Impact: Creating Mutual Understanding

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Promoting Social Change Through the Arts

“I realize that I’ve just had an experience of a lifetime. I am not going to be the same again.” This was Ms. Siniatkina’s response when asked to sum up her visit to Philadelphia. Siniatkina, a painter from Russia, met with Valerie Gay of the Barnes Foundation, Kristin Groenveld of Art Sphere, Daniel Tucker of Moore College of Art & Design and the leadership team of Drexel University’s Graduate Program in Arts Administration & Museum Leadership for wide-ranging discussions on social change through art. “The best thing about this is that there are amazing artists from all over the world sitting in one bus and traveling across the USA, learning all together from each other. I used to think that I am trying to change the world alone. The world seemed to me so “heavy”. Now I know that I have soul mates on all the continents on Earth. And I want to thank you for choosing me to be a part of this magical experience.”

Building Cultural Capital Through Books

Debbie Majka, Honorary Consul for Poland, welcomed Ambassador Piotr Wilczek and Kryzyztof Koehler, deputy director of the the Polish Book Institute for the launch of the Polish Bookshelf Project at the Free Library of Philadelphia in March. Reading a country’s literature is one of the best ways to develop cultural literacy, empathy, effective cross-cultural communication skills, appreciation of diversity and global-mindedness. Thanks to this special project, Philadelphia residents can read Polish fiction, nonfiction and children’s books at the Central branch and the Richmond branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Seeing Diverse Cultures Thrive through Art

On display at the University of the Arts in October, DiverCity FFM exhibited photography by Rafael Herlich, a Tel Aviv-born and Frankfurt-based photographer. Through the faces of Frankfurt’s residents at work, living their religious and private life, in their leisure time on the streets and around the vibrant city, Herlich captures people from 180 nations living in Frankfurt, enriching the city and exemplifying a multi-religious, peaceful and tolerant culture. At the opening reception sponsored by Phillips and Cohen Associates, special guests included Dr. John Gatto, president of FrankfurtRheinMain, North America, and Councilmembers Al Taubenberger and Allan Domb.

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