he U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa was pleased to sponsor a musical and cultural exchange workshop between American and Ethiopian artists from January 27 to 31, 2020 at Yared Music School and February 3-6, 2020 at Mekelle American Corner. The workshop culminated in a grand finale performance by Next Level hip hop artist educators group and Ethiopian artists.
Over 100 local Ethiopian artists participated and developed their skills in emceeing, hip hop dancing, graffitiing, and DJing during the five-day workshop that was aimed at further enhancing cultural exchanges as well as the people-to-people relations between the United States and Ethiopia.
When delivering remarks at the finale, Carmelia Macfoy, Cultural Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa said, “We believe support of the arts community both in the U.S. and in Ethiopia helps to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration, and demonstrates shared values and aspirations between our two countries.”
“The workshop is part of the U.S. Embassy’s ongoing efforts to engage Ethiopian audiences through the arts, and to create opportunities for art lovers to gather together,” she added.
Ethiopia is one of seven countries hosting Next Level in 2019-2020. The others are Russia, Mongolia, Peru, Bolivia, Jordan and Nepal. The group has toured over 30 countries worldwide promoting the mutual sharing of knowledge, values, perspectives, and respect between local populations and American artists.
Next Level, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center, aims at utilizing hip hop music and dance to foster cross-cultural creative exchange in diverse communities.
The group will travel to Mekele next to hold similar workshops with artists at the recently opened Mekelle American Corner at Mekelle University.