One Beat Music Exchange Fellowship Program – 2015

Genre : Calls for papers
Principal country concerned : Column : Music
Release/publication date : June 2015
Published on : 06/01/2015
Source : 5 January 2015

What is OneBeat?

Three years ago the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs partnered with NY-based organization Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation to create OneBeat, a music based diplomacy program that brings musicians together in the United States to encourage cross-cultural collaboration and understanding.

OneBeat was created in response to interest from the field in creating a new arts program model for a multi-national collaboration to promote cross-border understanding, as well as mutual understanding between these foreign musicians and Americans.  While in the US, the program is designed to foster professional networks and illustrate democratic values inherent in improvisational and collaborative music-making.  In addition to the collaborative music the Fellows create and record during their fellowship and the media produced to document the experiences via social media, our OneBeat program partners develop innovative engagement activities designed to explore cultural collaboration, youth engagement, civil society, women's empowerment, technology, entrepreneurism, and the environment.

OneBeat Fellows are selected not only on the basis of their musical talent, but also because of their leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and their impact as 'youth influencers'.  Fellows share commitment to promoting positive social change in their home countries.  OneBeat  alumni have been speaking up for internet freedom, raising HIV/AIDS awareness and conducting outreach with street children in Africa, working on human rights and social inclusion for Roma people in EUR, opening community centers for youth in Africa, working to end violence towards women, and working towards reconciliation in the Middle East.

The program calendar

OneBeat consists of a two week Residency, when Fellows will create original material and develop workshop ideas, and a two-week Tour, when Fellows will give performances and lead workshops with youth and communities groups.  OneBeat Fellows will have their travel, room, and board costs covered.

The program will be 26-28 days in length. While in the US the fellows will do a 10-14 day residency, during which they develop and rehearse original material, and re-imagine pre-existing material (such as pieces they've written in the past, or traditional tunes). They will then tour the US for two weeks performing, playing, and leading engagement events in a number of different American communities.

Who can apply to OneBeat?

OneBeat is open to musicians, who demonstrate both an advanced proficiency in their musical work, and an experience with or interest in developing ways to use music as a way to improve their communities.  We are especially looking for musicians that have a strong commitment to their communities, and who are seeking new ways to engage in youth development, conflict resolution, overcoming cultural barriers, working towards more egalitarian and democratic societies, education, music therapy, and other ways in which music can serve the greater society.

Musicians from any genre or background are encouraged to apply. We are looking for musicians who have achieved an advanced proficiency in styles and skills such as:  hip hop, electronic music, traditional music, jazz, experimental, classical, sound-art installations, DJ-ing, audio engineering, etc.

How can you apply?

Musicians apply directly via the OneBeat website (, where they describe their musical journeys and why they are interested in being a OneBeat Fellow. Applications require work samples (which can be in the form of audio, video, and/or written scores), including one solo work, one collaborative work, and a work of their choice that helps us to understand them as a musician and person.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to include a CV or resume, and two letters of reference.

Fellows must demonstrate basic English proficiency in order to participate in ensembles and creative sessions. 

What is covered with this fellowship?

Fellows will not receive performance fees, but their travel and accommodations will be covered, and they will receive a per diem and modest stipend (approximately $500).

Previous Program Participant Statistics

In 2014, 25 musicians from 17 countries continued the OneBeat journey through the Southwest United States.  In 2013, 25 musicians from 16 countries embarked on their OneBeat journey.  In the fall of 2012, 32 musicians (ages 19-35) from 21 countries came together in the U.S. for four weeks to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop ways that music can make a positive impact on our local and global communities. 

OneBeat on Social Media


Application Opens:    January 5, 2015

Application Closes:   February 14, 2015

Fellows Notified:      May 2015

Program Dates:        Fall 2015 (Exact dates TBC)



  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of