Art of Diplomacy Conference Returns to UM

December 15, 2016

MISSOULA – World-class artists will join experts in culture, history and international relations for the second Art of Diplomacy Conference at the University of Montana on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 12-13.

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and the Montana World Affairs Council will host the two-day event in conjunction with the 2017 Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE).

“The arts are transformational and build connections at all levels, including the personal, community and international,” said Abraham Kim, executive director at the Mansfield Center. “The Art of Diplomacy event will share stories about how performers and leaders are using the arts to do this around the world.”

The conference features two full evening events of dance, music and storytelling in the University Center Ballroom. The first evening is a limited-seating International Tasting Reception and Gala, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. Tickets must be purchased for this event. The second evening includes a free public symposium featuring discussions and art performances starting at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13.

Both nights will focus on how the arts shape society and cross-cultural understanding, including fighting racism and poverty, promoting global education and connecting communities. More information and registration for the gala and the symposium are available online at Registration is required for both events.

The Art of Diplomacy is co-sponsored by UM, S.G. Long and Company, Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, VIBE and the Korea Foundation.

VIBE, a multiday competition and dance festival, brings students and young adult participants from the around the world to Missoula Jan. 10-14. It is co-hosted by VIBE and Montana’s Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre under the direction of Charlene Campbell.

The 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.

The Montana World Affairs Council, founded in 2000, enables Montanans to appreciate the relationship of foreign policy and international issues to their lives in the Rockies. The council offers opportunities to better understand world events through people-to-people diplomacy, distinguished speakers, overseas visits and educational outreach programs. As globalization reaches all corners of the Big Sky, the council seeks to help educate citizens about their increased political, economic and cultural integration into the world community.

For more information on the conference, call Caitlin Sager, Mansfield Center program coordinator, at 406-243-2965 or email     


Contact: Caitlin Sager, program coordinator, UM Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, 406-243-2965,