We are currently creating a National (U.S.) Database of International Arts Engagement.
To reflect the new realities of increased global connectivity, more engaged publics, and scarcer public funding for the arts, we propose creating a database of U.S.-based organizations engaged in international arts exchange. Our ultimate goal is to measure the relative impact of innovative, sustainable programs, which we define as being focused on collaborative relationship building and multiple site visits, as opposed to the one-time tours and other performative activities of older models of cultural diplomacy.
We invite practitioners of all types of arts-based international engagement activities to be included. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you a brief survey.
Why is the database needed?
The National Database of International Arts Engagement closely follows ADN’s mission of refining arguments on behalf of arts-based cultural exchanges to place them at the heart of national and local economic models, showing that they are not an expense but an investment in the growth and well being of nations.
Such arguments are strengthened only by the careful analysis of available data. There is currently no database that collects pertinent information from different types of organizations engaged in international arts exchange. The types of organizations from which we collect data include:
- Nonprofit organizations, including those with 501c3 tax-exempt status and fiscally sponsored projects
- Universities and colleges
- Local, state, and regional arts agencies
- For-profit schools and institutions
- Private corporations
The database is ADN’s keystone project, which will inform research on current trends and definitional issues in international cultural engagement as expressed by participating arts organizations. We are currently gathering financial and program information from diverse sources to form a core data set.
Collected financial data will enable researchers to analyze how much money is invested in international arts exchange by organizations across the country. We expect program information, including participants’ stated goals, objectives, and self-evaluated impact, to illuminate methods and models in international arts exchange and in what regions of the world U.S. arts organizations are working.
We also have several research monographs in progress, including:
“New Perspectives on the Arts as International Engagement: Participation and Collaborative Creation in a Connected World”
Increased connectivity, more engaged publics, and scarce resources have caused a recent shift in arts diplomacy toward more collaborative projects. This paper addresses the questions,
- What public diplomacy goals go into the planning of cross-cultural collaborative arts programs? How do they differ from the goals of a program based on the performative model?
- What is the difference between partnership and collaborative creation?
- How has increased connectivity helped or hindered the process of developing cross-cultural collaborations?
- What makes a successful cross-cultural collaboration, and how is its success evaluated?
Drawing on programming data culled from the National Center for Charitable Statistics and the Cultural Data Project, as well as from interviews with leaders and practitioners in the field of international arts engagement, this paper will include case studies with actionable conclusions for practitioners of international arts exchange.
“Impact Measurement in US-China Musical Diplomacy: How Do We Know Musical Diplomacy Works?”
Music has long been accepted as a valuable cultural element. Its viability as a cultural diplomatic tool, however, is less readily recognized on the international stage. This paper addresses:
- US-China relations in an historical context, providing a backdrop for the current bilateral landscape
- Musical diplomacy from an historical perspective, highlighting its uses on the international cultural-political stage over time
- Deficits in current cultural diplomatic programming related to music and the arts
- Suggestions for improvement to the measurement mechanisms in place to assess the viability of music as a cultural diplomatic tool
Drawing from government records, ethnographic research, interviews, and interweaving the fields of musicology, political science, and even neurobiology, this paper includes case studies and a foundation from which to build upon US-China musical diplomacy in the twenty-first century.