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The World In Our City celebrates the diversity of our international city, an expression of cultural diplomacy that has been integral to Washington Performing Arts’ mission since our founding in 1966. In response to the international community around us, we aim to provide a window on what it means to be a citizen of the world through a unique, arts-based lens.

Now well into the 21st century, that aim is culturally and strategically crucial. Some of our most important programs focus on accentuating international cultural understanding and exchange, as well as building an educated workforce of cultural citizens. We bring this to life through performances in both formal and informal venues around Washington by spotlighting visiting and local artists and ensembles whose creative work, advocacy, and identity are grounded in connections to their homes of origin, as well as through vibrant cross-cultural collaborations. 

  • Through our main stage performances audiences experience a wide array of both well-known and emerging artists traveling to the US
  • Through Mars Arts D.C., we provide a platform for local artists with international heritage that have chosen the Capital region as their home
  • Through our 40+ year partnership with the D.C. Public Schools, the Embassy Adoption Program connects nearly 90 embassies and classrooms in a year of study and cultural exchange

Pictured at right (top to bottom): Amjad Ali Khan; Embassy Adoption Program students; Elena & los Fulanos

The World in Our City 2019/20 Events

To learn more about The World in Our City, contact Elizabeth Racheva, Chief Philanthropy Officer, at or (202) 533-1862.


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: His Excellency Joe Hockey, Ambassador of Australia (Honorary Patron)

Taipei Symphony Orchestra: Susan S. Angell

Zoltán Fejérvári: Ellen and Michael Gold

Midori & Jean-Yves Thibaudet: Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts; Anne and Burton Fishman

Melissa Aldana Quartet: Susan S. Angell

Paul Lewis & Steven Osbourne: Susan S. Angell

Budapest Festival Orchestra: Betsy and Robert Feinberg; Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather; Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts

Michael Barenboim and West-Eastern Divan Ensemble: Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather

Daniil Trifonov: Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather; Philip R. West and Barbara Yellen

Chineke! Orchestra: Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather

Zakir Hussain Trio: Gordon and Lisa Rush

The Kingdom Choir: Dan Cameron Family Foundation; Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated (COTG)

Beatrice Rana: Susan S. Angell

Igor Levit: An anonymous donor

2019/20 Performances at Sixth & I: Galena-Yorktown Foundation

2019/20 Hayes Piano Series: John Silton and Betty Bullock 

Mars Arts D.C. is a partnership of Mars, Incorporated and Washington Performing Arts, with support from Jacqueline Badger Mars.