Performance showcases U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Diplomacy Initiative
WEST PALM BEACH (October 11, 2012)-The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Arts launches its cutting-edge P.E.A.K. Series-Provocative Entertainment at Kravis- with the November 17th at 7:30 PM performance of the singing phenom from Haiti, BélO on tour as a part of Center Stagesm .
BélO, Haiti’s outspoken groove innovator, interweaves the Afro-Caribbean depths of Haitian tradition with a progressive voice for social and political transformation. BélO keeps the socially conscious spirit of reggae alive, while drawing on the vibrant sounds of his artsy native town of Croix des Bouquet, and a globally informed, upbeat pan-African vibe. It was there BélO first performed as a shy grade schooler, and recorded his first tape. Summers, he spent time with his grandparents in a remote village, where he heard and experienced vodou, Haiti’s unique mix of spiritual and musical traditions that permeates all aspects of rural life and helps support social cohesion.
Both before and after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, BélO has made music and performance a powerful platform for addressing issues and transforming opinion. Whether singing to children in orphanages or raising awareness of AIDS, BélO knows exactly why he does what he does, as audiences across the U.S. will experience beginning October 2012 thanks to BélO’s participation in Center Stagesm (www.centerstageUS.org)
“With the love I have for my country, I can only give back,” he reflects. “I make music because I really want things to change, and I believe in the power of music to do that. For that reason, Center Stage is very important to me as an artist. Not only will I be able to learn more about the American culture, but I can also share my culture with a broader audience and show the good side of Haiti.”
An initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Center Stagesm brings compelling contemporary artists from Haiti, Indonesia, and Pakistan to the United States to engage the American people in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding. Administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, this public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.
BélO’s performance is part of the Kravis Center’s P.E.A.K. Series-Provocative Entertainment At Kravis. P.E.A.K. focuses on ethnic diversity and contemporary themes, to elevate the creation and understanding of artistic expression, with an emphasis on performers drawn from diverse cultural backgrounds and communities.
P.E.A.K. is made possible by a grant from the MLDaury Arts Initiative in honor of Leonard and Sophie Davis. The performance takes place November 17th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Kravis Center Box Office 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, on line at www.kravis.org/
About the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts: Celebrating 20 Years of Artistic Excellence and Commitment to the Community, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality; by offering comprehensive arts education programs; by providing a Palm Beach County home in which local and regional arts organizations can showcase their work; and by providing economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County.
MEDIA CONTACT Elizabeth Dashiell 561-543-8276 palmbeachpr@
FOR PHOTOS: To download accompanying images, go to: http://pressroom.kravis.org
FOR VIDEO / B-ROLL: To download accompanying video / b-roll, go to: http://pressroom.kravis.org