Creative programming is what brings American Spaces alive, and interesting, engaging programs are a key to the success of American Spaces. Visitors are drawn to American Spaces by events ranging from small discussion groups and live music performances to lectures, seminars, film showings, exhibits, round-table discussions, English language learning and educational advising. Planning programs is an important duty for American Spaces coordinators, and a program checklist can help. For your convenience, we have provided two examples — a simple program checklist and a more detailed program planner.
According to the standards, American Spaces should offer a minimum of 24 programs a year, but most do many more. Although the size of the audience will vary by the kind of program and the physical limitations of each American Space, staff should strive to increase the size of program audiences when possible to maximize the number of people reached. Program planning should be done in consultation with the U.S. embassy/consulate to ensure that it is consistent with embassy/consulate priorities, and makes the best use of available resources.
American Spaces should develop and maintain a three-month calendar of programs that integrate embassy-driven strategic topics with the five core programs that are the programmatic backbone of American Spaces. Examples of such topics:
- strengthening civil society
- combating corruption
- countering violent extremism and disinformation
- preventing and responding to internal conflict, atrocities and fragility
- improving economic and social entrepreneurship
- encouraging environmental protection (such as wildlife conservation or response to climate change)
- advancing human rights (strengthening ethnic and religious minorities, women and girls, LGBTI individuals and people with disabilities)
- supporting rule of law and good governance
- broadly advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) engagement