Earlier today in New York City, I had the honor of addressing the Association of Performing Arts Presenter's (APAP) annual conference on the critical role cultural diplomacy plays in achieving the State Department's foreign policy objectives around the globe. This event also marked the first time APAP live-streamed an event around the world. Each year, APAP brings together almost 4,000 emerging and established leaders in performing arts from 49 U.S. states and 30 countries to discuss the issues, opportunities, and the performing arts industry's future.
This year's conference theme, "Vision 2021," challenges participants to consider the role of culture and arts in society ten years into the future. For the past fifty years, ECA's programs have demonstrated how cultural diplomacy can open up new avenues of dialogue to dispel stereotypes and discover commonalities between us. Looking ahead, we are challenging ourselves at the State Department to ensure that the United States continues to honor the arts, to encourage freedom of expression and to find new ways to create an open dialogue between citizens and nations.
I welcome your comments on cultural diplomacy. Join the conversation on Twitter, @AnnAtState, using the hashtag #culturaldiplomacy. Click this link for video from my APAP panel earlier today, and stay connected on #culturaldiplomacy through our ExchangesConnect social network!