HDI’s Cultural Diplomacy – Pop/Classical Fusion Quartet Well-Strung Advocates for Inclusion in Bulgaria

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. HDI is committed to supporting cultural diplomacy to promote dialogue. We collaborate with U.S. Embassies and Consulates to bring American culture to countries worldwide.

HDI strives to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives, including inclusion, diversity, and LGBTI+ rights.  There are no better spokesmen for this mission than the members of the internationally acclaimed string quartet Well-Strung.  The quartet is composed of HDI’s cultural envoys Edmund Bagnell (1st violin), Chris Marchant (2nd violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello), and Trevor Wadleigh (viola).  Together, these talented musicians perform classics with a modern twist and energetically engage their audiences. The members of Well-Strung are also articulate advocates for LGBTI+ inclusion and human rights in all societies. They brought this message to Bulgaria from July 14 to July 21 on a program jointly organized by HDI and Bulgaria’s leading LGBTI+ rights organization, the GLAS Foundation.

The group started their official program right off the plane by performing a show at the Steps.  The Steps is a premiere entertainment venue in the Bulgarian capital.  In Sofia, Well Strung also met with students of one of the capital city’s finest music schools Voice Academy and was interviewed by bTV. They were also featured in People of Sofia on Facebook.

Well-Strung also performed in the ancient Bulgarian city of Plovid, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe. The quartet entertained a large audience at an open-air concert in the central Tzar Simeon garden, right in front of the Vienna Pavilion. In Plotid, Well Strung provided visibility for LGBTI+ artists and shared American culture by highlighting American composers in the shows.

HDI would like to thank the Executive Director of GLAS, Mr. Simeon Vasilev, and the entire GLAS team for organizing an outstanding program. We would also like to thank the Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria for sponsoring this American arts program.

Trevor Wadleigh, Edmund Bagnell, GLAS Executive Director Simone Vassilev, Daniel  Shevlin, Chris Marchant (l. to r.)