Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

As your administration approaches the many challenges facing our country, I hope you will consider a bold program of cultural diplomacy as one answer to the problem of improving and maintaining international relations. In particular, I urge your administration to implement a widespread and fully sponsored international touring and residency campaign along with a variety of cultural exchange programs, all of which would involve a comprehensive collection of professional American orchestras.

On a global scale, traditional Western European classical music is enjoying a previously unknown level of mainstream status. My own experience working in the Middle East to develop the business components for multimillion dollar state sponsored performing arts institutions has led me to believe that we are at a distinct point in time to create a unique bond of friendship and understanding capable of transcending politics, religion, and ethnicity for generations to come.

Given the diplomatic nature of these programs, I suggest they be organized and administered under the auspices of the State Department. If your administration sees fit to establish a Federal Arts Office, one of the department’s initial goals would be to coordinate closely with the State Department to begin purposed based cultural training courses for diplomatic assets as well as mission specific training for personnel from each respective performing arts organization. The State Department professionals overseeing the policy would then initiate efforts to work directly with performing arts organizations to develop and engage specific projects.

Programs such as these would offer significant returns in public exposure, improved international relations, and lowered defense spending while simultaneously supporting the field of professional American performing arts organizations. Given that much of the infrastructure necessary to implement programs like these is already in place to one degree or another, sizeable benefits could be realized within the first 100 days of your administration.

Thank you for your time and consideration. It would be an honor to discuss additional details about these ideas with members of your administration.

Most respectfully,

Drew McManus

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2 Responses to Dear Mr. President

  1. Marc van Bree Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Excellent letter Drew. I remember reading an interesting report on a historical perspective on cultural diplomacy. Your letter seems to echo some of the programs in the past.

    Let’s hope an arts exchange can spread some goodwill.


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