Bilateral cultural cooperation between our countries, which has always been particularly active, is continuing to grow.Tours of leading art companies or up-and-coming artists, expositions of masterpieces from major museums or exhibitions of modern painters, various festivals, conferences, charity events — all that plays an important role in shaping a favorable opinion of Russia, and helps to get rid of established stereotypes in different American society groups.

In 2007 Russian-American cultural society marks the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. The anniversary events were launched with an official reception hosted by the Russian Embassy in January, attending outstanding public and political figures, the State Department high ranking officials, senators and congressmen, representatives of business circles and cultural funds who paid their significant contribution to the development of our bilateral cooperation.

In February 2007 within the framework of the jubilee celebration J.Kennedy Center hosted the Bolshoi Theatre ballet tour with leading soloists. The legendary Russian art company is back to the American capital for the first time since 2002 and proved its leadership, with a performance of “Zolushka” (Cindirella) and “Don Quijote” ballets.
In the end of March the State Department hosted a concert of Moscow State Chamber Orchestra under the guidance of K.Orbelyan.

In August was held a reception in the honor of the winners of the Russian language Olympiad among American schoolchildren. In November the US State Department in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, successfully held an international scientific and practical conference “The Russian-US relations in the period of dйtente 1969-1976” where was presented a compilation of historic documents of the same name.

The centennial anniversary of D. Shostakovich became a significant cultural event that entailed a series of jubilee festivities, concerts and seminars throughout the country. J. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts hosted concerts of the National Symphony orchestra in cooperation with a well-known violinist M. Vengerov. The Mariinsky Theatre Schedule included “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” opera. Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the guidance of V. Spivakov contributed to the celebration of Shostakovich’s anniversary as well: during their US tour they played his well-known masterpieces. The anniversary of the Russian genius was marked in Chicago and Boston, where the composer’s son, Maxim Shostakovich attended the festivities of the New England Conservatory that included not only music performances, but exhibitions, lectures and symposia.

The culmination of the series of the joint events became a celebration of a historical event “Art and culture render a salute to diplomacy” held in November at the Embassy which was attended by former US State Secretaries and Ambassadors in Moscow. The participants welcomed the performance of well-known artists V. Kleibern, D. Matsuev and N. Kobel.

In 2007 American non-profit organizations carry out active co-operation with their Russian partners in the cultural and humanitarian areas, as well as professional and social exchanges, sister cities movement is dynamically developing.We can not but mention the stabilization and gradual growth of interest towards Russian language that was promoted by holding the Year of the Russian language in the United States. According to the American Association of the Russian language and literature teachers in 2007, the number of schools and summer camps where children learn Russian continue to grow, resulting in a greater number of international contests in the Russian language. The fact that more young Americans win international Russian language Olympiads serves an evidence of popularity of A.Chekhov, F.Dostoevsky, L.Tolstoy’s language.

It is worth mentioning a successful cooperation of the American partners, particularly the Congress Library with the Russian Cultural Center and the Representative Office of the Russian Foreign Center within the framework of the festival of Russian school and youth libraries “Bibliobraz” as well as publishers’ project “Getting to know each other”.
The American NGOs in co-operation with the Russian Embassy in the US hold traditional cultural charitable events – New Year, Easter and Russian Mardi Gras (“Maslenitsa”) festivals. Special attention is paid to the events for Russian children adopted by Americans. Educational programs held in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institute have become regular events hosted by the Embassy.

The Embassy and the Russian Cultural Center regularly host musicales and art shows. A tribute to V. Gergiev in the Russian Ambassador’s Residence, official reception in the honor of the Bolshoi Theatre and the first of tour around the US the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the guidance of V. Spivakov; a presentation of a new American version of B. Akunin’s works (with a participation of the author) as well as an evening party in commemoration of A. Skryabin became a remarkable cultural event in the life of the American capital. All the mentioned events not only attract our fellow-countrymen, but gain wide publicity in the American society and receive positive reports from the mass media as well.

The geography of such an effective form of familiarizing of the Americans with our culture and traditions as Russian festivals held by both American community and Russian compatriots is expending. Such festivals are held in the states of Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina.Culture remains one of the most effective channels of the American-Russian cooperation development that has a great potential and effectiveness in strengthening the positive public image of Russia.