The Office of Art in Embassies (AIE) launched a 60th Anniversary diplomacy for democracy art initiative at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Jan. 31. More than a hundred leaders from the diplomatic corps, Congress, Executive Branch, and the cultural sector attended the launch event. The year-long undertaking includes artist exchanges in every region, dialogues, student engagements, and themed exhibitions focused on strengthening democracy. Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova introduced a performance by the United Ukrainian Ballet of “The Dying Swan” featuring Svetlana Onipko (above right), a member of the United Ukrainian Ballet company, which was formed in 2022 by dancers fleeing the Russian invasion. In honor of the anniversary, the Kennedy Center converted its “Art and Ideals: John F. Kennedy” exhibition into a tribute to AIE featuring a video message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Photos by Tony Powell