0:24 I’m Ellen Susman the director of Art in Embassies
0:27 and it’s my pleasure to welcome Secretary of State and all of you to the
0:31 annual art in embassies Medal of Arts awards. today we honor seven artists
0:36 whose talent and dedication to their work
0:40 and mission of cultivating dialogue and exchange through the visual arts
0:44 has enriched our program for many many years
0:47 the importance of art and cultural diplomacy can’t be overstated I think
0:52 art is ultimately on the leading edge of
0:55 how we as a nation define ourselves I think that
0:59 um it’s important with the kind of daily
1:02 very rapidly changing geopolitical world we live in that you have these other
1:06 types of markers
1:07 and cultural diplomacy I think you create a context in art
1:10 plays that role that way.
1:14 I worked on a piece that is called ear for the
1:17 US consulate in Tijuana
1:20 and he has to do with the idea of cultural diplomacy because I’m
1:24 interested not so much in what
1:26 each country is saying
1:29 but what they ought to hear.
1:33 if you got the people’s heart then
1:37 you can get in the world. I think art can do with this
1:41 because artists really
1:44 international really warm really for
1:48 comes from human beings heart.
1:51 sometimes we’re divided by language etcetera
1:55 so what is interesting is to see what other ways of communication are possible
1:59 so ides maybe
2:03 transmitted without words.
2:07 I see most art and most artist actually as diplomats are
2:11 in their own right I really see them pushing forward
2:16 a conversation in most work.
2:20 so today we honor our artists
2:23 we honor them because at the mirror they hold up to who we are
2:27 what we hope to be and because they have the ability to astonish
2:32 to surprise and to inspire to make us think
2:35 in new and hopefully liberating ways
2:39 receiving the Medal of Arts Award down means a lot
2:44 at this moment I tried not to get excited
2:48 but I got very excited because the people around me
2:51 it’s just like an incentive or a kind of inspiration to
2:55 to keep working.
2:59 it means that puts a superbig smile on my mom’s face.
3:04 It’s sort of a big thing for me Iunderstand.
3:07 what it means in a larger sense
3:12 that its relationship with my country
3:16 it’s an honor to receive an award from anyone
3:17 and so to receive an award in
3:20 in this context is also just an incredible honor.
3:24 All of you are driven to create your works will forever grace the walls of our embassies
3:29 around the world
3:30 your art is often the first and only vision of America people in another
3:35 country see
3:36 and as they walk into an annex or stand in line for a visa
3:40 your art welcomes them into the home of
3:43 democracy. that is power that this conversation
3:47 and that is diplomacy.