The Everyday Olympics of Rio de Janiero

This guest blog by Dave Loewenstein, the selected artist for ECA’s Community Engagement through the Arts Brazil program, first appeared hereFor the prequel to the story, read about his experience in Vitória.


In a picture postcard
How would the dream of Rio compare to actually being there, especially at this moment? My first impression matched if not exceeded my expectations – the awe inspiring beauty of how human settlement is tucked in between those lush green mountains that appear like teeth sprouting from the maw of a sun bathing dragon.

Looking down at Copacabana Beach from the top of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Looking down at Copacabana Beach from the top of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)

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Educating the Next Generation of Global Leaders: #MeridianSummit

I am so incredibly lucky. I was born in America in a prosperous time to parents that not only valued my education, but had the time, resources, and capacity to be fully engaged. They sacrificed to send me to private schools, staying up until all my homework was done and explaining difficult concepts until they wanted to pull their hair out. But they did so I would have as many opportunities as possible. They poured their all into my education and in turn, gave me an impassioned outlook on my future. That is why I cannot get Deputy Secretary...

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Getting the People Part Right: A New Look at Public Diplomacy

A rebuilding economy, spreading democracy, developing technologies, a changing political environment: it is a time of transformation for the United States government. As the U.S. handles its own domestic responsibilities, it is working concurrently to improve its reputation abroad. Certainly now is the time to build new relationships, strengthen those already existing, and take advantage of the space this country chooses to give diplomacy in its international activity. It is becoming clear that reassessing the way the U.S. approaches Public Diplomacy (PD) from an institutional level could set us further on the path to success. In partnership with Katherine...

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The “Spark” of Euromaidan and Meridian

When I meet international visitors, most of which are participating in one of Meridian’s exchange programs, I often talk about the impact of these exchanges on the lives and careers of previous participants. I often mention Meridian alumni who went on to shine in the global spotlight. Some are very well-known: Nicolas Sarkozy, Mikhail Saakashvili, Romano Prodi, Hamid Karzai, Margaret Thatcher. A few are better known locally: Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen, President of Guatemala, Norovyn Altankhuyag, Prime Minister of Mongolia, Egypt’s former President Anwar Sadat, Finland’s current President, Sauli Niinisto, or Ehud Olmert, former Prime Minister of Israel. In total, some 168 current or former heads of state have stepped through Meridian’s doors mostly as participants in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program.

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