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Community Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy Examined at PDAA January 29 Lunch Program

Jazz Tap Ensemble

Jazz Tap Ensemble leads a master class in Kinshasa for State Department exchange program (Department of State).

Stacy White, director of the State Department’s Cultural Programs Division, described how the arts help forge connections among artists and local communities in the U.S. and overseas at the January 29, 2013 lunch program of the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association at DACOR-Bacon House in Washington, D.C.

White provided PDAA members and guests with an update of current cultural diplomacy programming and share the State Department’s vision for future engagement. She and her colleagues aim to create opportunities for international artists to directly experience America, and provide opportunities for Americans to engage with world class artists, on-stage and off, focusing on youth and underserved populations.

The Cultural Programs Division, part of the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has in recent months translated these objectives into events such as women’s empowerment rap in the Middle East, classical jazz fusion with beatbox in Eastern Europe, chalk art in Latin America, and crowd-sourced and cloud-based filmmaking in Asia. In addition, White’s staff hosted 100,000 Javanese visitors in a virtual tour of the American heartland through the eyes of their favorite Jogya hip hop collective.

Stacy White joined the Foreign Service in 1988 with USIA, and has served in a variety of public diplomacy positions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Canada, and Finland. In Washington, White has been Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy Training at FSI, desk officer for Mexico and Canada in the Western Hemisphere bureau, and the State Department’s Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council.  Her most recent foreign assignment (2007-2011) was in Ottawa as Information Officer.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, White worked as a professional broadcast journalist in news anchor, reporter, and producer positions in Texas and Oklahoma.  She holds a masters degree in international relations from Webster University in Leiden, The Netherlands, and a bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Texas in Austin.

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