MISSOULA – Experts in foreign policy, culture and history will join internationally renowned artists for a unique Mansfield Center conference that will blend world-class discussions with world-class performances to explore the impact of the arts and cultural exchanges on international relations, politics and societies.
The one-day Art of Diplomacy Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in the University Center Ballroom at the University of Montana. Sessions are free and open to the public, but participants are asked to register online at http://www.umt.edu/mansfield/ to ensure space at panels and a lunch reception.
International relations long have been shaped by official diplomatic and economic engagements, as well as cultural and artistic interactions that have a profound impact on people. These creative channels frequently facilitate greater communication, understanding and cooperation between communities. They also can disrupt or even subvert as they inject new ideas and alternative cultural understandings.
The conference will feature topics such as “The Importance of the Impact of Cultural Diplomacy,” “Bridging the Chasm: How Creative Exchanges Connect Divergent Communities” and “The Power of Art and Statecraft.” Panels and discussions will be interwoven with performances and firsthand accounts from artists who currently bridge communities and build understanding through their international performances and work.
The Art of Diplomacy is part of the Vienna International Ballet Experience that will be held in the U.S. for the first time in Missoula Jan. 12-16. This multiday competition and dance festival will bring up to 400 children and adult participants from the around the world and is under the direction of Gregor Hatala and Evelyn Teri from Vienna, Austria. It will be hosted by Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre and Destination Missoula.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) and his wife and life partner, Maureen Hayes Mansfield. The center houses programs that focus on the peoples and cultures of modern Asia and ethics in public affairs – the core interests and hallmarks of Sen. Mansfield’s career. More information is available at http://www.umt.edu/mansfield/.