The idea of connecting two countries, Russia and America, with the goal of promoting mutual understanding through collaborative initiatives in the arts, has been a dream of mine ever since I came to the United States and became a university professor. Cultural exchange, which advocates people to people diplomacy, has become the core principal of the Educational Bridge Project, which I founded in 1997.
The Educational Bridge Project had its first festival in the Fall of 1997 under the aegis of Boston University, my American alma mater. For this festival we invited two professors of composition from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, my Russian alma mater. We organized a ten-day program of concerts, lectures, master-classes and recitals of compositions here in Boston. We also arranged for other music schools in the area to be part of the festival. Such schools as the Boston Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the New England Conservatory and Tufts University, welcomed the two Russian musicians, performed their music, and engaged their students and faculty in a series of formal and informal interactions.
This festival format proved to be so successful and so productive that we brought it back year after year. The Educational Bridge Project then extended its welcome to other institutions in the US and Russia to participate in these festivals. We broadened the types of participants to include art administrators, museum curators, and film-makers. Likewise, we have expanded the locales of the festivals to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Yale University in New Haven, the Lucy Moses School in New York, and others. Our Russian partners included such high profile organizations as the Hermitage Museum, the Mariinsky Theater, the Moscow Conservatory, and the Composers’ Associations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In 2007, The Educational Bridge Project became a fully independent non profit organization. Please, take a look at our latest festivals, which are included in the History & Timeline.
Perhaps you are one of the hundreds of our former festivals’ participants, a member of an audience who heard one of our American-Russian performances, or one of our dedicated volunteers and contributors. EBP would appreciate your help as we continue to bring better understanding through music and art to the people of Russia and the United States. We welcome your support and participation.
Dr. Ludmilla Leibman
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