Blinken launches Global Music Diplomacy Initiative

Washington, Sep 28 (IANS): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative, a worldwide effort to elevate music as a diplomatic tool to promote peace and democracy and support Washington's broader foreign policy goals.

According to the State Department, the Initiative aims to leverage public-private partnerships to create a music ecosystem that expands economic equity and the creative economy; ensures societal opportunity and inclusion; and increases access to education.

"It will build on current public diplomacy music programs to create public-private partnerships with American companies and non-profits to use music to meet the moment, convey American leadership globally, and create connections with people worldwide," the Department said in a statement.

The launch ceremony at the State Department on Wednesday was attended by senior administration officials, members of Congress, music industry icons, leaders from the arts and humanities, and alumni from the Department’s music diplomacy exchanges.

Blinken was joined by by Harvey Mason, Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy; Lyor Cohen, global head of music for YouTube and Google; and David M. Rubenstein, chairman of the board at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

At the event, Blinken also announced the American Music Mentorship Program, the Fulbright-Kennedy CenterVisiting Scholar Award in Arts and Science, and efforts tobring American music and lyrics into classrooms across the worldas part of the country's investment in English-language learning worldwide.

Veteran American music producer, Quincy Jones was conferred wuth the first-ever Peace through Music Award in a collaboration between the Department and the Recording Academy that recognises and honors an American music industry professional, artist, or group that has played an invaluable role in cross-cultural exchanges and whose music work advances peace and mutual understanding globally.

He also shared a video on X of him singing and playing the guitar at the event and said: "I couldn’t pass up tonight’s opportunity to combine music and diplomacy."

The ceremony featured live performances by Jamie Barton, GAYLE, Dave Grohl, Mickey Guyton, Herbie Hancock, Christopher Jackson, LADAMA, Aimee Mann, Rakim, Armani White and DJ 2-Tone as well as a video message from U2 frontman Bono.



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