Cablegate: Manama Requests Participation in the 2009 Rhythm Road

DE RUEHMK #0641 2621319
R 181319Z SEP 08



STATE FOR ECA/PE/C/CU/N (C. Barrosse; R. Keith); NEA/PPD (P. Agnew);

E.O. 12958: N/A

SUBJECT: Manama Requests Participation in the 2009 Rhythm Road
American Music Abroad Program

REF: STATE 090853

1. (U) Summary. Embassy Manama requests participation in the
Rhythm Road American Music Abroad Program. Preferred dates are
between mid-March to early-April 2009, to coincide with the annual
cultural festival hosted by the Bahraini Directorate of Culture and
National Heritage. Preferred music style is Bluegrass, Cajun, or
Zydeco. In addition to a national performance at the Cultural Hall
(the national theater), PAS will program the group with a variety of
key mission contacts, including youth organizations, USG program
alumni, universities and public/private schools, and local
musicians. The priority objective of the program is to promote
post's MSP goal of promoting mutual understanding through U.S.
culture. End Summary

2. Embassy Manama requests participation in the Rhythm Road
program. Below are the program details, per reftel instructions:

-- Preferred Music Style: Bluegrass. Alternatively Cajun or
-- Preferred Time Frame: Mid-March to early-April. Program length
will be 3 days.
-- Priority Objectives: The program will contribute to post's
efforts to reach out to young Bahraini audiences and promote mutual
understanding. If the program occurs in the mid-March to mid-April
timeframe, it would complement other PAS programming during
Bahrain's annual "Spring of Culture" festival.
-- Audiences: The program will focus on several different types of
audiences, including Sunni and Shi'a youth populations. Linking the
program to Bahrain's annual cultural festival will afford it wide
exposure in local and regional media.
-- Possible Venues: Post will program the Rhythm Road musicians
into the Cultural Hall for a national performance. Other potential
venues include the University of Bahrain, Shaikh Ebrahim Cultural
Center in Muharraq, and workshops/performances at public/private
schools. Possible local program partners include the Directorate of
Culture and National Heritage, the Bahrain-U.S. Exchange Alumni
Association, the Bahrain Youth Forum Society, and Al-Muntada
Cultural Society.
-- Possible Venue Cities: The group will be programmed throughout
the capital city of Manama and its surrounding areas.

3. Post is interested in jointly programming the group with other
posts in the region and prefers the mid-March to early-April
timeframe referenced in para. 2, as it coincides with Bahrain's
annual cultural festival. Post has been approached by the
Directorate of Cultural and National Heritage with a specific
request to bring a musical group to Bahrain during the festival.
The timeframe also allows post to program the group into various
youth organizations, universities and schools during the academic
year, complementing their music and American society curriculum.

4. Post requests relevant specifics on the group selected at the
earliest possible date. Information requested includes group size
and composition (with biographical information), performance
specifications and equipment requirements, artwork for promotional
posters, a sample CD, print-ready photographs, and any other
information that is available.

5. Post's POC for this program is:

David Edginton, Deputy Public Affairs Officer


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