Bringing Haitian culture to main street America

Haitian troubadours Ti-Coca & Wanga-Nègès is participating in a groundbreaking four-week tour which takes them to communities across America as part of a cultural diplomacy initiative which began on Sept. 18 and runs until Oct. 14.

The United States Department of State says the initiative, dubbed “Center StageSM,” takes Ti-Coca & Wanga-Nègès to Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; Pella and Iowa City, Iowa; Grinnell, Indiana; and Richmond, Virginia.

Center StageSM brings performing artists from Haiti, Indonesia, and Pakistan to the United States “to engage American audiences in 60 medium and small-sized towns and cities,” the State Department said.

On Sept. 18, Ti-Coca & Wanga-Nègès performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The State Department said Center StageSM builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power” – which “embraces the full range of diplomatic tools, in this case the performing arts, to bring people together and foster greater understanding.”

Center StageSM is a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

It is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

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