Spotlight on Soft Power: July 2016

Pop is Our Tradition

Hello Kitty®, Sailor Moon, sushi, anime, manga, and Studio Ghibli® are just a few examples of Japanese Pop culture that have gained popularity in the United States. J-Pop Summit looks to foster this growing interest and bring Japan straight to America. Since 2009 J-Pop Summit has been held annually in San Francisco. It was created and hosted by SUPERFROG project, whose goal is to educate the American public about the uniqueness of Japanese Pop culture. The project continues to be sponsored by a growing number of well known enterprises: UNIQLO, SEGA, Mazda, Funimation, and Lyft, just to name a few.

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Interview with an artist: Michelle Angela Ortiz

You may remember Michelle Angela Ortiz, a mural artist based in Philadelphia, from Meridian International Center’s Cuba Forum on June 9th. She recently returned from Cuba as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Mural Arts program, a joint initiative with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. There, she worked with the local community in Regla to create stunning works of public art. We spoke with her about her experience, methodology, and the power of art to transform communities.

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Australian TV Producer Reflects on Broadcast Media in the U.S.

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature one alumna who participated in a Multi-Regional project for journalists and media professionals. The participant spent three weeks in the United States examining how new technologies shape the way news is gathered and how broadcast media influences and reflects American society. More information about Erin’s experience on the program can be found here: “Digital Media in the U.S. & Australia: IVLP Alumna Shares Key Takeaways from Exchange”

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Spotlight on Soft Power: June 2016

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence International Festival of Lyric Art Aix in June Aix-en-Provence, France June 4-26   The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, International Festival of Lyric Art, is kicking off its 2016 celebration with a month long prelude of musical events called Aix en Juin/Aix in June. The Festival d’Aix takes place in its namesake, the town of Aix-en-Provence, France. The festival was founded as a response to the Second World War, when all of Europe was struggling to rebuild their infrastructure, culture and identity.  France responded by launching a string of arts festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival in 1946, and the...

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