Poetry for a Pandemic | Exchange Alumni Artists Share Message of Solidarity

In July 2019, Cultural Vistas administered an International Visitor Leadership Program project focused on promoting social change through the arts.

The short-term exchange program gathered 24 artists from all over the world to the United States to learn, through an American lens, how art is used as a catalyst for change.

The group, which in total represented more than 20 different countries, visited communities and met with counterparts in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dallas, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico during its visit.

They parted with heavy hearts knowing they may never all be together again.

But no one said they couldn’t still create.

Scattered around the world and sheltering at home, they were inspired by scenes of quarantined Italians singing from their balconies and wanted to do something unique and creative together.

And, in times like these, we need to be together more than ever.


Everyone Coughs was composed by Nigerian spoken word and performance poetry artist Dike Chukwumerije, and is delivered by artists and exchange alumni from Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jamaica, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, as well as the Americans they met with in July 2019 thanks to the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).