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Apr 14, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Fellow Deana Haggag highlighted as woman leading the fight to protect the arts in America

President and CEO of United States Artists, and YCI Forum alumna, features in Vogue Deana Haggag speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar in 2015

Salzburg Global Fellow Deana Haggag has reaffirmed the importance of the arts in America and the impact it can have on others.

Haggag, who was recently appointed President and CEO of the non-profit United States Artists, made the argument while speaking to Vogue as part of a Q&A.

The article, published online earlier this month, discusses the nature of arts in the United States following a proposed budget by U.S. President Donald Trump.

If approved, the budget is set to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Haggag attended The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2015. At the time, she was director of The Contemporary Museum of Baltimore.

Following the session, she continued to work with her fellow alumni. Haggag helped support the Citizen Artist Baltimore project, led by Rebecca Chan, along with Priya Bhayana. The project's aim was to mobilize the Baltimore arts and culture sector to make their interests a critical issue in the city's 2016 mayoral election. It led to the first-ever Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture in Baltimore's history.

Speaking to Vogue, Haggag discusses her new role with United States Artists, the need to protect the existence of art, and the greatest challenges she faces. She also discusses her belief how art is for everyone and its ability to do everything.

Toward the end of the Q&A, she says, "I think about people who didn't grow up with art or don't have art in their lives, who are perhaps missing that thing that art can help bridge, which is having empathy for another person and another experience.

"If you can't meet someone day to day who different from you, if you don't have that in your life, then you can find that through music and the arts and books. That's why we exist."

Deana Haggag took part in The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2015. The list of our partners for this session and further information can be found here: