About the Authors: Heidi Manley and James Lawrence serve in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, announced on July 8 the four 2009 winners of the Fulbright–mtvU Fellowships, established in 2007 to promote “the power of music” as a global force for mutual understanding. We awarded fellowships to Andrew Magill of the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Michael Silvers of the University of California—Los Angeles, Rod Solaimani of Georgetown University and Tina Wadhwa of Columbia University. These four outstanding students will conduct research abroad in Malawi, Brazil, Morocco, and India, respectively, for one academic year on projects of their own design, around an aspect of international musical culture.
Andrew will travel to Malawi to work with the UNC Malawi Project and AIDS organizations to video-record narratives of Malawian families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Andrew will collaborate with Peter Mawanga, a well-known musician and social activist, to develop a concept album whose sales will benefit AIDS social service networks.
Working with Vila Estúdio, a recording studio in Fortaleza, Ceará, Michael will study the relationship between the culture of forró, a kind of popular dance music, and the climate of northeastern Brazil.
Rod will travel to Morocco to study and participate in the Afro-Arab-Gnawa-Western musical exchange. A skilled percussionist, he will research the impact of U.S.-Moroccan musical partnerships in three cities, use his findings in local high school music curricula, and promote cross-cultural collaboration with a student concert.
Tina will travel to India to create a documentary exploring the impact and influence of Bollywood music on underprivileged youth in Mumbai. She will also develop the music and drama center of the Akanksha Foundation.
Andrew, Michael, Rod and Tina will share their experiences during their Fulbright year via video reports, blogs and podcasts that will be showcased on mtvU and mtvU.com, and on Fulbright.mtvU.com. This will help to project their research and findings to mtvU’s following of more than 9 million college students on 750 campuses. The Fulbright-mtvU Fellows will not only be able to engage with the communities they are living in, but also with Americans and the international community at-large.
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, it has provided more than 294,000 grants to participants from over 155 countries. The more than 1,500 Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants offered annually provide an opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solution to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program and mtvU also announced the launch of our search for the next Fulbright-mtvU Fellows. Applications for the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, and all other Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants, including traditional research grants and English Teaching Assistantships, will be accepted through October 19, 2009.