What do Vampire Weekend, Jared Leto, Tom Morello and Karen O. have in common? They've been judges on the panel to select recipients for the prestigious Fulbright-mtvU grant. Every year since 2008, the grant is given to four bright young thangs who explore how different cultures use music as means for expression, connection and establishing identity. Pretty awesome, right?!
Of the applications received by March 1, 2012, the Fulbright committee and mtvU are once again sending up to four wanderlusters abroad to collect info and insight on the power of music. How do music education or performances vary from country to country? What impact does song have on social activism? Who dances (and who doesn't)? Applicants are encouraged to get creative, get ambitious and design projects with tangible goals and methods for action.
Recent college grad Karima Daoudi, for example, left Illinois for Senegal, where she's spent a year linking up with specific artists and organizations to help determine the link between hip-hop culture and traditional storytellers. Lynne Stillings earned her grant by proposing to open an after-school music program for kids in Indonesia. Watch the video below of other past Fulbright-mtvU recipients talking 'bout their cool, game-changing projects.
Living abroad, soaking up a new language and culture, collecting info on the magic of music ... Not a bad gig, right? The application process takes a minute, so even though March 1 may seem a way off, now's the time to start shaping your proposal and collecting materials if you want to get in the running for this once-in-a-lifetime experience and honor. Look over the program details, the current grantees' blogs and the application requirements to see how your creativity and curiosity might be just what Fulbright and mtvU are looking for to help understand music's wide reach, to help celebrate culture and to help connect human beings around the globe.