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Colombia enters a new partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. to award six Colombian artists with the Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts

(WASHINGTON) — As part of a cultural diplomacy trip to Colombia, and with support from both the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State, the Center will enter a new partnership with the Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Knowledge of the Republic of Colombia, as well as awarding the Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts to six preeminent Colombian artists. The award, given by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts to performers and arts leaders in their respective communities, will be presented to internationally recognized painter and sculptor Fernando Botero (awarded posthumously, accepted by the Botero family); pianist and educator Teresita Gómez; musician and actress Leonor González Mina; singer-songwriter and actor Carlos Vives; and co-founders of El Colegio del Cuerpo, Álvaro Restrepo and Marie France Delieuvin.

On Saturday, May 25, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by Minister of Cultures, Arts, and Knowledge of the Republic of Colombia Mr. Juan David Correa Ulloa, and Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter at the Colombian National Center for the Arts, Delia Zapata Olivella, in Bogotá,

Colombia. In attendance will also be Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, H.E. Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia, and Chargés d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Bogotá, Mr. Francisco Palmieri.

“As America’s national cultural center, it is part of our mission to highlight the rich legacy of artists around the world,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “In visiting Colombia and their newly-built counterpart to the Kennedy Center—their own National Center for the Arts, Delia Zapata Olivella—I am reminded of the importance of cultural exchange. This trip, and this agreement, serve to uplift the contributions of the Colombian people to our global culture. Together we will continue finding common ground between our nations and celebrate our artistic traditions.”

The agreement between their respective cultural centers signals a significant step toward fostering deeper artistic connections between Colombia and the United States. By formalizing this understanding, the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the Kennedy Center will seek to: establish collaboration across programming featuring talents from both countries, provide professional exchange opportunities for arts managers, explore a potential residency program, and prioritize knowledge sharing and best practices to enhance community-based social impact and engagement projects.

"Colombia's Cultural Diplomacy Strategy with the United States is a cornerstone of our mission to foster dialogue and artistic collaboration,” said Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia's Minister of Foreign Affairs. "This new partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts not only celebrates our diverse artistic traditions but also integrates them with educational initiatives and infrastructure developments, enhancing the cultural fabric of our nation. Murillo added". "Our dynamic cultural sector serves as a powerful driver of socioeconomic development, promoting inclusivity and enriching both our country and the global community."

"Cultural exchanges through the arts are more than mere circulation mechanisms; they represent genuine opportunities to share sensibilities, create forms of shared creation, and understand, from a center of arts that encompasses the world, the immense potential that cultural diversity represents in a world in crisis that urgently requires imagination,” says Juan David Correa, the Minister of Culture in Colombia.

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