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.
The arts are what saves a society. Transcultural Exchange is run by a visionary artist: Mary Sherman. Her mission is to bring artists together from all over the world, to exchange ideas and make lasting friendships. Ms Sherman is intelligent and comitted - once she starts something, she gives her all - in her case, 2,000%.
I attended her last arts seminar in Boston in 2009 and was very impressed with the quality of the attendees: both those taking the seminars and those people giving them. I am definitely going again this year, and will even apply to a few places for an Artist's Residency. I am proud to be affiliated with this unusual organization.