U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has officially unveiled the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative, a groundbreaking global effort designed to harness the power of music as a diplomatic tool for promoting peace democracy and advancing broader U.S. foreign policy objectives. This initiative seeks to expand economic equity and the creative economy, foster societal opportunity and inclusion, and enhance access to education through the medium of music.
The Global Music Diplomacy Initiative aspires to foster public-private partnerships, leveraging the support of American companies and non-profit organizations to strengthen connections with people worldwide, convey American leadership, and respond to global challenges.
In the company of senior officials from the Biden-Harris Administration, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, distinguished figures from the music industry, influential leaders in the arts and humanities, and alumni from the Department’s music diplomacy exchanges, the Secretary unveiled several significant initiatives. These include the introduction of the American Music Mentorship Program, the establishment of the Fulbright-Kennedy Center Visiting Scholar Award in Arts and Science, and a commitment to disseminating American music and lyrics in classrooms worldwide as part of the United States’ extensive investment in global English-language education.
Moreover, in a collaborative effort between the Department and the Recording Academy®, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, along with Recording Academy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Harvey Mason, Jr., presented Quincy Jones with the inaugural Peace through Music Award. This prestigious accolade recognizes and celebrates the invaluable contributions of American music industry professionals, artists, or groups who have played a pivotal role in fostering cross-cultural exchanges and advancing global peace and mutual understanding through their musical endeavors.
Key highlights of the initiative’s launch include:
- American Music Mentorship Program: This partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the Recording Academy will bring mid-career music industry professionals, including musical artists, to the United States for mentorship and networking opportunities. The program aims to cultivate a professional music industry ecosystem, support creative talent, and bolster the global creative economy.
- Fulbright-Kennedy Center Visiting Scholar Award in Arts and Science: In collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Fulbright Program will introduce a new fellowship for foreign scholars that explores the intersections of arts and science. This fellowship focuses on the role of the arts in individual and global health, well-being, and the environment.
- Boosting English-Language Learning Through Music: To promote English-language learning, especially for youth and underserved communities, the Department will integrate music into its existing $40 million investment in English-language learning worldwide. The Sing Out Loud program, in collaboration with American Music Abroad, will bring music and lyrics into classrooms globally.
This initiative follows the bipartisan Promoting Peace, Education, And Cultural Exchange (PEACE) Through Music Diplomacy Act signed by President Biden last year.
The launch event featured live performances by American and international artists across various music genres and was supported by generous private-sector sponsors.
Additionally, the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative includes many programs worldwide, such as Arts Envoys traveling to the Middle East and the People’s Republic of China, American Music Abroad, the Next Level hip-hop program, and the Harmundi International Music Summit, among others.
The Global Music Diplomacy Initiative embodies a powerful commitment to the role of music in fostering understanding, diplomacy, and peace on the international stage, making it an essential component of U.S. foreign policy efforts. For more information, visit www.state.gov/musicdiplomacy or contact ECA-Press@state.gov.