ECA Launches the Arts Envoy IPR Program

December 21, 2018
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs launched the Arts Envoy Intellectual Property Rights Program in December to highlight the importance of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) of visual and performing artists. 
The inaugural event was coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Romania and featured workshops by American singer and songwriter Amanda Colleen Williams. During her three week visit to Romania, she met with university and law students, high schools, and artist rights organizations to creatively educate these audiences on intellectual property rights and how they impact the lives of artists. “We developed a unique approach to IP education as part of our Songpreneurs curriculum, which gives people a different perspective on why it is important to respect intellectual property rights for software, music, movies and other art forms,” said Williams.
According to one estimate, core copyright industries such as movies, books, video games, and newspapers have added $1.2 trillion in value to the economy of the United States. While copyrights represent just one aspect of intellectual property, this number demonstrates the importance of the development and enforcement of an effective system of protection for intellectual property.
The State Department has a long history of using artistic exchanges to advance IPR priorities. Arts and IPR are closely linked: in addition to the creative and business elements, arts exchanges are uniquely well suited to develop and cultivate contacts in the public and private sectors. Creating conversations around IPR increases the number of advocates who can promote the economic benefits of effective IPR protections. Arts Envoy, which is managed by ECA’s Cultural Programs Division, has set aside funds to support arts exchanges that focus on IPR protection.
To learn more about the Arts Envoy Program and various exchange programs supported by ECA please visit