100 Years of Partnership
Meridian Institute: Next Level Egypt, Hip-Hop Exchange Program

In 2017, the Meridian Institute participated in partnership with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Next Level initiative, in a two-way international hip hop exchange.

In December of 2017, five American hip-hop artists traveled to Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, as part of the Next Level hip-hop exchange program. Beatmaker Kerwin Young, dancer Ryan “Future” Webb, aerosol artist Desi Mundo, and MC Mikiea “Miki Vale” Perkins joined Site Manager and dancer Junious “House” Brickhouse to perform for audiences and collaborate with local artists to promote culture exchange and conflict resolution.

Next Level uses hip-hop music and dance to foster cross-cultural creative exchange in diverse communities and 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. The program also focuses on cultural entrepreneurship and conducting workshops and discussions on best practices in the creative economy field.

Photo: Next Level artists Kerwin Young (Beatmaker), Ryan “Future” Webb (Dancer), Desi Mundo (Writer/Aerosol Artist), Mikiea “Miki Vale” Perkins (MC) and Junious “House” Brickhouse (Dancer)” U.S. Embassy in Egypt, U.S. State Department