2015 Annual Report: American Spaces
The Office of American Spaces under the U.S. Department of State has recently released its annual report. With over 700 spaces across 169 countries, American Spaces "serve as the primary places of ongoing people-to-people connections between the United States and foreign audiences that are essential to advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives." Hosted in embassies, schools, libraries, and other partner institutions, often outside capital cities, these locales aim to further a core tenet of democracy: access to information. The initiative has five central pillars: to provide accurate information about the United States and its foreign policies; to offer opportunities for English language learning; to promote study at U.S. universities; to involve alumni of U.S. exchange programs; and to present cultural programs.
The 2015 report covers an increased emphasis on public access to American Spaces, the value of multi-year partnerships with U.S. and local institutions, and digitization, among other developments. American Spaces are undergoing dynamic changes, but they continue to be "places where people meet people, talk to people and listen to people. These are the places where people can and did learn and share ideas, express their thoughts or cordially debate a sensitive topic."
The full report is available here.
Photo by U.S. Consulate Chennai I CC 2.0