us department of state

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will participate in a Google+ Hangout on September 15 to discuss the impact of music diplomacy with participants from the State Department’s Center Stage and American Music Abroad programs. Representatives from the New England Foundation of the Arts and the Association of American Voices will also join the conversation.

“Morocco appreciates the State Department’s Center Stage program which contributes so much to international cultural understanding,” said Mr. Alaoui.  “We welcome all of these energetic ambassadors of Moroccan culture, such as Hoba Hoba Spirit, to the US and wish them well on their tour.” The tour is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the New England Foundation for the Arts as part of the Center Stage program. 

According to interviews, diplomatic cables, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones, American officials—some with deep ties to industry—also helped US firms clinch potentially lucrative shale concessions overseas, raising troubling questions about whose interests the program actually serves.

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday against creeping American isolationism, making the case that U.S. global leadership is essential in uncertain times as he hosted a rare public reunion of five of his predecessors. Speaking at the groundbreaking of a new museum celebrating the achievements of American diplomacy, Kerry said the United States looks inward at its peril and that U.S. engagement is needed more than ever.

Talk about America’s decline is usually wrong. But how else would you describe a country that, in a world of exploding tensions, is unable to confirm dozens of ambassadors to foreign posts because of partisan squabbling? Even by Washington standards, the Senate Republicans have hit a new low for hypocrisy. They denounce President Obama’s inaction on foreign policy — and simultaneously refuse to confirm his nominees for U.S.

With terrorists running rampant in Iraq and Russian convoys violating Ukrainian borders, the U.S. State Department is fussing over a new unnerving threat: its own diplomats taking the “Ice Bucket challenge.”  The ice bucket challenge is this summer’s social media fad with a philanthropic twist (donations go to the ALS Foundation, which funds research to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease).

The pop star was scheduled to make an appearance in Santo Domingo Sept. 13, but the commission called the concert off Thursday after deciding her behavior goes against their 'morals and customs' and is even 'punishable by Dominican law,' the Associated Press reported. The country's decision could contradict the "Diplomacy in Action" statement, published by the U.S. Department of State, that cites there to be "no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events." 

The main purpose of DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy program run by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the State Department, is to send American troupes abroad. Yet the program also benefits New Yorkers directly by having an American company bring back a foreign one for a free, collaborative performance here. These visits have proven illuminating, even if the arranged artistic alliances haven’t always gelled.