CC MapIn this year’s ArtLink program, Creative Connections is proud to have facilitated 16 partnerships between classes in Japan and the USA-the most number of Japanese participant classes to date! What is also notable about these partnerships is that these partner teachers have been set up with an account on CulturExchange, a closed private social media platform for our partner teachers to meet on, learn from and share stories and updates. This platform is designed to allow asynchronous communication between the classrooms, which should help with the 13-hour time difference between the United States and Japan.

Each Japanese/USA partnership has its own group on CulturExchange, where teachers in both countries are encouraged to engage in dialogue with their partner teachers and their students. The groups have each been given an artwork icon from our Japanese art archive and each teacher is able to post comments where they can ask questions to their partners, as well as, post art work and photos from their classes’ ArtLink experiences and even video responses to their partners’ artwork.

This supplementary resource will provide further interaction between the two partner classes, allowing more student engagement with one another that we hope will lead to a richer ArtLink experience, where the students will gain a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, their Japanese/USA partners.We hope this years’ CulturExchange experience will be mutually beneficial for both sets of classes, and we are optimistic that this supplementary feature will become a great resource for all our ArtLink partner teachers in the years to come.

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