CROSSING BRIDGES: Connecting North America through the Arts


Crossing Bridges is a hybrid  bi-national Mexico – United States organization promoting cultural exchange among the countries and cultures of the Americas, with a current focus on artist residencies in Mexico.  Crossing Bridges LLC is based in New York City.  Puentes y Redes S.C. (Bridges and Networks), based in Mexico City, holds up the other end of the bridge.  On the social responsibility side, Crossing Bridges is collaborating on the adaptation of three eco-tourism parks created and owned by the P’urépecha indigenous community of the state of Michoacán, Mexico, into international artist residencies.  The emphasis is on exchange with indigenous artists from Canada and the United States. although this emphasis is non-exclusive.


Crossing Bridges has been birthing since founder Jan Hanvik began working on US-Mexico dance exchange projects in Mexico and Manhattan in the 1980s. It continued developing while he pursued the field of transcultural exchange in numerous cultures throughout the hemisphere. An LLC was created 12/16 to house Crossing Bridges’ activities.


The concept of creating artist residency programs in Mexico came about when Hanvik’s affiliation with the 500-member Alliance of Artists Communities led to a deep identification with the global artist residency community. An opportunity revealed itself in the fact that 70,000 (of 90,000) applicants to U.S.-based artist residencies failed to be matched up with an opportunity.


Many travel companies offer cultural tourism. Few focus on creative tourism, in which the arts or creative tourist embeds themselves in the surrounding cultural milieu. There is a lack of definition in the field, allowing Crossing Bridges to help define the field. Hanvik has realized transcultural projects with Puerto Rico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Russia, Taiwan, Canada, Norway, France, Belgium, Spain, the Quiché Maya of Guatemala, and numerous other countries and cultures. He designed and implemented an interstate multiyear cultural tourism project, Art in a Landscape, the Sculpture & Nature Tour, guiding the cultural tourist to sculpture parks throughout New York State’s Hudson Valley and Massachusetts, and for 8 years ran a Latino-founded international artist residency program in New York City.


He has researched the field of multinational creative/cultural tourism in over 34 countries, having arranged the artistic programming, the funding, transportation, lodging, marketing, and all other appurtenances of a meaningful, immersive cultural tourism experience. The rescue and renaissance of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center in Manhattan; curation of the Guatemala pavilion of the Tama, Japan International Farmers Fashion Fair; a tour of Mexican dance festivals by the Hunter College (New York) Dance Company; and Art in a Landscape are just a few examples.