Center Stage program to bring artists from Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti to U.S.

The State Department announced Monday that the agency is again taking on an impresario role.


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is supporting a new program to bring artists from Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti on a tour of the U.S. (Richard Drew/AP)

A new initiative called Center Stage will send artists from Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti across the United States to perform in 60 cities.

The program kicks off June 19 with a musical sampling at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. That’s a free event.

Selected for the initial tour are singer-songwriter Arieb Azhar and the rock band Noori from Pakistan, who play in the video below.

Once the artists are booked into Bellows Falls, Vt., Portland, Me., Bloomington, Ind., Ann Arbor, Mich., Gainesville, Fl., Hartsville, S.C. and Iowa City, Iowa, among the 60 stops, they will perform, hold workshops and participate in artist-to-artist discussions.

For decades the State Department has organized exchange programs and enlisted artists and performers as envoys. Right now the Trey McIntyre Project is on a tour of Asia.

Center Stage is a program of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

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