Art of Diplomacy Open Conversation to Highlight Importance of Arts Education in Transcending Cultural Boundaries • Long Beach Post


Flyer courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.

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On Monday, January 22, civic leaders and city officials will gather to speak on the importance of arts education. The Open Conversation event is inspired by the 2018 Sister Cities International Youth Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) and its theme this year, Art of Diplomacy.

The public is invited to Expo Art Center at 6:00PM to participate in the dialogue. Attendees are encouraged to share their vision for a more peaceful world through the arts, alongside Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach Unified School Board President Megan Kerr, Denise Grande of Arts Education Collective, LBUSD teacher Nica Rumion and Councilmember Al Austin who will share their perspectives “on the power of arts education and its ability to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries,” according to the announcement from the Arts Council for Long Beach.

“Arts education is not only about classroom time and instruction,” said Griselda Suarez, executive director of the Arts Council. “It is curriculum that encourages students to engage in positive risk-taking, promotes leadership development, and builds career pathways. Arts education is essential when looking at a city’s arts and culture because we need both the producer and the appreciator.”

The program is a collaboration between Garcia, Sister Cities of Long Beach and the Arts Council for Long Beach.
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit organization promoting worldwide peace. The theme Art of Diplomacy highlights the value of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ways citizen diplomats achieve peace. Each year, YAAS encourages youth from around the globe to express the mission of the organization through original artwork, literature, film and photography, according to the release.

“Arts education is important in my opinion because it inspires people to be creative and provides opportunity for them to express themselves through music or visual art,” Austin told the Post, who said he’s personally benefited from the arts through being exposed to music at a young age. “Creativity is a valuable and necessary characteristic in every aspect of our society. Artistic expression is a way to communicate and inspire people who often may have social, cultural, or language barriers. Art brings people together like nothing else, which makes it a powerful tool for diplomacy.”

The Expo Art Center is located at 4321 Atlantic Avenue.

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Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].

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