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Cultural Mobility: Symposium + International Funding Guide

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January 7, 2015
Proshansky Auditorium
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Logo_cultural mobility with date

Wednesday, January 7. 

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is creating, in collaboration with the European cultural mobility information network On the Move and the U.S.-based grass-roots international network Theatre Without Borders, a free and user-friendly guide to funding for international exchange for artists traveling to and from the USA. This guide builds upon On the Move’s existing guides for artists and cultural professionals in Europe, Asia, and Arab countries (check out www.on-the-move.org/funding)

Join us for the official launch of the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the USA: Theatre, Performing Arts and Dance. The launch will initiate a full day symposium featuring presentations from funders, case studies, panel discussions, working sessions, and coffee breaks with networking opportunities for international practitioners and service organizations.

Free! First come, first served.
For registration, or more information, please contact Camille Gaume at cgaume@gc.cuny.edu
Please write your name, position, organization, email address and website (if applicable)

Please, see below the conference program (updated on December 29)




  •       Frank Hentschker, Executive Director, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
  •       Roberta Levitow, Co-Founder and Director, Theatre Without Borders & David Diamond, Core-Member, Theatre Without Borders
  •       Marie Le Sourd, Representative, On the Move


General introduction to the cultural mobility funding guides: Marie Le Sourd

  •       Europe – Marie Le Sourd
  •       Asia – Marie Le Sourd & Yumi Hwangbo, Manager, Knowledge & Information Team, International Relations Headquarters, Korea Arts Management Service
  •       Arab Countries – Yumi Hwangbo & Serene Huleileh, Chairwoman of the Board, The Arab Education Forum
  •       USA – Michael LoCicero, Next Generation Fellow, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center



Introduction – Frank Hentschker

  •         USA – Olga Garay-English, Independent Consultant and former Executive Director LA City Department of Cultural Affairs
  •         Europe – François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America
  •         Asia – Yumi Hwangbo, Manager, Knowledge & Information Team, International Relations Headquarters, Korea Arts Management Service
  •         The Americas – Octavio Arbeláez Tobón, Director of the International Theater Festival of Manizales Colombia, Co-director of the Euro-American Network of Performing Arts Festivals REDELAE, Director of the Latin Music Market of Medellin (Colombia) CIRCULART, CEO of the Association for the Development of the Music Industry in Iberoamerica ADIMI
  •         USA – Zeyba Rahman, Senior Program Officer of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and Program Officer for the Arts of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  •         Africa – Mike van Graan, Executive Director, African Arts Institute
  •         Eastern Europe & Beyond – Fritzie Brown, Executive Director, CEC ArtsLink
  •         USA | Africa | Middle East – Iyvon Edebiri, Producing Coordinator, Sundance Institute Theatre Program
  •         Asia – Miki Hotta, Program Director of Arts & Cultural Exchange, The Japan Foundation
  •         European | International Networks – Yohann Floch, Director, FACE- Fresh Arts Coalition Europe
  •         Africa – Surafel Wondimu, University of Minnesota & Addis Ababa University
  •         Europe – Elisabeth Hayes, Executive Director, FACE Foundation
  •         Asia – Cecily D. Cook, Senior Program Officer, Asian Cultural Council
  •         Middle East | North Africa – Mahnaz Fancy, Executive Director, ArteEast
  •         International Fulbright Programs for Artists – Lora Seery, Senior Program Officer, Fulbright U.S. Student Programs, Institute of International Education
  •         European | International Networks – Nan van Houte, Secretary General, IETM- International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts


SEVEN AFTERNOON WORKING SESSIONS  (Rooms will be indicated according to the sessions)

Introduction: Roberta Levitow & David Diamond

1) Socially Engaged Performance
Jessica Litwak, The H.E.A.T. Collective
Yohann Floch, Director, FACE- Fresh Arts Coalition Europe

Socially engaged performance is of heightened importance in today’s world. Theatre and performance techniques are universally recognized as precious tools for addressing violence, illiteracy, community building, and education. Socially engaged practitioners, students, academics and institutional leaders are part of a burgeoning field of theory, scholarship and practice that cover a broad range of activity. What are the key issues for international artists working in this area? What is needed to move the conversation and the work forward?

2) Artists & Human Rights
David Diamond, La MaMa Umbria International Symposia
Murielle Borst-Tarrant, Director, Safe Harbors Indigenous Arts/ Theater Collective at La MaMa Theatre
& Sidd Joag, Program Development, freeDimensional
& Ali Mahdi Nouri, Founding Director, Albuggaa Theatre; UNESCO Artist for Peace; Executive Board Secretary, ITI-International Theatre Institute; Co-Founder, ITI’s Theatre in Conflict Zone

Artists world-wide often find themselves working at the edge, exploring and pushing boundaries, transgressing social, political and religious conventions – and therefore putting their own personal safety at risk. Artists within these contexts can find themselves in prison or physically threatened; our presence can endanger local colleagues; our interventions can risk our own safety. How do we respond? What mechanisms are now in place for theater & performance artists? What is needed to make sure that the human rights of artists are protected?

3) Visas, Taxes, Practical Challenges
Kevin Bitterman, Associate Director of Artistic & International Programs, Theatre Communications Group
Co-Moderators: Matthew Covey, Director, Tamzidat
& Najean Lee, Co-Manager of Artists from Abroad & Director of Government Affairs at the League of American Orchestras

Some of the greatest challenges to international cultural mobility are pragmatic; the implications of these obstacles can be immense for artists, artistic collaborations, productions, and presenters. What are the real issues around visas for traveling artists, and how can these issues be confronted for positive change? What financial obstacles arise for international mobility? What hidden or unexamined habits of practice make international mobility hard or impossible? What specific things can we do collectively to address these obstacles?

4) Funding Practices in the US and Other Countries
Adam Bernstein, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Arts
Co-Moderators: Serene Huleileh, Chairwoman of the Board, The Arab Education Forum
& Yumi Hwangbo, Manager, Knowledge and Information Team, International Relations Headquarters, Korea Arts Management Service
& Marie Le Sourd, Representative, On the Move
& Mike van Graan, Executive Director, African Arts Institute

While artists continue to subsidize artistic production, funding mechanisms (governments, foundations, regional agencies, organizations, individuals – public and private) are necessary for artmaking at all levels, and for the movement of that work across borders. The landscape of funding world-wide is shifting along with changes in world markets and the world-wide distribution of wealth. What can we learn by sharing our funding practices with one another? Can we inspire one another with new alternatives? What can we do collectively to motivate the support we need?

5) Practitioners’ Experience Sharing
Erwin Maas, Netherland-America Foundation Cultural Committee
Round-table with: Pirjetta Mulari, Manager, International Affairs, Dance Info Finland
& Pavla Petrová, Director, Arts and Theatre Institute, Czech Republic
& Mary Sherman, Director and Founder, TransCultural Exchange

Theatre grows from story-telling and yet where can we deposit the wealth of stories we each contain about our experiences in international cultural exchange? Gathering for experience-sharing can illuminate the challenges we all face. What mechanisms exist for collecting stories of international mobility practice? What contexts and mechanisms are needed? How can we develop and support the mentorship of others?

6) International Collaborations in Hybrid Forms
Vallejo Gantner, Artistic Director, Performance Space 122
Co-Moderators: Billy Clark, Artistic Director, CultureHub
& Anna Hayman, Managing Director, CultureHub
& Antje Oegel, Founder, AOI International

International interactions invite us to reimagine ourselves and others – to see and to express ourselves in new ways, using expanded vocabularies of aesthetics, material, content and context. For many, the possibilities of hybrid forms are the motivating force for international collaborations. What horizons have been explored and will continue to be explored? What are the challenges and opportunities in this kind of work? What communities exist to support this particular search? How can those communities be strengthened?

 7) Climate, Action and Cultural Collaboration
Elizabeth Doud, Program Coordinator, Performing Americas Program, National Performance Network
Co-Moderator: Chantal Bilodeau, Playwright, The Arctic Cycle

If international cultural mobility is increasingly valuable, it can also be surpassed by the pressing concerns we feel about world-wide and local ecological sustainability. Our international links and dialogues might make us the ideal networks for the climate conversation ahead. How do international artists see themselves in the climate change debate? What can theatre and performance artists offer in the short and long term fight for our global survival?



Moderator: Frank Hentschker


Join us using #USCulturalMobility and live comment this event during January 7!


This event is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea and
Korea Arts Management Service

MCST_Korea1(1)       KAMS_Eng_LOGO

Additional travel funds provided by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States
& the Open Society Foundation-Arab Regional Office


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