2009 National Arts Policy Roundtable HighlightsAmericans for the Arts in partnership with the Sundance Preserve launched the first National Arts Policy Roundtable in October 2006. Each year, the Roundtable brings together high level public and private sector leaders in dialogue on issues critical to advancing American culture and society.

Since its founding, nearly 100 leaders have convened at Sundance to recommend the policies, practices, and research necessary to move from thought to action on such critical issues as the future of private sector funding for the arts, the role of the arts in building a creative 21st century workforce, and the arts and civic engagement.

In envisioning a greater role for the arts in cultural diplomacy and engagement, 36 national and international public and private sector leaders met (pdf, 365 KB) at the Sundance Resort and Preserve in Utah in September 2009. There they acknowledged the multiple roles the arts can play in strengthening cultural relations globally:

  • Cultural interaction in its broadest sense profoundly influences—both negatively and positively—the world’s political and economic systems; the arts can be a positive force in tipping those interactions toward the positive.
  • The arts act as powerful catalysts for opening new dialogue, building bridges to better understanding, and providing the creative, common ground from which new ideas and relationships are sown.
  • Though states and corporations and individuals are often economically and politically entwined with one another, problems erupt when we are not as culturally interconnected as we need to be. The need for deepening cross cultural and transnational understandings is great.

2009 National Arts Policy Roundtable HighlightsBecause of the power of the arts to transcend differences and communicate across cultures, participants agreed on the need to assert a more visible and active role for the arts in improving the relations between the United States and the world. Five areas of recommendation emerged (pdf, 353 KB) from the participants' discussions which represent opportunities for improving public and private sector cooperation and action.

We are pleased to share with you the results of our efforts at the 2009 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable, and hope that this report serves as a launching point to a new global dialogue between the public and private sectors and within our communities on the role the arts can play in improving relations between the U.S. and the world.

2009 National Arts Policy Roundtable HighlightsUpdate, July 2012

Americans for the Arts and Creative Leaps International partner with the US Department of State Economic Bureau and the Aspen Institute on PNB-NAPEO Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Incubator. (pdf, 523 KB)
Read about the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) – a public-private partnership linking entrepreneurs and business leaders in the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia), in a variety of business sectors.

New International Local Arts Agency Resources for 2012

Special Report—Backyard Diplomacy: Prospects for International Cultural Engagement by Local Arts Agencies (pdf, 2.33 MB)
A new special report by Americans for the Arts, Backyard Diplomacy: Prospects for International Cultural Engagement by Local Arts Agencies profiles how diverse local arts agencies (LAA) are tapping into their local cultural assets to act on the global stage. The report, written by Aimee R. Fullman, includes information about LAAs surveyed about their engagement in international work, including types of international cultural activities, annual program budgets, motivation, partnerships, use of technology, targeted audiences, the challenges of engagement, and measuring impact. Data findings are supplemented by case studies and in-depth interviews with agency leaders about their program and best practices.

Local Arts Agency International Survey (pdf, 307 KB)
Used to create the special report Backyard Diplomacy mentioned above, the Local Arts Agency International Cultural Engagement Survey (LAA International Survey) was conducted online in the fall of 2010. The survey, inspired by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation‘s 2007 International Cultural Exchange Survey, solicited specific information from the local arts agencies (LAAs) that had self-identified as being engaged in international cultural activities through the American for the Arts 2010 Membership Survey. This survey elicited data from 19 of the original 75 organizations (a 25 percent response rate) and was complemented by in-depth interviews with representatives from select participating organizations.