The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) works around the world to inform and foster dialogue amongst critical stakeholders on key global issues. We do this through our programs with the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, engaging young people, supporting cultural diplomacy, and working on humanitarian programs.
In honor of American Independence Day, U.S. Embassy Tashkent requested that HDI’s Cultural Envoy Ellisa Sun travel to Uzbekistan June 12-17, 2022, under U.S. Embassy sponsorship. Ellisa was accompanied on this program by Gyasi Ross. Together, their blended sound allowed Uzbeks to experience a wide range of America’s musical culture, including folk, R&B, and jazz.
Ellisa lectured, conducted workshops, and performed while in Uzbekistan. The official program began in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent on June 13. At American Center Tashkent, Ellisa gave her presentation Musical Trip Across the United States. This presentation detailed her travel across the United States in a 30-foot Winnebago, playing 170 shows in 365 days. Later in the day, Elissa spoke at the U.S. Embassy to an audience composed of performers and arts managers on the business of music. Ellisa engaged the audience with her thoughts on creative entrepreneurship, marketing in music, and successful arts management. The final event of the day was an evening program at the U.S. Embassy entitled Creative Entrepreneurship in the United States. Ellisa’s informative talk on how to empower the creative community conveyed the U.S. Embassy’s objective of developing the American value of entrepreneurship.
The following day Ellisa appeared on the Morning Show on Zo’r TV. This well-known Uzbek talk show airs live every weekday and is known for interviewing local celebrities. Ellisa Sun and Gyasi Ross were the show’s first foreign guests.
Ellisa spoke about American music and culture. She and Gyasi then gave a live musical performance. Ellisa’s media presentation continued with an interview on O’zbegim Taronasi Radio Station where she was interviewed on bringing U.S. music to Uzbekistan to celebrate American Independence Day. The radio station also used the opportunity of having Ellisa and Gyasi in the studio and had them perform for their listeners. In the evening, the cornerstone of the Uzbekistan program took place, an invitation-only concert by Ellisa Sun, accompanied by Gyasi Ross, in the Hyatt Regency Tashkent Ballroom.
On Wednesday, June 15, Ellisa and Gyasi traveled to the city of Qarshi near Uzbekistan’s border with Afghanistan.
Their base of operations in Qarshi was American Corner Qarshi where they met with Uzbek alumni of U.S. exchange programs. Ellisa and Gyasi also played original music and talked about the inspiration for their songs. Late in the day, they traveled to the historic city of Samarkand. In Samarkand, Ellisa and Gyasi presented a motivational concert for the admired Uzbek NGO Sabr. Sabr’s mission is to develop projects to improve the socio-economic situation of vulnerable groups, especially women. Ellisa and Gyasi talked about their experience turning their creative talents into a career, what inspires them, answered questions from the audience, and performed original compositions.
June 16 was the final day of the official program.
The U.S. Embassy sponsors the first ever “Samarkamp” at the Samarkand Foreign Languages Institute. This camp aims to teach high school students about U.S. culture and values through English language instruction. Ellisa used this setting to again present Musical Trip Across the United States, answered questions about the United States, and performed.
HDI would like to thank Mr. Simon Tam and The Slants Foundation for working with us in having Ellisa Sun become a part of our cultural diplomacy program. The Slants Foundation was formed by the members of the internationally known rock group The Slants, Simon Tam, Joe Jiang, and Ken Shima. They recruited other AAPI artist-activists across the country to launch a bold new project to redefine what could be possible in philanthropy and to counter AAPI hate. HDI is committed to showcasing diverse American culture. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders significantly contribute to American culture, and HDI intends to highlight their contributions.
We would also like to thank the Embassy of Uzbekistan under the leadership of Ambassador Javlon Vakhabov for their continued support of cultural interchanges between the United States and Uzbekistan.