Next Level, an initiative of the U.S. Dept. of State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is seeking Hip Hop artist-educators to participate in an international exchange program. In collaboration with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and U.S. Embassies abroad, Next Level offers workshops and presents performances aimed at reaching youth and underserved groups while addressing community and civil society issues.

In 2016-17, Next Level will take teams of Hip Hop artists to five countries to promote musical and cultural exchange, entrepreneurship and conflict resolution. Each team will spend between two and three weeks teaching and performing in the host countries. Participants receive per diem and an honorarium; travel and lodging costs are covered through the program.

Previous Next Level artists include Ahmad, Asheru, Diamond D,Jorge Fabel Pabon, Medusa, Ken Fury, Toni Blackman, Mista B.and many others!

Applicants must be:
Outstanding performers in one or more of the following areas: MCing, Beat Making, DJing, or Hip Hop Dance
Experienced Hip Hop teachers

Able to commit to traveling abroad for 2-3 weeks in one or more countries, as well as a brief Washington D.C. orientation in May/June (date TBA)

United States citizens
At least 21 years of age

In possession of or able to obtain a U.S. passport. (Please note: Green Cards are not sufficient to participate.)

Application Materials
Applicants should provide the following materials:

A cover letter (1-3 pages) explaining the candidate’s suitability for the position, relevant experience, and teaching philosophy. Letters should also explain how the candidate would use his or her art to help promote peace and cultural exchange

A 2-page resume

A list of 3-5 references with contact information. No recommendations should be sent at this time

Links to two or three creative work samples no more than 5 minutes in length each. High-quality video recordings of live performances are preferred; audio-only recordings are acceptable, but at least one sample should be a video recording
Sample examples: tracks produced by the candidate, a video of an MC or DJ performance, or dance routine.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be selected according to the following criteria:

Artistic excellence and experience

Teaching ability and experience

Communication skills

Potential to use music or dance to promote peace and cultural exchange

Potential to thrive as cultural diplomats

Experience with artistic practices in addition to those specified above – including other areas of Hip Hop such as graffiti and beatboxing – may work in applicants’ favor.

Please note that artist-educators who have already participated in the Next Level program or have participated in State Department sibling programs (American Music Abroad, DanceMotionUSA, OneBeat) within the last touring season are noteligible to apply.

We only accept applications from individuals; group applications will not be considered.

Submission Information
Completed applications and supporting materials are due by January 11th, 2016, at Midnight EST.

Please email completed applications to: nextlevel [at] unc [dot] edu

If accepted, applicants can expect to be notified by February 15, 2016. Residencies will take place between Summer 2016 and Spring 2017.
Please note: due to the volume of applications, Next Level will not be able to provide feedback on applications.
For more information about Next Level, its programs and past participants, visit www.nextlevel-usa.org

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