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Cultural Tourism DC Announces Passport DC



Embassies To Open Doors May 3 – 17, 2008

Washington, DC (February 19, 2008)May 3 through 17, 2008, Cultural Tourism DC’s Passport DC will open doors to one of Washington’s most distinctive assets – its diplomatic community. From Iraq and Ethiopia to Slovenia and Argentina, the new annual celebration of international culture will showcase Washington’s embassies and cultural organizations with a wide range of performances, talks, and exhibits.

Drawing on the success of EU Open House 2007 (which attracted 35,000 visits), Passport DC kicks off Saturday, May 3 when the Embassies of the European Union Member States and the Delegation of the European Commission present EU Open House 2008. Europe Week continues through Saturday, May 10 with cultural programming. On Saturday, May 10, the Meridian International Center hosts the family-friendly International Children’s Festival. May 11 – 16, World Week presents cultural programming from around the globe. Finally, on Saturday, May 17, the Around the World Open House will showcase authentic music, dance, film, cuisine, and exhibits at embassies from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Additionally, the Asia Heritage Foundation’s street fair, Fiesta Asia, will cap off the celebration on May 17.

To date, 57 embassies and 18 cultural centers are participating in the event. Members of Cultural Tourism DC’s coalition, such as the Art Museum of the Americas, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Textile Museum, are also contributing events. The complete schedule will be available on

A world capital as well as a national capital, Washington, DC boasts more than 175 foreign embassies, residences, chanceries, and diplomatic missions along major corridors such as Massachusetts Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, and 16th Street, NW.  “Passport DC will introduce people to this fascinating world,” says Linda Harper, Cultural Tourism DC executive director.

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 “Embassies regularly host public programming to promote cross-cultural dialogue, but many local residents are unaware of these offerings or they’re not sure how to take advantage of them. Now, with Passport DC, embassies have graciously agreed to open their doors on an unprecedented scale.”

 Washington, DC is perfectly positioned to promote international understanding through the arts,” adds Stuart Holliday, President, Meridian International Center. “A tremendous international presence and vibrant cultural scene offer limitless opportunities for residents and visitors to explore the arts and heritage of a globally interconnected world.”

The Passport DC schedule begins with Europe Week, May 3 to May 10. On Saturday, May 3, the Embassies of the European Union Member States and the Delegation of the European Commission present EU Open House 2008, an invitation to experience the diversity and richness of European culture. From 10 am until 3 pm, visitors will get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the European embassies, many of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures.[Back to Press Releases Main]