F. John Herbert
Recently, Legion Arts Executive Director F. John Herbert has traveled from South Korea to Denmark, establishing contacts, scouting out new performers, and seeking models for how Legion Arts can further expand its emphasis on diversity and international exchange.
On his visit this fall to Seoul, South Korea, John toured the innovative Seoul Art Space MULLAE, which provides work, living, and exhibition space to artists who are revitalizing crumbling industrial areas of the city. The program also provides incubator services.
On an earlier trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, John was able to observe the neighborhood-based SESC cultural centers.
Seeking new visual artists and performers to engage Midwestern audiences is just as important. While in Seoul, John saw performers like Tacit Group, who create music through live interaction with a Tetris computer game. In October, he attended WOMEX, the 16th annual world music expo in Copenhagen, featuring 59 acts from 38 countries.
“We can learn a lot by tending to the cultural context and delivery systems employed by our peers around the world to foster community development,” said Herbert. In this way, Legion Arts is expanding and updating the tradition started 120 years ago by Czech immigrants in Cedar Rapids.