Arriving It was hard to know what to expect. I had never been to Brasil, let alone South America. I was leaving the end of winter and arriving at the beginning of fall, as if time were working in reverse or speeding up and skipping seasons. As far as air travel goes, the flights (three of them) were all on time and remarkably stress free. In the blink of an eye, after falling asleep watching The Martian somewhere over the Amazon rainforest, I was in São Paulo, the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere. I would be back later...Continue
This blog was written by Joel Bergner, who recently went to India as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Arts program:
Looking at a map of India’s eastern state West Bengal, one will notice that it has an unusual shape. At the top, a tiny sliver of land shoots hundreds of kilometers north, like a little tree growing out of rest of the state, which includes the capital city of Kolkata and the iconic Ganges River. This sliver pushes up into the Himalayas, and borders on Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, not far from Chinese-controlled Tibet. It is a fascinating place, with incredible mountainous views, the world-famous Darjeeling tea fields and Buddhist and Hindu temples spotting the landscape. However, it was none of these things that brought me here, to the small city of Siliguri. Upon arrival, I met with my team of local artists and Nishi Kant, director of the Indian NGO Shakti Vahini, who educated us on the situation here.
I was very excited to return to the Dominican Republic for Meridian’s MuralsEngage program, long after my first visit over 20 years ago, when I was a teacher and artist-in-residence at the beautiful campus of Altos de Chavón, one of the many satellites of the Parsons School of Design in New York. Continue
Every March 8th is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women around the world that takes place during Women’s History Month. While Meridian organizes exchanges for women leaders in various fields, for the past two years the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy has used the arts – specifically the mural arts – to directly address issues such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, empowerment, equality, and education that affect women and girls around the world. Continue