About the Program
In 2002 and 2003, OGGI toured in
Eastern Europe and Central Asia with programs sponsored by the U.S.
Embassies in Poland, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. In 2006
and 2007 the band went to West Africa twice (Benin and Mauritania) and
to Algeria. During the course of these successful tours, the band
developed a program philosophy that includes the following elements:
- The performance component consists
of public concerts in large and small venues that often include
appearances with traditional folk musicians from the host country.
These collaborative concerts powerfully convey mutual respect and
understanding of respective cultures and musical traditions.
- The educational component includes
presentations and workshops at English language, music, and public
schools. These can be tailored to meet specific goals conveyed through
traditional story, song, and American folk dance forms.
- The community outreach component
includes performance and exchange at local arts venues, orphanages,
festivals, community events, private gatherings, and anywhere music and
dance can be shared in an informal atmosphere with the primary focus on
- The documentation component
entails videography, audio recording, and still photography that
captures special moments and provides the raw material for future
documentaries, cultural promotion initiatives, and multi-faceted live
- The follow-up component involves
live presentations stateside and abroad that personify tour themes and
lead to subsequent collaborations. These combine performance, stories,
and video with audience participation and ensure that the magic of the
tour and resulting multi-cultural relationships endure.
Together, these components contribute to the
fulfillment of sponsor
objectives and OGGI’s mission.