Next Level

Next Level is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center. Its mission is to use hip hop music, dance, and art to foster cross-cultural creative exchange in diverse communities. We work to promote understanding and conflict transformation in these audiences and support the professional development of artists in those communities.

Next Level brings people together and encourages greater understanding through the universality of music as a form of creative self-expression. It also builds on the historic legacy of the Department of State’s Jazz Ambassadors, who first traveled the world in the 1950s to connect with people through music.

During the exchanges, teams of MCs, DJs, hip hop dancers, beatmakers, beatboxers, and aerosol artists conduct public concerts, interactive performances with local musicians, lecture demonstrations, workshops, and jam sessions with diverse audiences.

Next Level activities focus on promoting conflict transformation and interacting with younger and underserved audiences around the world. Next Level programs also focus on musical entrepreneurship, conducting workshops, and discussions on global music business best practices today.

Next Level artist-educators are selected on the basis of artistic quality and commitment to education and cultural engagement through an open competition.


Applicants must be:

  • Outstanding performers in one or more of the following: MCing, Beatmaking, DJing, Hip Hop dance, Writing/Aerosol art, or Beatboxing

  • Experienced Hip Hop teachers

  • Able to commit to traveling abroad for 2-3 weeks in one or more countries, and a brief Washington, DC, orientation from August 3-5

  • U.S. citizens at least 21 years of age

  • In possession of or able to obtain a U.S. passport (green cards are not sufficient to participate)

  • If you previously participated in Next Level cycles 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0, but have not participated in the past 5 years, you are eligible to apply again

  • Committed to or interested in conflict transformation strategies and concepts

  • Committed to or interested in strategies and concepts of entrepreneurship in the arts


  • Artistic excellence and experience

  • Teaching ability/experience and communication skills

  • Potential to thrive as cultural diplomats and to use music, dance, or art to promote cultural exchange and build community


  • 1-2 page cover letter explaining your suitability for the position, relevant experience, and teaching philosophy, as well as an explanation of how you would use your art to help promote cultural exchange and build community

  • Résumé (please limit your résumé to 2 pages)

  • 3 references with contact information (no recommendations should be sent at this time)

  • Links to 2-3 creative work samples (every 5 minutes or less). High-quality videos of live performances preferred; audio-only recordings are acceptable, but at least 1 sample should be video. Aerosol artists may submit 5 images of different artwork


Share This Scholarship , Choose Your Platform!

Recent Posts






Botswana A landlocked country in the center of Southern Africa, Botswana is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and [...]


Russia Russia, the largest country in the world, occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth. There are [...]


Go to Top