America’s artistic excellence, demonstrating America’s respect for other cultures, creating international networks, and deepening trust.
About World Learning
World Learning is a nonprofit organization empowering people and strengthening institutions through education, sustainable development, and exchange programs in more than sixty countries.