Music Diplomacy: Communicating in a Universal Language

Posted by Ann Stock
October 10, 2012
Assistant Secretary Stock With Music Exchange Program Participants

We broke new musical ground with two innovative programs, CenterStage and OneBeat. CenterStage brings performing artists from Haiti, Indonesia and Pakistan to perform in 60 small and mid-sized cities, giving Main Street America a chance to experience international culture without stepping on a plane. Meanwhile, OneBeat brings 32 musicians from 21 countries -- including the United States -- to eight East Coast cities to collaborate and make new music together.

That tradition continues with this year's American Music Abroad, which will send twelve American musical groups to travel abroad to over 40 countries. These musical ambassadors perform and teach younger and underserved audiences in countries with limited access to American arts. The groups represent the full range of our rich musical heritage from hip-hop and bluegrass to country and jazz, to rock and even Hawaiian slack key guitar and hula!

Music diplomacy connects people around the world in a way that official diplomatic channels cannot. Our common interests, values, and passions open the door to individual conversations and broader connections between communities that are otherwise disparate. That's why, for over 60 years, the United States has sent American artists abroad to share their talent.

These programs are not just tours, but true cultural exchanges. They connect Americans to the citizens of dozens of countries and give international artists the chance to engage with communities across the United States. In every case, performers reach audiences onstage as well as offstage by hosting community gatherings, discussions, master classes, and workshops.

When you meet Americans, you meet American values, and what better way to introduce the world to us than through the universal language of music?



bamulumb Y.
October 23, 2012

Bamulumb Y. in Uganda writes:

Am a local artist (rapper,singer,poet and writer) who represents the KYABAZINGA kingdom EASTERN UGANDA...



rika c.
Oregon, USA
November 5, 2012

Rika C. in Oregon writes:

I am happy to hear about this effort in diplomacy. it is much needed in a world so torn by differences. it is true that music brings us together in ways that might seem foreign to us, but at the core service our need for connection.

it is my commission to involve efforts of my diplomacy in arenas of theatre on behalf of the WAR effort confronting us all, no matter where or what tongue is spoken. it is hoped that by owning -my- part of this mission, i will ease the WAR BURDEN placed upon us by those against the SONG.

please proceed with my blessings.




Latest Stories

August 31, 2010

Saluting Service in Iraq

Writing for the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog, DipNote Bloggers call attention to the White House's "Saluting Service in… more