Mission: The need for cross-cultural sensitivity, coupled with innovative problem solving skills is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. TransCultural Exchange addresses this need. Through collaborations with renowned artists, schools and cultural institutions around the world, the award winning organization has produced dozens of high profile, public art works. These works serve as dynamic testaments of global cooperation. Additionally by placing these installations directly within the public sphere, they become an integral part of the fabric of everyday life, at no cost to their viewers. Further these public art works serve as viable and non-threatening means for bringing people together. The works? international components, the organization?s artist exchanges and interactive workshops also help to promote cross-cultural sensitivity at a time when this need is becoming more and more pressing.Every year both K-12 and university students throughout the world take part in the organization's virtual (local, national and international) pen pal and artistic exchanges. These activities foster understanding and respect of others' differences, helping to turn strangers into neighbors. According to UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Culture, "Culture in this sense is not only an instrument of peace and conciliation but also a powerful factor of development, and perhaps, even a key to a shared planetary future." (www.unesco.org/culture) Art is one of the few media that can cross political, economic and social divides and is the basis for much of our increasingly visual mode of communication. TransCultural Exchange?s educational programs help teach visual literacy, the understanding of how images can communicate complex ideas. This skill arguably is as important as the ability to read. Both are necessary tools in today's global market.
Through the tireless and inspired leadership of Mary Sherman, The TCE has grown significantly in breadth and depth. Most recently is the exciting and comprehensive biennial Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, begun in 2007, which will see its third incarnation this April. Needless to say, these conferences provide a wonderful opportunity to network with a diverse group of artists, critics, cultural leaders and curators. As a beneficiary of this networking, I participated in two different collaborations (both documented in catalogues published by TCE) and attended an artist residency in South Korea. All three of these experiences broadened my work and exposed me to differing points of view and a wider audience.
Transcultural Exchange Inc is a visionary organization bringing together international opportunities for artists for residencies and museum exhibitions in an open and benevolent way. It is unique in that its primary goal is to help, to network, and to provide opportunities first over all other concerns including that of the organization.