United States Sends Artists Abroad as Cultural Ambassadors


The American  government  is sending  artists , painters and  sculptors  to other countries as cultural  ambassadors .  SmART Power  is a program started by President Obama’s  administration  in an  attempt  to  create  projects in  communities  around the world.

The Bronx Museum is  in charge  of the project. For the museum it is the first chance to send artists to other countries as cultural  ambassadors . Up to now the museum has brought artists from many  foreign  countries to  display  their work in New York.

Artists who  apply  for the program must have a  concept  on what they want to do abroad. They should create a project that is  related  to a certain  topic , including  global issues like  environment , education, health, violence or  freedom of the press.


15 artists will be able to work with students, teachers and other  artists  in 15 countries, including China, Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria. Those who are  responsible  for the project think it will not be very difficult for American artists to work with other people abroad. They may learn new  concepts  of art and be  inspired  to do things that they have never thought of before.

One artist who is likely to take part in the program, Mierle Ukeles, does artwork on  waste management . In one of her projects she put  mirrors  into  garbage  trucks to show the people who are  responsible  for  waste .  In another project she organized a truck ballet at a  landfill . She can imagine doing  similar  projects in other countries too.   A Mexican artist, Pedro Reyes,  melted  down guns and turned them into  gardening tools .


Government  officials  hope that those involved in the project will give people  abroad more understanding of America and American arts. It might even help to change the way foreigners  view  the United States. The American government has  recently  put more and more money into cultural  diplomacy . This year it has sent dance groups to Africa and South America.


Related Topics


  • administration   = government
  • ambassador   = a person who represents your country in another country
  • apply   = is you want to  take part
  • artist   = someone who creates art, like paintings and drawings
  • attempt   = try, effort
  • community   = neighborhood
  • concept   = plan
  • create   = make, organize
  • diplomacy   = the job of bringing people from different countries together
  • display   = show
  • environment   = the world around us
  • foreign   = not your own country
  • freedom of the press   = newspapers, television and radio can say whatever they want
  • garbage   = waste
  • gardening tools   = something you hold in your hand and use in the garden
  • global issues   = topics that are important in  all countries
  • government   = the people who rule a country
  • in charge   = to organize, to be in control of
  • inspire   = motivate
  • landfill   = place where waste or garbage is buried under the ground
  • management   = controlling and organizing something
  • melt   = to make very hot so that an object becomes liquid
  • mirror   = a special glass that you look into and see yourself in
  • official   = a person who is in a high position in an organization
  • recently   = lately, in the last few months or years
  • related   = linked , connected to
  • responsible   = in charge of
  • sculptor   = someone who produces art objects out of stone, wood or metal
  • similar   = almost the same
  • view   = look at
  • waste   = unwanted materials; things that we do not need after we have used them