Despite how people feel about the government's responsiblity to support art and artists, Hillary Clinton has shared her support and gratitude for the Art in Embassies program, which shares the work of 4,000 American and international artists in over 200 U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
This year, the first biennial U.S. Department of State Medals of Arts have been awarded to Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems. The program and its impressive work aside, Clinton makes an astute connection between diplomacy and the arts, saying,
"In my line of work, we often talk about the art of diplomacy as we try to make peopleâ€™s lives a little better around the world. But, in fact, art is also a tool of diplomacy. It reaches beyond governments, past the conference rooms and presidential palaces, to help us connect with more people in more places. It is a universal language in our search for common ground, an expression of our shared humanity."
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