Department of Culture and Youth delegation concludes visit to Washington DC


Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Youth delegation to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival concluded its visit to Washington DC after a series of meetings with American institutions and cultural figures.

The delegation, led by Mubarak Al Nakhi, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry, toured museums, art houses and federal agencies and held a series of meetings to exchange ideas and share knowledge on the latest developments in the arts and culture sectors in both countries.

The delegation’s itinerary began with a tour led by Chase F. Robinson, director of the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries at the National Museum of Asian Art. The tour included visiting the exhibition entitled “Falcons: The Art of the Hunt” along with other permanent exhibits, where they learned about the large collections of Asian art held by the museum. They explored areas of collaboration including the preservation of artifacts and future collaborations on exhibitions and festivals like Al Burda.

They also met representatives from the National Endowment for the Arts, Michael Orlove, Director of State, Regional and Local Partnerships, and Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research and Analysis. The delegation learned more about the agency’s role in nurturing talent and promoting the arts through its grant programs. Areas of cooperation were explored in the exchange of expertise on the scholarship programs offered in both countries.

The delegation then met at the Kennedy Center REACH with Deborah Rutter – President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Kevin Giglinto – SVP, Artistic Planning and SVP, Marketing and Strategy; and Donna Cutro – Director, Institutional Giving, where they learned about the space and facilities the center offers, as well as its programming and role in supporting talented art professionals. Discussions also took place around her National Symphony Orchestra along with the Washington National Opera.

“This visit demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our relationships with various American cultural institutions as we celebrate our participation in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. We see this festival as a bridge to introduce our Emirati and Arab cultures to the American and international community,” he told Al Nakhi.

“During our visit, we were briefed on the integrated system of work for major American cultural institutions. We share a common vision with these American institutions and see them as our allies to strengthen cooperation in different cultural fields. We believe in the importance of sharing knowledge and using the experiences that will help us improve our cultural offer. We gained important insights into how integrated institutional work contributes to the advancement of the arts in general and how it supports talented people in different fields,” he added.

“Progress in the creative fields cannot be achieved in isolation, it is built on the strong pillars of collaboration and partnership. We can all benefit from each other’s experiences, which is why knowledge sharing is essential for growth in the creative fields,” concluded Al Nakhi.


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