Wednesday, June 7, 2017

TU's Center for the Arts hosts curators from Republic of Georgia for professional exchange

Sedonia Martin,

Image from article, with caption: Open World delegates meet United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations staff to discuss public diplomacy programs and Georgia. (photo: Open World Leadership Center)

On Monday, June 5, a delegation of five museum curators from the Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe visited Towson University's Center for the Arts, as part of the Open World Leadership Center 10-day professional program.

After an orientation in Washington, D.C., the delegates are being hosted by the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 3-11.

The visitors to TU included Irakli Chumburidze, web and graphic designer; Mariam Zaldastanishvili, graphic designer and teacher of data visualization and information design from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs; Meri Kharaishvili, exhibition program curator; Georgian State Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema and Choreography, Art Palace; Nino Tabutsadze, curator, Georgian National Museum and Salome Phachusahvili, collection curator from the State Silk Museum.

TU's J. Susan Isaacs, Ph.D., hosted the guests for a “behind the scenes” tour with insight into the university's art galleries. The guests learned about marketing; outreach; developing exhibition design; increasing visitation through branding, multi-media and social media; university partnerships and more. In Washington, D.C., the delegates worked with the Interpretive Programs Office at the Library of Congress before departing for Baltimore to meet museum professionals.

Following their return to Georgia, delegates will host an exhibit on Edward S. Curtis across three museums in Tbilisi. Curtis was an American photographer and ethnologist who focused on Native North American peoples and the American West.

This professional program and upcoming Edward S. Curtis exhibit was designed in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, Open World Leadership Center, Interpretive Programs Office at the Library of Congress, and the World Trade Center Institute.

image (not from article) from

“Embassy Tbilisi’s cooperation with the Library of Congress began with the Open World exchange program for members of parliament and civil society leaders,” said Ambassador Ian C. Kelly, U.S. Embassy in Georgia. “Through this partnership, we were able to send Georgian museum experts to the United States for training in June and bring this incredible collection of artwork to Georgia.”

“Open World continues to have strong programs from Georgia with the support of the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi and Library of Congress,” said Ambassador John O’Keefe, executive director of Open World Leadership Center. “This delegation arriving on May 31 will receive excellent insights into museum leadership in the Baltimore-Washington region and how to best execute their upcoming Edward S. Curtis exhibit in Tbilisi.”

“Having collaborated with the Open World Leadership Center since 2002, the World Trade Center Institute finds the partnership integral to change and shape new perspectives in Maryland,” said Janine Branch, director of professional exchanges program and program development at World Trade Center Institute.

“Fostering global engagement through creative, impactful, helpful, and honest interactions, contributes to Maryland’s goal to be a center for international exchange, making connections that build a more prosperous world.”

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