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  • Ondrea Li

Promoting Social Change Through Music: A Multi-Regional Project Program Recap

From July 1st to 6th, we hosted a multi-regional program titled “Promoting Social Change Through Music.” The program welcomed five delegates from Algeria, Hungary, Israel, Serbia, and Tunisia.

The delegation posing outside of Iowa City West High School.

The delegation engaged with multiple professional resources to examine how American musicians raise social awareness, inspire hope and influence civil society among disenfranchised youths. Through music festivals and enrichment programs, the delegation examined music production and management. They also explored how music genres reflect diversity in U.S. communities.

On July 1st, Global Ties Iowa volunteer Melanie Haupert welcomed the delegation at the airport in eastern Iowa. After checking into the hotel and taking a short break for lunch, the delegation visited Iowa City West High School. They met with Director of Choral Music David Haas and observed their show choir rehearsal. After their meeting, the delegation had the rest of the evening to enjoy the Jazz Fest in downtown Iowa City and the evening fireworks display.

The next day, the delegates celebrated the holiday weekend by joining Global Ties Iowa in the Celebration of Citizen Diplomacy Picnic at City Park. They interacted with members of the Global Ties Iowa community and another delegation, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, in games and food.

“The jazz festival was lovely and I enjoyed the picnic with the community, I thought it was a sweet idea,” Lilach Krakauer wrote.

On July 3rd, the delegation began their day by visiting Vocal Artists of Iowa, accompanied by Global Ties Iowa Executive Director Amy Alice Chastain. They met with the Founder and Artistic Director of “Vocal Artists of Iowa,” David Haas again to learn about how this choral group, consisting of area mus

ic professionals and educators, came together, how they work and perform as a choral ensemble, and more specifically to learn about the process and produce of their recent performance that advocated for LGBTQ+ individuals in our state and beyond.

After they met with Vocal Artists of Iowa, the group traveled to their next meeting with United Action for Youth (UAY). There, they met with Prevention Director Kylie Boudin and talked about how UAY integrates music into their services and support by offering a free recording studio and access to free instrument lessons for teens from economically disadvantaged communities.

Following the meeting, the delegation had the remaining evening to enjoy Iowa City on their own.

The morning of July 4th, the delegation kicked off their day with the Coralville 4th Fest Parade. They enjoyed the parade and interacted with local communities. In the evening, the delegation enjoyed a series of performances and concluded their day with a fireworks show as part of the culmination of Cedar Rapids’ three-week Freedom Festival.

The next morning, the delegation was accompanied by Global Ties Iowa volunteer Alisa Meggitt to the Englert Theatre for a meeting with Senior Production Manager Keegan Colletta Huckfeldt. Their meeting comprised a discussion about Englert Theatre’s role in providing a venue for festivals like Mission Creek and Witching Hour and a tour of the historic theatre. They then explored lunch options in downtown Iowa City and walked across the river for their final meeting at Hancher Auditorium.

While at Hancher Auditorium, they met with Director of Programming & Engagement Aaron Greenwald to learn about Hancher Auditorium’s facilitation in integrating music and art, as well as their partnership with the campus, community, and state. Additionally, they gained insights into Aaron’s vast experience in community engagement through live events and festivals.

The delegation meeting with Aaron Greenwald at Hancher Auditorium.

The delegation left eastern Iowa the next morning bound for the next part of their program.

Thank you to Melanie Haupert and Alisa Meggitt for volunteering with this delegation! Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated by the delegation! Additionally, thank you to Iowa City West High School Show Choir, Vocal Artists of Iowa, United Action for Youth, Englert Theatre, and Hancher Auditorium for being our professional resources for this program!


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