June 9, 2017

Dear Friends, Supporters and Participants:

CEC ArtsLink sends you warm summertime greetings. Though the weather is growing increasingly more pleasant, a chill of anxiety remains in the air. Geo-political tensions are at a height not known in decades, the new US administration is eager to eliminate the Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and they hope, as well, to cut the annual budget of the State Department — the country’s traditional and official agency for diplomacy — by thirty percent.

For over 50 years CEC ArtsLink has done the unofficial diplomatic work of cultivating citizen to citizen communication between countries. Our efforts have met with great success in overcoming distrust and political differences between communities. For over 25 years we accomplished this by supporting and producing arts activities which showcase international inclusiveness and dialogue.

This year for instance, our programing of residencies, public art festivals, and international productions harnesses the creativity of 123 artists from the US and 25 countries abroad. In October we will mark the 25th Anniversary of ArtsLink Awards — the cornerstone on which our current programming is founded — with ten exceptional  artists and managers from Albania, Belarus, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan who will enjoy six-week professional stays at arts organizations across the US. Our Art Prospect festival of public art will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia and also in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan with an additional mini-festival in Baku, Azerbaijan. Finally, our second year of ArtsLink Back Apartment Residencies in St. Petersburg includes US, Cuban, Dutch, Finnish, French, and Polish artists. We feel that expanding the number of countries with which we work helps to counter the pervasive global atmosphere of isolation and fear.

Please join the National Endowment for the Arts, the Open Society Foundations, the Kettering Family Philanthropies, and the many individuals who share our belief that the arts generate agency, understanding, thoughtfulness and delight by supporting CEC ArtsLink’s vital work. Make your contribution today!

With sincere appreciation,
Fritzie Brown
Executive Director