American Spaces Tradecraft Connection Inspires Cross-Border Collaboration
In April, two participants in PY351, the American Spaces Tradecraft course in Vienna, Austria, met and conceived of a joint program at their respective spaces. Adriana Alvarez from the ASICANA Binational Center in Santiago del Estero, Argentina and Mariia Ocheretiana from America House Kyiv, Ukraine shared ideas and possibilities in Vienna. Together with ASICANA Academic Director Katherine Carabajal, they organized the webinar “Youth Perspectives: Life in a Time of War” on May 31 for an audience of more than 70 Argentines (with more than 280 participants watching the recording later). The program built on the photo exhibit of Russia’s war against Ukraine that is currently touring BNCs in Argentina, and it provided a glimpse into the lives of young people living through Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The program was the first cross-border collaboration between America House Kyiv and ASICANA, and it was the first cross-border collaboration of any kind for ASICANA. The program coordinators shared that working together came easily because as American Spaces, they had a shared understanding of each other’s objectives and needs and could quickly connect and plan together. They also emphasized that the opportunity to meet and interact with American Spaces colleagues continues long after PY351 concludes – and these colleagues can offer unique program suggestions or become future program partners.
This event also highlighted the opportunity for collaboration between different types of American Spaces – in this case, a Binational Center and an American Center. Cross-border programs like this one leverage the network of American Spaces to establish relationships not just directly with the United States, but between countries around the world.