Afghani street artists come to worcester to study art marketing, meet local artists

Posted by Melissa Lynch | Posted on Feb 10, 2014

Three street artists from Afghanistan will visit Worcester from Feb. 12 to 15, sponsored by the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The International Center of Worcester is organizing this local program. This delegation will also visit New York City and San Francisco during their visit to the U.S.

During their stay in Worcester, the visitors will visit the Worcester Art Museum, meet with the City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Officer, ArtsWorcester, and the Worcester Center for Crafts. On the afternoon of Feb. 14, the visitors will paint a wall in Worcester for future art lovers to enjoy.

The one woman and two men in the group are all accomplished artists in Afghanistan, and also engage in street art, which is sometimes controversial there. One is a professor of fine arts at Kabul University. They are all working to promote freedom of expression. They speak English well, and will be accompanied by a State Department English Language Office to help with any cultural differences or interpretation difficulties.

The International Visitor Leadership Program was created to advance the foreign policy goals of the US, such as proper governance, environmental protection, freedom of the press, advancing women’s rights, and human rights. Currently, about 5,000 visitors come to the US each year for 2-3 week professional exchange programs, during which they visit Washington DC and 2-4 other cities in the US. This Afghani delegation will also visit New York City and San Francisco. They will meet with American artists and other people and organizations prominent in the arts world in order to exchange ideas and practices. The program also aims to create lasting relationships among people of different cultures and backgrounds, encourage greater global understanding, and dispel cultural stereotypes and negative images.

The International Center of Worcester (ICW) is an independent non-profit membership organization, located on the Clark University campus, that has been welcoming international visitors to central Massachusetts since 1963. ICW organizes programs for international delegations in governmental and non-governmental professional exchange programs. It is part of a nationwide network of organizations that are members of GlobalTiesUS (www.globaltiesus.org) in Washington, D.C. It is the home of the Worcester-Pushkin (Russia) Sister City Project.

The International Center of Worcester promotes “Citizen Diplomacy” by giving its members opportunities for personal contact with visitors from around the world. ICW creates professional programs for international visitors sponsored by governmental and non-governmental agencies. Founded in 1963, it is an independent non-profit educational organization supported by its members.

ICW is given office facilities at the American Language and Culture Institute by the College of Professional and Continuing Education at Clark University.

ICW promotes “Citizen Diplomacy” by giving Worcester residents the opportunity for personal contact with visitors from around the world.