The Educational Bridge Project was established to foster American-Russian collaboration in the areas of music, art, culture, and education by organizing the annual festivals, "Days of Russian Culture in America" and "Days of American Culture in Russia."
The primary goal of these festivals is to help to build a bridge of understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation between students, faculty, and institutions in major cultural centers, including Boston, St. Petersburg and Moscow, and to expand community access to the heritage and initiatives of both cultures.
Among other goals for the EBP are the following: to create a model of international artistic collaboration by connecting creative artists internationally through the means of their arts; to educate and enlighten the people of Russia and America about their rich cultural traditions and heritages; to increase community access to music and other educational opportunities, resources and programs; to spur people's social activism as cultural ambassadors; to stimulate active approaches in education; to enrich the local communities by educating and entertaining people of all ages; to ignite curiosity about music, especially from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Since 1997, the Educational Bridge Project has organized fifteen festivals, seven in the US (Boston, New York, and New Haven) and eight in Russia (St. Petersburg and Moscow). This format of collaborative initiatives between the faculty and students of the participating American and Russian educational institutions proved to be a productive model for learning through collaboration.
Thousands of Americans and Russians have attended the festivals' events and have benefited from meeting people from the visiting country. Hundreds of students and faculty members participated in the festivals' concerts, master-classes, discussions, and workshops. Playing music together, performing each other's compositions, commissioning for each other's orchestras, learning from each other's educational methods, and discussing similar experiences does much to dispel the misunderstandings arising in a world where political tensions threaten to keep us divided and isolated.
A significant part of the outreach mission of The Educational Bridge Project has been its focus on bringing Russian and American music to each country's citizenry through local community participation and youth involvement. Lessons learned in the classrooms reached out to average citizens, entertained them with new collaborative creations and bring them a glimpse of rich cultural heritages.
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