For Immediate Release
Washington, DC –The Open World Leadership Center announced its 2006 grants to 23 U.S. organizations to host approximately 1,120 civic and 85 cultural leaders from Russia. The grants will be used to develop and manage programs for a wide range of Russian leaders—from judges and regional legislators to NGO directors and filmmakers—in the coming year. Open World delegates visit the United States for intensive professional exchange programs and cultural residencies lasting from 10 days to two weeks.
Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress that brings emerging leaders from Russia and other participating countries to the United States to work with their counterparts and experience American civil society firsthand. More than 10,500 Open World participants have been hosted in more than 1,500 communities in all 50 U.S. states since the program’s inception in 1999.
The Open World Leadership Center also announced the four main hosting themes for the 2006 Russia civic program: accountable governance (including local governance and community economic development), healthy communities (including health care, environment, social services, and elementary and secondary education), rule of law, and women as leaders.
“We are proud to announce our 2006 Russia civic and cultural grantees for what promises to be a busy and productive year for Open World,” said Ambassador Richard Miles, the new Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center. “An ongoing goal of Open World is to facilitate dialogue between the United States and Russia. This year’s civic program seeks to reinforce the same two-way exchange of ideas and information between Russian delegates and U.S. hosts that has proven so fruitful in our cultural programs.
“By creating avenues for Russian participants and American hosts to share their professional achievements, problem-solving initiatives, and cultural traditions, we hope to provide a foundation for professional and personal partnerships that last long after the visit has ended,” added Miles.
The 2006 civic grantees are from six states and the District of Columbia:
Nine organizations were chosen to host cultural delegates this year. Participants will include up-and-coming folk and jazz musicians, filmmakers, poets and writers, textile artisans, opera managers, and cultural heritage experts. Congress authorized the Russian Cultural Leaders Program in 2003; support for the program has been provided through partnership and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts since 2004. The Cultural Leaders Program offers artists and arts managers short-term residencies at universities, nonprofit arts organizations, and other institutions. Open World emphasizes professional and creative development and allows visiting cultural leaders to share their artistic expression, heritage, and expertise with a variety of American audiences. As with the civic program, the visits promote interchange and enduring ties between the participants and their American counterparts, thereby enhancing mutual understanding.
The 2006 cultural grantees come from seven states and the District of Columbia:
“Beyond the support that the Open World Leadership Center receives from the legislative branch and partners like the National Endowment for the Arts, we owe a great deal of gratitude to the communities and families in every U.S. state that have contributed their energy, expertise, and hospitality to the Open World delegates over the past several years,” concluded Ambassador Miles.
For more information on Open World, please visit the program’s website at http://www.openworld.gov or contact George Felcyn at (202) 466-6210.