Connecting artists at home to spark creativity with the world
For the last six decades Meridian has viewed arts and culture as tools of diplomacy to connect people around the world — which we believe matters now more than ever. While COVID-19 has presented obstacles in every facet of life, it has also allowed the creative community to connect in ways not previously considered, effectively expanding their reach and impact. The Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy hosted a high-level virtual program featuring Artistic Directors of major ballet companies from across the globe to discuss how to best lead dance and performing arts organizations through this crisis. Moderated by Septime Webre, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet, the conversation featured panelists Julie Kent, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet & Meridian Council Member; Ted Brandsen, Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet; and Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of the American Ballet Theatre. The hip hop community has also found ways to connect from home, as Meridian and Next Level kicked off the four-part virtual program series Next Level Live! The first program featured a performance by Next Level alums Toni Blackman and DaVinCi, and was preceded by a discussion with the artists and founders of the organization. Watch the full ballet program here and the hip hop program here.