These programs are designed to engage foreign citizens in countries ranging from Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, (etc.) - who might otherwise not be granted the opportunities of expressing themselves freely through speech, film and music.
Humpty Dumpty Institute has programmed American performers for U.S. Embassies in over a dozen countries. These include Mary Wilson, one of the original "Supremes" (Russia, 2011), singer/songwriter Mary McBride (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, 2011, 2012) Blood Moon Therapy (Pakistan, 2012) and Mary Lee Kortes (Iraq, 2012).
These people-to-people connections enables others to "see the tolerance and diversity of Americans, who we are and what we stand for," said Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs and thanks to technology, once a relationship is established, it can grow via email, Skype and the Web. American artists are invited to tour these countries and perform, meet fellow artists and discuss artistic freedoms and expression. Performances reach far beyond traditional venues to extend to prisons, detention centers and refugee camps. Artists also speak out on different issues related to their own experiences. In addition, artists are engaging in music that will raise funds and awareness for programs established to bring musicians to America to have the opportunity to work with mentors on their songwriting and learn about American music publishing.
While traveling overseas on behalf of The Humpty Dumpty Institute, these American performers not only entertain but they also engage local populations through lectures and master classes. Special emphasis is placed on the mandate of the State Department’s Bureau of Cultural and Education Affairs (exchanges.state.gov) to reach disenfranchised audiences in non-traditional venues. The Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Celebrity Spokespersons have thus done shows in war zones, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and other places that would not otherwise enjoy direct exposure to live performances by American artists.