Center Stage, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history. The program brings compelling contemporary artists abroad to the U.S. to engage Americans in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding. It is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding for the 2012 tours from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
One of the acts participating in this program is coming to Maine in November. Belo is a young, socially conscious artist from Haiti. He is committed to the Haitian cause. He and his band deliver a high-energy sound, mixing jazz, reggae, and “Rara” traditional Vodou rhythms. Belo is active in many humanitarian efforts to rebuild Haiti.