UW Bothell Professor Serves as American Cultural Envoy to Karachi

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
CONTACT: Elizabeth Fischtziur - (425) 352-3636 -

BOTHELL, Wash. - The University of Washington Bothell's Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Associate Professor in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Science Program, recently served as the American Cultural Envoy to Karachi, Pakistan.

In this role, she spent eleven days in Karachi promoting the importance of the arts for diverse communities and as a tool for addressing important social issues. Her central project-in partnership with Faisal Malik the artistic director of the Pakistani Thespianz Theatre-included the writing and staging of "Water Calligraphy," a play (with singing, acting and dancing) on water issues. Additionally, Kochhar-Lindgren led structured theatre outreach workshops on physical theatre at The Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Arts Council Karachi, Anjuman Behbood-e-Samat-e-Atfal (ABSA) School for the Deaf, the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), the American School-Karachi, and the Haque Academy. A culminating performance of the play, featuring local Pakistani performers, was held at the noted Pakistan American Cultural Center.

Kochhar-Lindgren also led a public talk and workshop with local leaders on the importance of the arts for deaf and disability communities at the Karachi City Hall's Institute of Image Management and spoke widely on the role of the arts in cultural diplomacy.

Says Kochhar-Lindgren, "It was a real pleasure and honor to be chosen as the first American Cultural Envoy in 30 years to Karachi, Pakistan. I was touched by the many people I met and found Karachi to be a dynamic city. It was a pleasure to work with the local Pakistani performers and artists and to see the performing arts  come to life in 'Water Calligraphy'."

The trip was sponsored by the US State Department with the US Consulate-Karachi, in partnership with Faisal Malik, Artistic Director of Thespianz Theater.

About UW Bothell: The University of Washington Bothell combines the benefits of a small campus with the resources and prestige of a world-renowned university. Offering over 30 degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, its curriculum emphasizes close student-faculty interaction, collaboration among students, and hands-on learning. UW Bothell celebrates its 20th year of operation during the 2009-10 academic year with the opening of student housing, an access ramp connecting the campus to SR522, and new degrees including a Master of Computing and Software Systems (MSCSS), and a Leadership Master of Business Administration (L-MBA) at an offsite location in Bellevue, WA.