We’re interested in Massachusetts arts organizations that identify a specific need for artists, then shape their organization to directly meet that need – in essence, match the right horse with the right course.
We contacted Mary Sherman about her thriving organization and its unique appeal to artists with global aspirations…
The course: artists may not have the time or resources to connect to a greater network of ideas and opportunities from the international community – such as international residencies or cross-cultural collaborations
The horse: TransCultural Exchange, a nonprofit organization that bridges cultural divides through the arts and supports artistic innovation through large-scale, cross-discipline, global art projects and programming
What we do: This year TransCultural Exchange celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Since 1989, TCE has worked directly with hundreds of artists, arts organizations, foundations, museums, and cultural centers in more than 60 countries, producing cultural exchange programs, educational workshops and critically acclaimed public art works and exhibitions, from Sarajevo to Sao Paulo, Berlin to Boston, Tel Aviv to Taipei, Mongolia to Mumbai. In 2002, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization awarded TCE sponsorship – the first US project to receive this honor since the US mission rejoined UNESCO.
Along with its large scale art projects – the most recent of which asked artists to collaborate with someone from another country, resulting in over 200 artists participating in 60 exhibitions and performances worldwide – TCE organizes a biennale Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts. This conference is “the” forum in the world bringing together artists, teachers, musicians, writers, museum and cultural administrators, and residency directors to network, showcase, support, and promote the vast array of programs for cultural administrators and practitioners to interact with their international peers. In the short period since the Conference’s launch in 2007, more than 70 US artists have been invited to attend all-expense-paid exchange programs, 3 have received teaching positions, and over 75 have received invitations to exhibit. (Read about success stories from 2007 and 2009.)
These are just a few of the activities directly credited to TCE’s conferences. Many of the local schools also began exchange programs with the people they met at the conferences.
Already Massachusetts is seen as the nation’s educational hub, attracting people from every corner of the globe to its institutes of higher learning. TransCultural Exchange’s goals are no less than to 1. reinforce this international asset; 2. promote culture as a vehicle for diplomacy; and 3. complement the state’s already world-renowned cultural attractions to help position Massachusetts as a new, important, and vital international center for creativity and the important diplomatic role the arts – which transcend all political, social, and geographic borders – can play on today’s larger, global stage.
What’s up next: TCE is currently soliciting work for its next global project for which artists are asked to collaborate with people from different cultures and different disciplines – such as science, technology, and business – as a way to showcase the advantages of bringing multi-perspectives to bear on a task.
Any artist (including visual artists, writers, and musicians) looking for the time, space, and money to pursue their work, particularly in the International arts arena, should not miss the next Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: The Interconnected World, April 8-10, 2011 at Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel.
Also stay tuned: TransCultural Exchange is pleased to participated in the 2010 London Biennale as a satellite venue…
What artists interesting in working with us need to know: Anyone interested in being on our mailing list should add their name, by entering their email on the form at the bottom of this web page. Also, follow the TransCultural Exchange blog.
Mary Sherman is the founder of TransCultural Exchange. As an artist, she has exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad, including New York, Seoul, Vienna, Chicago, London, and Venice. Read her guest blog about her Taiwan artist residency, summer 2008.
Image: Dana Prescott, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, from the Transcultural Exchange Conference, photo by Sophia Andrianopoulos