The American Centre in Cairo (ACC) offered 283 programmes (356 sessions), with more than 35,000 visitors in 2017, the Cultural Affairs officer at the US embassy, Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz told Daily News Egypt.
The ACC offers programmes in the areas of English language learning, Education USA (information about how to enrol in American colleges and universities), information about the United States, US cultural activities, and speaker opportunities for alumni of our exchange programmes, clarified Klitz.
In addition, the centre supports the US Mission’s goals in the area of economic development by offering extensive programmes in cutting edge technology, entrepreneurship, and soft skills development, added Klitz.
The centre also oversees the American Corner Maadi at the Maadi Public Library, where outreach programmes are offered by the ACC, in addition to the American Corner’s self-developed programmes, said Klitz, noting that in 2018, the American Corner Maadi delivered 248 programmes to over 8000 participants.
“In addition, we conduct outreach programmes in Upper Egypt, primarily in the area of soft skills development and entrepreneurship. Over the last year the centre delivered 14 multi-day workshops in Upper Egypt with over 1100 participants,” said Klitz.
“Our consulate runs an array of outreach programmes, including English conversation clubs across the North Coast and Nile Delta region. In addition, its Skills for Success programme in Alexandria and Damietta has given recent university graduates valuable career development skills that have helped them find jobs in competitive fields,” added Klitz.
In the coming months, the consulate will bring elite American marathon runners to Alexandria to lead community outreach and support Alex Runner’s half-marathon, said Klitz, adding, “it will also begin English language programmes for refugees and launch several initiatives to support aspiring entrepreneurs.”
“In the spring of 2018, we partnered with Egyptian music label “100 Copies” to bring together American rap artists DJ Taye and DJ Tasos with emerging Egyptian stars Islam Chipsy and Sadat for a series of workshops and recording sessions, culminating in a public concert at the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF),” said Klitz.
The embassy also featured American hip-hop music band “Dangerflow” in collaboration with Tarekh el-Sheikh and Mai Abdel Aziz for a major public concert at Al Azhar Park, added Klitz, noting that “Dangerflow” later performed in Alexandria with the Nubian band “High Dam” and folk-rock band “El Mina,” alongside hip-hop dance group “Alex Crew.”
“Alex Crew” are a great example of how programmes build on one another—the dancers previously participated in the consulate’s 2017 Next Level hip-hop dance workshop led by American dancers, mentioned Klitz.
“In addition, our consulate has participated in the Bibliotheca of Alexandrina International Book Fair since 2004 and its Jazz Tales Festival since 2017,” said Klitz noting that most recently, the embassy brought American jazz singer and songwriter Halie Loren to participate in the festival and collaborate with “Wust El Balad.”
Looking to theatre, the Culture Consulate also organised an adaptation of Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie at Bibliotheca in 2017, which featured two visiting American actors. And this past June, it led a writers’ workshop with the American author, screenwriter, and film director Marissa Silver.
In the months ahead, as part of the Centre Stage programme, Egyptian musicians such as Dina El Wedidi, “Karkadé”, and Youssra El Hawary will be sent on tours to perform in the United States, in cities such as New York and Washington DC, for American audiences to be able to discover some of the rich contemporary culture of Egypt, said Klitz.
In Alexandria, American contemporary artist Gene Felice will work with local artists in a month-long workshop that will blend traditional art with new technology, added Klitz.