Filmmakers Ilya Kazankov (St. Petersburg), Alisa Khmelnitskaya (St. Petersburg) and Ekaterina Telegina (Moscow) with facilitator Konstantin Molotilov at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.

Photo: Vitaly Glukhov

Choreographers Pavel Kurov (St. Petersburg), Tatiana Domovidova (Vladivostok), Natalia Lisina (Kazan) and Ksenia Belenkova (Tomsk) perform an original collaborative work at Joyce SoHo in New York.

The Open World Cultural Leaders Program enables early to mid-career artists and arts managers from Russia to complete 2-3 week professional residencies at leading arts organizations across the United States.

Open World residencies are structured to:

  • strengthen Russian-American relations through cultural exchange;
  • facilitate sustainable long-term relationships and ongoing collaborations between U.S. and Russian artists and arts organizations;
  • share new work by emerging Russian artists with American audiences;
  • support and encourage the professional development of young Russian artists.

To date, the program has included the following disciplines: film, modern dance, music, literature, theater, and arts administration.

Since 2003, over three hundred participants from a wide range of Russia's geographic regions participated in the program. Their performances have been attended by a combined audience of over 23,000 people across the U.S.

The program is supported by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, with partnership and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Renova Group of Companies.