I am delighted to send greetings to each of you as you come together to find new ways to harness the power of culture as a force for economic and social change. I can't think of a better city to host this event; time and again, the people of New Orleans have shown the resilience of the American spirit. And over the years, the city's leaders have worked tirelessly to build a stronger -- and more secure -- community.
During your time here you will get the chance to experience Louisiana's art, music, history and much more. You will build new partnerships, meet like-minded leaders, and find more ways to cultivate the unique culture of your own city. And hopefully you will come away with a deeper understanding of our shared history and the ties that bind us together.
I hope you take full advantage of this wonderful program and come away with a deeper understanding of the American people -- and with enduring friendships that will strengthen our global ties. Thank you.