Washington, DC

Dave Brubeck, one of America’s celebrated Jazz Ambassadors, performs in Washington, DC at Meridian International Center on November 20, 2008.

Art for Cultural Diplomacy program


Jam Session: America's Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World is a photographic exhibition that honors the service of the renowned musicians and cultural diplomats who brought the richness of the American experience to people around the world during the 1950s, '60s and '70s. This photographic exhibition is touring domestically with Meridian's Traveling Exhibition Service and internationally under the auspices of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. It contains more than 100 images that capture the tempo and intimacy of their tours on behalf of America.

This exhibition was inaugurated by Meridian International Center in April 2008 as a part of our Art for Cultural Diplomacy program.

International understanding is essential to global peace, as well as to America’s vital interests and national security. While official diplomatic efforts are a key factor in fostering effective communication among governments, it is also essential that people to people exchanges be a part of this strategy.

The latter approach, commonly termed cultural diplomacy, can create neutral landscapes where residents of countries around the world – representing myriad cultures – meet in less formal surroundings to consider issues, resolve difficulties, and learn more about one another.

Because art is universally human and one of the highest forms of individual and political expression, the exchange of art and culture is a powerful tool in finding common ground and building more stable relationships, mutual affection for the things that unite us, and genuine respect – even where we differ.

Meridian International Center is a uniquely situated convening forum dedicated to the promotion of such activities. Meridian’s Art for Cultural Diplomacy program is grounded in this concept and our exhibitions and related cultural initiatives are developed as part of this larger philosophy.

We create exhibits to emphasize socially relevant topics and important world regions, while promoting partnerships with local and national organizations recognized for their achievements. To do this, we work with museums, collections, collectors, and artists worldwide, and our exhibitions have reached over 270 host venues in 44 states and 25 countries.

Enjoy the exhibition!

Warmest regards,

Hon. Stuart W. Holliday
President, Meridian International Center