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U.S. Department of State Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the OneBeat Cultural Exchange Program

With the arrival of 25 music diplomacy exchange alumni, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) kicked off 10th-anniversary celebrations for OneBeat, an international music exchange program created to transcend musical and geographic borders, advocate for democratic values, and embrace diversity through people-to-people diplomacy.

Tenth-anniversary celebrations began with OneBeat X, which brings 25 OneBeat program alumni to Taos and Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a three-week residency. Distinguished participants include award-winning Colombian percussionist, Jenn del Tambó, Ghanaian poet and spoken word artist, Ama Diaka, 2016; Kenyan producer and songwriter, “Blinky” Bill Sellanga, 2013; Warsaw-based composer and multi-instrumentalist, Piotr Kurek, 2012; and South Korean improvisational gayageum-player, Kyungso Park, 2012. The artists will meet with native communities, educators, students, environmentalists, and the arts community around themes of land, place, and ancestry. The information gathered from these engagements will serve as the foundation for musical collaborations. On November 5, 2022, the program concludes with a festival at Albuquerque Rail Yards featuring OneBeat alumni and contemporary art installations by local and international artists.

OneBeat has grown from one annual U.S.-based program to a suite of year-round initiatives including programs in other countries, virtual residencies, training institutes, micro-grant programs, and a podcast series aimed at bringing diverse musicians together to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop ways that music can make a positive impact in American cities and global communities.

Over the past decade, OneBeat has developed into a music exchange program featuring over 400 artists from 65 countries, using creative musical collaboration as a vehicle to engage and strengthen civil society and pursue mutual understanding. Program alumni are implementing OneBeat-inspired projects around the world and creating dialogue about underlying global issues in a meaningful way.


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