Domestic Cultural Diplomacy: How the Arts Build Cross-Cultural Understanding in U.S. Communities
Degree awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University
This thesis frames cross-cultural arts programs within the U.S. as domestic cultural diplomacy, examining how arts organizations can increase their relevance in a community through socially inclusive participatory programming. Research includes an investigation into the arts as a means for building social capital, arts and conflict resolution, identity theory, and immigrant/refugee arts. Data comes from both existing sources and interviews with field experts and practitioners. A case study highlighting the way in which Mixed Blood Theatre engages with the Somali community in Minneapolis, Minnesota is integrated in order to demonstrate that arts organizations can play a mediating role in culturally divided, U.S. communities.