Hip Hop Diplomacy: A View from the State Department
Since 2001, the U.S. Department of State has been sending hip hop artists abroad to perform and teach as goodwill ambassadors. Hip hop is known and loved across the globe, acknowledged and appreciated as a product of American culture. It is also a way to give voice to critique and struggle. What kind of community can this art form build, and how can it contribute to productive international relations? Join us for an informal conversation about music’s role in diplomacy.
Mark Katz is Founding Director of the U.S. State Department’s hip hop cultural diplomacy program, Next Level, and John P. Barker Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His five books include Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World (2019), and Music and Technology: A Very Short Introduction (2022). He is currently at work on Rap and Redemption on Death Row, a co-authored book with incarcerated musician Alim Braxton.