Building Cultural Competency through Storytelling with Bela Bajaria

The following blog post was contributed by Bela Bajaria, head of Global TV for Netflix and guest at culturefix, our inaugural cultural diplomacy celebration on June 9, 2021.  What inspired you to pursue a career in TV and international programming specifically? I was born in London and moved to the U.S. with my family when I was 8. One of the ways I learned to speak with an American accent was by immersing myself in American TV – Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and so many others. What that also did was it make me believe in the...

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HERspectives: Alisha Peek on mentorship and pandemic challenges in the arts

Alisha Rena Peek is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance, and former company member of Ailey II, the second company to the world renown Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She gave a virtual performance at our MeridianOnline event, Dance Diplomacy, about the impact of the pandemic on the performing arts industry, in May 2020.   Who are some of the mentors that have inspired you in your career? One of the mentors that I’ve worked with in the past, and someone I’ve just finished doing a residency with, is Hope Boykin. She is a former company...

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Exploring the United Arab Emirates (Part 1, Abu Dhabi)

The following blog was originally written by Darren Bradley and published on his website to highlight his time in Abu Dhabi. Darren was a participant in a week long cultural delegation to the UAE, organized by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Meridian International Center. The delegation consisted of public figures, art collectors and select museum and gallery professionals from around the United States.  So I finally got the chance to visit the United Arab Emirates. I know I have a bit of a reputation for traveling all over the place, so some people may be surprised...

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi: Balancing Art & Architecture

The following blog was originally published on Darren Bradley’s website to highlight the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Darren Bradley was a participant in a week long cultural delegation to the UAE, organized by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Meridian International Center. The delegation consisted of public figures, art collectors, and select museum and gallery professionals from around the United States. This blog post was written by Darren Bradley.  Architect Jean Nouvel’s latest creation, the National Museum of Qatar, just opened to much fanfare and images of this new project are flooding my instagram feed as I write this....

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Standing with New Zealand

The entire Meridian community is shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation caused by the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Through our international exchange and cultural diplomacy initiatives, Meridian works to advance the freedom of expression and ideas to achieve greater mutual understanding of the world’s diversity of people and cultures, including religion. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.