Internationalization in higher education includes foreign languages; study abroad; international education requirements in curricula; institutional partnerships; international awareness; international faculty and students; and so on. Take a look at ways that Sino-American relations are creating international awareness. 

What is ACCEX? What does ACCEX do? Who does ACCEX help? Take a look at the American Centers for Cultural Exchange (ACCEX) video to learn more about the organization.

Jon Huntsman, former U.S. Ambassador to China, and Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, along with Keith Richburg, former Washington Post Bureau Chief and China correspondent, engaged in a panel conversation on the challenges and opportunities posed by China's global growth.

2013 ACCEX Meeting - Shanghai, China

The keynote address was given by William Huizhu Sun. William is a distinguished artist and professor with significant experience in the arts both in the United States and China. William presented on his experience as Vice President of the Shanghai Theater Academy, his observations of higher education and cultural understanding (and misunderstanding) between China and the United States, and discussed his new initiative with the International Theater Institute UNESCO.

This fundraising expert panel featured representatives from Chinese and U.S. organizations that spoke about the opportunities and challenges organizations face to be sustainable, both financially and programmatically. Each panelist provided advice and suggestions of ways for cultural organizations to gather the financial and human resources to achieve their organizations mission, goals and objectives.

The University of North Dakota (UND) and University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST)  has a vibrant and active American Cultural Center. The Center, which is housed on the USST campus, offers a wide array of scholarly and cultural programs. The Center has hosted public cultural programs which have reached over 2700 students. Since opening its doors in December, 2010, the Center has presented the work of nearly fifty scholars, musicians, journalists, artists, and others, including seven residencies lasting a week or more in which guests have had public performances or lectures, visited classroom, and attended receptions at the Center with students and faculty. The Center building has become a lively and popular gathering space for students and visiting American scholars, artists, and other campus guests and it has nurtured student-driven projects that link USST students with Americans in the community. ACCEX delegates toured the UND/USST American Cultural Center and enjoyed a cultural performance hosted by UND/USST.

The theatre is not uniquely American art form, but the American Theater is unique. Generations of playwrights and theater artists have dug into the fundamental theses of the American experience - our struggles for civil rights, the pressures of capitalism, and the phenomenal complexity of the American dream - and have left us an artistic and historical record of the nation. At its best, the theater is a voice for progress and herald of possibility. In the 20th Century, and now in the 21st, the diversity of voices on the American stage has helped to shape and guide our national debate. The history of the American theater is, in many ways, the history of America itself. 

Participants attended a special reception hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai.The delegates enjoyed an evening filled with networking opportunities, cordial conversations, relaxing music, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and light cocktail refreshments. Participants enjoyed a special feature performance sponsored by Ping Pong Productions. The performance "An Ongoing Experiment" presented five exceptional scenes, and offered a brief introduction to some of the major voices and artistic movements that have shaped the American stage. 

The closing keynote address "American Routes/Roots to China: East Meets West in Engaged Cultural Diplomacy" was given by Nick Spitzer. Nick Spitzer, the producer and host of American Routes, is a folklorist and a professor of anthropology and American studies at Tulane University. Nick specializes in American music and the cultures of the Gulf South, and received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas in 1986 with his dissertation on zydeco music and Afro-French Louisiana culture and identities. American Routes, which is distributed by PRX, reaches nearly a million listeners each week on over 268 stations and via its website.

A former resident scholar at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, and a Fellow of the American Folklore Society, Nick received the AFS’ Benjamin Botkin Lifetime Award in Public Folklore, an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Excellence in Broadcasting Award in 2004, the New Orleans Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, and in 2006 was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year for cultural recovery efforts after the catastrophe.

ACCEX Testimonials and Interviews

Dale Largent, public affairs officer at the Consulate General of the United States, Shanghai, stressed the importance of American cultural centers in providing platform and experience for a new generation to solve problems in the future.

Alison Friedman, founding director of Ping Pong Productions, tells how American Cultural Center Tours (ACCT) program help to improve cultural understanding between the U.S. and China.

Jennifer Tarlin, director of the American Culture Center at University of Shanghai for Science & Technology, describes the process of discovery what the American cultural center can do and can't do in China.

Ruiqing Du, vice president for international education at Xi'an International University, emphasizes the needs to motivate students to be interested in American culture at a Chinese private university.

Jingpeng Tang speaks of how the 3D immersive technology center at his university has enhance the research partnership between University of Minnesota, Crookston and Zhejiang Economic & Trade Polytechnic.

Li-hua Yu, professor at College of Lake County, introduced the American Cultural Center at Xi'an International University and expressed her hope for the American government to set up an annual grant to continue the support to the centers.

Ian Newman, deputy director of the Xi'an Jiaotong-University of Nebraska American exchange center, argues that the advancement of the Center is not so much about the money but ideas and strategies.

Dr. James Masterson, Director of International Education at Morehead State University, reveals the plan to foster student collaboration between Morehead State and Guangxi University in China.

Holly Bouma-Johnston, assistant director of the American culture center at Xi'an International University, expressed her hope for a small monthly budget to fund the art projects.

James Withrow, Associate Director for Operations and Special Initiatives of the University of Chicago, Center in Beijing, introduced the collaboration between UChicago and Shandong University.

Dawei Yang, Executive Deputy Director with the South China Normal University gives his testimonial and interview about their American Cultural Center.

Kurt Harris, director of the Global Engagement Center at Southern Utah University, explains the challenges they are facing in Changsha, China.

Yong Zhang, Vice President with Tianjin University of Sport discusses the work that he does with the American Cultural Center.

Zheng Zhai with the Beijing Foreign Studies University discusses Info USA and his work with the ACC.

Daniel Konold, On-Site American Cultural Center Program Coordinator with the University of Minnesota discusses their ACC programming.

American Culture Center Videos

Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei (Banjo & Guzheng) - On My Knees

These two amazing artists joined forces at Beijing Foreign Studies University for an intimate performance that will not soon be forgotten. In most minds, the banjo and guzheng are very unlikely duo. But Abby and Wu Fei, it is natural form of cross-cultural music collaboration. 

Footloose Frenzy

The second line dance we learned this weekend was a little more difficult. It was inspired by the classic 80's movie, "Footloose"...have you seen it? Your dance teacher highly recommends it! There was also a new version of the movie released last year. It is a great story about a big city boy moving to a small town and all the complications he encounters. And of course, dancing!