Soft Power, Embassies and Art

October 24, 2013  • Arts Program

How can artists today productively engage with diplomacy? Are we doing our best as a nation to harness the utility of art as a foreign policy tool? And can we identify aspects of an artwork which lends itself most greatly to this cause?

Join Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel for a roundtable discussion with iconic American artist Joel Shapiro, who has installed more than 30 site-specific, abstract public sculptures in Asia, Europe and North America. The conversation is introduced by Gordon Giffin, former United States Ambassador to Canada, and examines cross-cultural dialogue through the lens of Shapiro’s commissioned works at several US government outposts abroad, including at the US Embassy in Ottawa, and at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China, as part of the cultural diplomacy initiatives of the Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies (FAPE).

The Washington Ideas Roundtable Series is made possible with the generous support of Michelle Smith and the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.