The arts and humanities are a powerful and positive force in cultural diplomacy and economic growth. The President’s Committee has been instrumental in ensuring the United States is a world leader in promoting the arts and humanities in both of these roles.
As a global power active on every continent, the United States has a vital national interest in cultural and scholarly programs that increase our understanding of other cultures and peoples. The President’s Committee aids the White House in fostering cultural cooperation, working with its partners to elevate the exchange of ideas, information, art, and other aspects of culture among nations and peoples.
The President’s Committee also led, with other agencies and the private sector, the movement to focus on the power of the arts and humanities as an economic driver, sustaining critical cultural resources, and fostering civic investment in cultural assets and infrastructure. These efforts help speed innovation and expand markets and consumers, directly benefiting local economies. The creative economy drives tourism and commerce and supports thousands of American workers – from graphic and software designers to scholars, architects, artists, performers, and curators.
Cuba Cultural Delegation
Building on President Obama’s March 2016 visit to Cuba, the President's Committee and its cultural agency partners, the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution led a delegation of some of America’s most distinguished writers, artists, musicians, and cultural leaders to advance deeper cooperation and greater opportunities for people-to-people artistic and cultural collaborations with Cuba. The visit took place from April 18-21, 2016 and a complete report on the cultural delegation is available here.
International Cultural Partnerships
The President's Committee supports collaborations and partnerships that advance cultural cooperation through the exchange of ideas, information, art, and other aspects of culture among nations and peoples. One such partnership is the Smithsonian Haitian Cultural Recovery Project.
Communities throughout the U.S. have developed successful programs linking the arts, humanities, history, and tourism. Travel industry research confirms that cultural and heritage tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. The growth and investment in cultural heritage tourism has expanded markets, audiences, and consumers. It has provided a means for sustaining cultural and heritage resources with vital revenue and awareness. The President’s Committee and its cultural partners have catalyzed the growth of cultural and heritage tourism, which over time has evolved into a broader policy and development approach known as the creative economy.
Save America's Treasures (1998-2010)
America's legacy, and ours as citizens, is made up of a fabric of buildings, places, documents, records, artifacts, and artistic works. Each Save America's Treasures project makes a lasting difference to its community and to the nation by preserving these structures, places, and cultural artifacts that are the genius and language of America's democracy.
Film Forward (2006-2017)
Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue was a continuation of an international public/private cultural exchange effort by the President’s Committee and the Sundance Institute in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to foster cross-cultural understanding through cinematic storytelling.