An Open Conversation on January 22, inspired by the 2018 Sister Cities International’s Youth Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) theme Art of Diplomacy, will take place at the Expo Art Center (4321 Atlantic Ave.) at 6 p.m. Join us for a closing reception and a program with arts education leaders.

Mayor Garcia will speak on the importance of arts education, and civic leaders—Denise Grande, Arts Education Collaborative; Nica Rumion, LBUSD teacher; and Councilmember Al Austin—will share their perspective on the power of arts education and its ability to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries. We welcome all attendees to participate in the dialogue and share their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through the arts.

Sister Cities International promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, and the theme Art of Diplomacy highlights the importance of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ways citizen diplomats achieve peace through people-to-people interaction. Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from their experiences and artistically express how people cultivate relationships across cultures. Each year, YAAS encourages youth from around the globe to express the mission of Sister Cities International through original artwork, literature, film, and photography.

This program is a collaboration between Mayor Garcia, Sister Cities of Long Beach and the Arts Council for Long Beach.