Ambassador John R. Bass will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of U.S.-Georgian Diplomatic Relations in Kutaisi on Monday, 23 April, when he, together with local government officials and staff from the Kutaisi Central Public Library, will open an American Corner in the Kutaisi Children’s Library. He will then visit Public School #30 and meet with faculty and students of the American Studies Program at Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University. The American Corner opening and Public School # 30. Both events are both open to the press.
The American Corner in Kutaisi is a place where young people and the general public can learn about American values, culture and history through American books, films, internet access and magazine collections. The American Corner will also serve as a place for students in Kutaisi to talk with a range of visiting American citizens about a wide variety of topics and a home to English language and film clubs. The Central Public Library of Kutaisi generously provided a renovated area for the American Corner at the Children’s Library on #2 Dumbadze Street, formerly known as Nonesvili Street. The American Embassy has opened eight American Corners across Georgia since 2003. The opening will be at 14:00 and is open to the press.
Seventy school children and their teachers will host an exhibition put on by participants in the Applied Civic Education and Teacher Training Program (ACETT) that will start at 15:15 at Public School #30. The ACETT program is a three-year, $2.6 million program funded through USAID that aims to encourage youth participation in civic and democratic processes by working with civics teachers and school principals who help establish school-based clubs, civics summer camps for teachers and students, and trains young people on the use of social media for civic engagement. The program also encourages youth to participate in civil society by supporting small grants for civic-minded projects, in the belief that democratic citizenship is best learnt through action. The students in Kutaisi will show the Ambassador their projects and he will have a chance to ask them questions about their work.
The American Studies students and faculty at the Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University will listen to the Ambassador’s presentation, “The Life of an Ambassador,” after which they will enjoy an open dialogue. The U.S. Embassy has a long association with the university, supporting its American Studies Program from its 2002 inception. The Ambassador will also meet with the Rector of Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University, Mr. George Gavtadze before seeing Governor Makatsaria.
The U.S. Embassy opened in Tbilisi exactly 20 years ago on April 23, 1992. The full day of events in Kutaisi will be a celebration of 20 years of friendly relations between the U.S. and Georgia, and be a milestone on the way to further collaboration and partnership over the next 20 years.