WORLD MEDIATION SUMMIT
WASHINGTON, DC - The World Mediation Summit
will be convened under the theme "Artist as Mediator on the World
Stage." Organized by the US Department of Art & Technology, the
World Mediation Summit will be held at the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes,
the German Cultural Center in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, June 19, 2002
at 7pm. The scheduling of the event has been timed to honor the opening
of Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, which this year is concerned with
socially engaged "platforms" that explore the public communicative
It is in this spirit that the World Mediation
Summit has been conceived, a "ceremonial cultural exchange"
between the arts and government, held in the nation's capital as a signal
of the cultural community's determination to tackle head-on the extraordinary
challenges faced by the world after the attacks of September 11th. The
World Mediation Summit will contribute to shaping a new vision for the
global agenda by intensifying cultural dialogue between the arts communities
and those responsible for responding to and mediating world crises.
"We intend to present to the U.S. Department
of State a proclamation collectively authored by members of the arts communities,
introducing imaginative methodologies and techniques of artistic mediation
that could help us better cope with the fragility of our times,"
said Randall M. Packer, Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology.
According to Packer, "it is our hope that the World Mediation Summit
will herald a new era of international dialogue between the arts and government
to help establish a peaceful, more culturally-engaged world, and to redefine
the role of the artist as a mediator whose reflections, ideas, sensibilities,
and abilities can take significant action on the world stage."
With the World Mediation Summit, the US Department
of Art & Technology - on behalf of its staff - is renewing its commitment
to facilitating the artist's need to extend aesthetic inquiry into the
broader political culture where ideas become real action. Packer states,
"We see it as a way of moving toward a 'virtuous circle' of greater
interaction between the transformational nature of the artist's voice
and other sectors of society."
Participating at the World Mediation Summit
will be artists and staff of the US Department of Art & Technology,
including: Secretary Packer, Deputy Secretary, Jeff Gates, Envoy Plenipotentiary
to the European Union, Middle East and Latin America, William Gilcher,
Chief of Protocol, Alice Denney, as well as arts-activist Roberto Bedoya,
former director of the National Association of Artists Organizations.
Additionally, cultural officials from at least six nations will be attending
including: Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy and Spain. The U.S.
Department of State has been invited to send a representative to receive
The World Mediation Summit is focused around
four major challenges that the arts communities are proposing the US Government
consider in its war on terrorism:
1. To deepen its attentiveness to the richness
and complexity of the world's many distinct cultures, particularly in
areas of conflict;
The World Mediation Summit represents a fresh
perspective for confronting the complex problems that face diplomatic
efforts in an increasingly complex and global society, by creating an
environment that maximizes opportunities for interaction and debate. The
artist is a largely untapped, yet powerful force for understanding and
resolving differences that have led to recent acts of terrorism and aggression.
"The incredible enthusiasm we have seen
from our participants is very encouraging," - said Secretary Packer."
We are bringing together an extraordinary collection of people, in extraordinary
times, this could truly be an historic opportunity to advance the role
of the artist, as well as the importance of cultural exchange that is
so fundamental to improving the human and social condition of our world."
Special reports, press releases, and speeches
will be posted on the Department's Web site following the Summit, at http://www.usdept-arttech.net
For additional information and to RSVP, call
the Goethe-Institut at 202.289.1200 x178.
The US Department of Art and Technology is
the principal conduit for facilitating the artist's need to extend aesthetic
inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real action. It also
serves the psychological and spiritual well-being of all Americans by
supporting cultural efforts that provide immunity from the extension of
new media technologies into the social sphere.
Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department
of Art & Technology
U.S. Department of Art and Technology, Washington, DC, USA