Newsletter of the American Centers & Corners Association (Moscow, Russia)
Posted on January 1, 2004
By Slavyana Sagakyan
At the Russian Ministry of Culture’s Annual Awards Ceremony on December 26, Minister of Culture, Mikhail Shvydkoi, honored both US Embassy Information Resource Officer, Eric Johnson, for his work managing USG library programs in Russia - particularly the American Corner program; and Open World Program Coordinator, Alexander Khilkov, for his work on this important exchange program which has brought thousands of Russian professionals to the United States for short visits.
The Minister’s citation thanked both US Embassy staff members -the first USG employees to receive such an award for their “major contributions to the development of Russian-American cultural cooperation.” Twenty-six American Corners and Centers are now operating in the Russian Federation, with several more due to open in 2004. And in 2003 the Embassy worked with the Russian Ministry of Culture to send almost two hundred Russian librarians to the US with the Library of Congress’ Open World program. The effectiveness of the USG’s long-term library programs in advancing mutual understanding is vividly shown by the granting of these official awards.
[Reprinted with Permission]