In the summer of 2013, the first ever National Youth Orchestra traveled to London, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. The students were practicing cultural diplomacy. By sharing art and ideas, cultural diplomacy promotes peace and understanding throughout the world.
During the Cold War of the 1950s and 60s, America’s reputation suffered as Soviet propaganda claimed that the US was “culturally barbaric”. The State Department set out to change America’s image with the Jazz Ambassador program. Jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, drew huge crowds as they brought their American-style rhythm to Africa, Europe and Asia.
The Beatles became unintentional ambassadors during the Cold War with the release of “Back in the U.S.S.R.” This first song on the Beatles’ White Album was written to humanize young people living behind the Iron Curtain. In 1988, Paul McCartney released Choba B CCCP, the Russian translation of “Back in the U.S.S.R.” His intention was to “extend the hand of peace and friendship”. The half-a-million copies he released sold out rapidly.
In 1985, famous musicians came together in two big ways for famine-stricken Ethiopia. First, famous musicians came together to record “We Are the World,” which topped the charts worldwide. Then, Live Aid concerts held both in London and in Pennsylvania had millions of TV viewers and raised more than $100 million for the people of Ethiopia.
Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim led a Peace Concert near Korea’s neutral Demilitarized Zone in August 2011. Marking six decades since the end of the Korean War, the concert sought to promote understanding and ease escalating tensions between North and South Korea.
The National Youth Orchestra members have traveled the world just as other cultural diplomats before them. Together they demonstrate how one can promote peace with the help of a musical instrument.
National Youth Orchestra Ch1
0 of 2 questions completed
Take our quiz
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
You have to finish following quiz, to start this quiz:
0 of 2 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 points, (0)
Question 1 of 2
Which of the following words are related to diplomacy?Correct
Yes! Cultural diplomacy involves an open dialogue with another culture and a spirit of negotiation.Incorrect
Cultural diplomacy involves an open dialogue with another culture and a spirit of negotiation.
How do you make friends?
Question 2 of 2
Where in the script does a student musician exemplify the idea of cultural diplomacy?Correct
Maestro! “You have, like, a sense that you’ve somehow reached these people in a way that you could never do so just by speaking to them.”Incorrect
“You have, like, a sense that you’ve somehow reached these people in a way that you could never do so just by speaking to them.”
How do you communicate?