Art is how we decorate space,
music is how we decorate time.
I would like to believe that if I am deeply moved by a song originating from some place other than my own hometown, then I have in some way shared an experience with the people of that culture.
I have been pleasantly contaminated.
The arts are what makes life worth living. You’ve got food, you’ve got shelter, yeah. But the things that make you laugh, make you cry, make you connect – make you love are communicated through the arts. They aren’t extras.
International arts exchange is fundamental because it creates an environment for genuine compromise and conciliation, enhances the education of all citizens, fosters tolerance of diverse cultures within our country, and prepares us to contribute both artistically and economically within the global society.
Culture creates trust, seeks truth, and asks us always to work in service of one another. It completes us. With these values as our guiding star, I believe that we can begin to connect the hyper-local on-the-ground reality to the most abstract, planetary goals, all in one uninterrupted arc, like an electric current.
That is the power of culture: it turns the “other” into “us,” connecting our most personal truths to the largest planetary goals.
Perhaps one of the greatest means to achieve global peace and harmony is cultural exchange. It opens up the vistas of human understanding and further expands our universal consciousness. Let us raise ourselves from the narrow perspective of being a citizen of a particular country to global citizenship that is the greatest demand of modern world.