Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CAUSES TV: From Germany to DC: The Role of Arts in Society

Quality of life is a very broad concept, encompassing everything from economic opportunity to clean water. But arts and culture play a significant role in giving quality to life and making our cities more livable. In fact, arts and culture are crucial to the process of urban development. 

Joining CAUSES Dean Sabine O'Hara are Dr. Wilfried Eckstein and Ursula Seiler-Albring Dr. Eckstein is the executive director of the Goethe Institute Washington and Ms. Seiler-Albring, president of IFA, the Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Together, they discuss the role of arts in society. 

The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), promotes cultural exchange to assist people, nations and religions in learning from one another and living together peacefully. Cultures are changeable, movable and permeable, yet they are also conservative and restrictive. They can cause conflicts, but they can also transform and resolve conflicts. IFA is committed to achieving peace and justice, protecting human livelihoods and cultures and attaining a united Europe. Human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of information are objectives and cornerstones of their work.

The Goethe-Institut Washington organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further intercultural exchange. Of special interest are film and exhibition projects. They also offer German courses, workshops and seminars for teachers of German as a Foreign Language, as well as a wide-ranging testing program to prove proficiency in German. The Goethe-Institut Washington is responsible for providing cultural programs and pedagogical and language services to the District of Columbia and to the states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware. 

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