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The United States government yesterday (April 11) launched its newest “American Corner”, at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Bird Street Campus in Port Elizabeth.

The main goal of the American Corner, Port Elizabeth is to create a forum for an exchange of ideas, arts, and culture between Americans and South Africans in the Eastern Cape.

US Consul General in Cape Town Teddy B Taylor and NMMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Engagement Prof Andrew Leitch attended the event, which included live background music and an art installation in the gallery.

“We are delighted to be able to host the American Corner on our NMMU Bird Street campus. It has the potential to really impact the city through the rich cultural dialogue that will take place. We also anticipate great interest in the exhibitions that are planned,” said Leitch.

Worldwide, the United States government partners with universities, non-profits and other organisations to host 700 American Spaces in 169 countries.

The nine American Spaces in South Africa are in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg, Soweto, Westonaria, Pretoria, and Mamelodi.

The United States Mission in South Africa recognises the importance of having an American Space in the Eastern Cape, which has a long history of producing some of the country’s most dynamic and courageous thought leaders and also serves as an important hub for links between American and South African businesses – particularly in the automotive industry – that create hundreds of jobs throughout the Eastern Cape.

Given the importance of NMMU to the city of Port Elizabeth and the entire Eastern Cape, the US Mission has chosen NMMU as host of the American Corner in Port Elizabeth.

The focus on the arts and innovation at NMMU’s Bird Street Campus, as well as its commitment to engaging the broader public in Port Elizabeth, make it a perfect location with which to partner on an American Corner.

The United States Consulate has invested more than R500 000 ($30 000) to outfit the new American Corner with laptops, flat screen TVs, lounge furniture and a collection of books and DVDs for use by the public, and they will soon be adding a 3D printer, 3D scanner, and iPads.

The venue enables South Africans to collaborate and engage with American scholars, artists, policy experts, and diplomats, promotes arts and culture, provides information about the United States and resources to enhance English language skills, and shares information about opportunities for scholarly exchange programmes and United States funded workshops that teach “STEAM” skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics).

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057