This summer, IA&A’s Cultural Exchange Programs welcomed over forty exchange visitors to the United States as they began programs at three sensational music festivals: the Aspen Music Festival and School, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Each of these festivals has a rich history of musical excellence, creativity, and support for cultural exchange. The programs offered by these festivals have been invaluable in the artistic and professional development of our exchange visitors, who leave prepared to become the creative leaders of tomorrow.
One City, Two Stories: A Double Feature with Arielle
What could be better than one incredible cultural exchange experience? Two! Just ask Arielle Estrada, an aspiring filmmaker from France who spent the past year in San Francisco, CA, splitting her time between internships at two different host organizations. The first was at the California Film Institute (CFI), an organization that uses the power of storytelling through film as a way to educate, inspire, and entertain. At Canyon Cinema, a foundation dedicated to educating the public about independent, non-commercial, experimental, avant-garde, and artist-made moving images, Arielle was able to enhance her knowledge of film archives and preservation. Through these two distinct, yet complementary, internships Arielle was able to develop the skills that will help her become a well-rounded filmmaker.
Meet Stina-Laura, Our J-1 Intern from Estonia
Did you know that International Arts & Artists hosts J-1 interns at our office in Washington, DC? We know #WhyHostingMatters and were lucky enough to have Stina-Laura Parg, an art history student from Estonia, join us for nine months to learn the ins and outs of arts management! During her program, Stina-Laura interned with IA&A’s Hillyer Art Space, our contemporary exhibition space that shows both local and international artists. She also spent time working alongside the team in IA&A’s Traveling Exhibition Service, where she researched and archived pieces from the Hechinger Collection.
How Exchanges are Bringing Sustainable Design to Life
While you might not have heard of Senator Gaylord Nelson, chances are you’re familiar with his legacy. Almost fifty years ago, Senator Nelson coordinated the first nationwide day focused on the environment, now known as Earth Day. But did you know that exchange programs are also helping to make our environment a better place? Several of our J-1 exchange visitors have participated in programs that focused on sustainable art and architecture! In honor of Earth Day, we caught up with Caterina and Francesco, two exchange visitors who are changing the way we think about design and the environment.
Artist Spotlight: Mia Daniels
At International Arts & Artists, we love keeping up with our exchange visitors through the lens of their host organizations! This month’s artist spotlight features Mia Daniels, a J-1 scholar from Canada completing a residency program with the Textile Arts Center (TAC) in Brooklyn, NY. Mia was recently featured on TAC’s blog, where she discussed her creative background, influences, and time at TAC. Keep reading for more on Mia’s J-1 experience and follow her on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her incredible work!
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day
No matter where you are on March 17th, chances are high that you’re close to one of the many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations! Honoring the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is observed in cities across the U.S. and around the world. The holiday has come to mean different things for different groups of people, whether it’s celebrating Irish heritage and identity, welcoming the beginning of the spring season, or just as an excuse to wear green. While new St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are happening every year, the traditions, myths, and meanings behind the holiday go back centuries.
Puppet Love: Pulling on NYC’s Heartstrings
An Interview with J-1 Intern Emily Whittingham
Emily Whittingham’s unique internship experience is a fantastic example of the opportunities available through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program! Challenging the stereotypical idea of an internship, Emily used the opportunity to follow her dream of becoming a puppet maker and hone her craft in New York. She landed an apprenticeship with Puppet Kitchen Productions and spent this past winter working alongside some of the best puppet makers in the business.
Career, Culture, Cuisine, and Always Saying “Yes”
An Interview with J-1 Intern Harrison Malone
By saying “yes” to every opportunity, Harrison Malone is living out the dream of most young professionals! He combined his passions for the creative industry and sports, landing a dream internship with PadillaCRT, a PR agency based in Minneapolis, MN. There, Harrison has struck a balance between working hard at his internship and enjoying everything the city has to offer! After he finished his first internship, Harrison decided to apply for a program extension so that he could continue to grow his communications skillset and further develop his professional network.
Building Peace Through Art
An Interview with J-1 Scholar Hyppolite Ntigurirwa
Hyppolite Ntigurirwa has a vision for peace. After witnessing the horrors of genocide, he turned to the transformative power of art to help spread his message of peace. He started a theater group at his school in Rwanda as a way to unite students from different ethnic groups. “We witnessed the power of performing arts to bring people together, challenging the status quo and starting the long process of social change,” he said of the experience. Since then, Hyppolite has continued to use theater as a tool for healing, reconciliation, and peacebuilding in post-conflict communities both in Rwanda and abroad.
Discovering the Film Industry in LA
An Interview with J-1 Alumna Anna Jane Edmonds
For someone looking to gain experience in the entertainment industry, Los Angeles is the place to be! For Anna Jane Edmonds, it was the perfect place to spend eighteen months training with Silver Pictures, a film production company in Santa Monica, CA. “I had the opportunity to be a part of a large American film production company,” Anna Jane told us, “where the experience I gathered has given me the skills to continue my path in the entertainment industry.”
Dancing Gatsby with Ballet Palm Beach
An Interview with J-1 Trainee Jessica Dandine
Performing with a premier ballet company is every dancer’s dream, a dream that J-1 participant Jessica Dandine is living with Ballet Palm Beach. Jessica began training at the age of six at the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse and later at the Line Jenny NEEL Ballet Dance Center. She danced professionally with the Ballet Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf before joining the company at Ballet Palm Beach in 2015. This season, Jessica will be dancing the role of Daisy Buchanan in Gatsby, artistic director Colleen Smith’s re-imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby.