GRS will host and organize the DPRK National Symphony Orchestra (“NSO”) tour to the United States.
The Objective & Rationale
The DPRK NSO tour will bring 164 musicians, a contingent of music professionals, and North Korean journalists to the United States for a historical non-governmental cultural exchange. Over the course of 18 days, the NSO will perform in Atlanta, Oxford, Mississippi, and New York.
History demonstrates that music has inspired new thoughts and opened minds far beyond the constricted political boundaries that citizens in many countries must face. People to people exchanges and collaboration to find real solutions are the keys to normalized relations. Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities stated that:
One of the myths of our times is that relations between countries are principally a function of government policy and that diplomacy is exclusively a government-to-government dialogue. Actually, it is businessmen and women, unelected people of good will—be they artists or scientists, athletes, students or scholars—who are more central to defining the tone of relations between states than public officials. Cultural diplomacy generally precedes and increasingly supersedes government-to-government relations.
This tour will focus on the private citizens and the personal individual stories of the members of the NSO. GRS has made cultural diplomacy a cornerstone of its work with the DPRK and the tour will be a culmination of GRS’ work since 1997 and its decade and a half of experience in DPRK/US musical exchanges. This event would be the reciprocation of the 3 musical groups (Including Grammy Award Winning Casting Crowns) that GRS has sent to the DPRK over the last 15 years. Since April of 2007 GRS has been in discussions with Korea America Private Exchange Society (“KAPES”), the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the DPRK Ministry of Culture about hosting a musical group in the US. GRS took the fourth and largest musical group to the DPRK in April 2012.