Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Connections: Earth Day 2008

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Valeria - Echoing NW Guy .. it was a wonderful, lucky day when you arrived in the States. Happy anniversary!

@Bruce - thank you for the kind words. What the world rarely sees in the public face of the US is the warmth and generosity of the people here. This is indeed a rich environment and hopefully it will go back to being more open and accepting. I have the privilege of meeting students from all over the world and I am impressed by their intelligence and the respect they radiate. My day was spent trying not to water bare soil so not to grow weeds (when you cut your budgets, the seeds, more water will not give you more flowers, just weeds).

@Christopher - I know that Philadelphia is working on becoming a city of choice for students to stay. We have lots of colleges and universities in the area... Last year I attended an event with Richard Florida about urban centers at the University of the Arts that was quite interesting. You make valid points!

@Valeria I agree, I wonder how many of those students would stay here if they were welcomed? I know many people that went back home after art school, most of them, with reservations. They just couldn't find a way to stay in the U.S. And right now, the rest of the developed world is doing a better job at welcoming LGBT couples and artists and designers, unfortunately for us. Our competitiveness comes from our ability to be an international incubator, but incubation doesn't mean anything if people don't then put down roots.

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