Next Level Hip Hop participants during a performance.
CPA Series

Celebrating Next Level: Hip Hop Diplomacy

February 2, 2024

General admission tickets for $29.03. Discounts available. See details below.

Come groove with this hip hop collaboration, fueled by Next Level, the State Department’s cultural diplomacy program. Since its establishment by founding director and Carolina music professor Mark Katz, the program has sent American hip hop artists to over 50 countries to team up with young people in underserved communities.

In 2024, the program will celebrate its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, CPA will convene a star-studded crew of global alumni for a week of masterclasses, workshops, jam sessions, and more. Invited participants include rappers, DJs, dancers, and visual artists from around the globe. The week will culminate in an epic final concert on February 2. Tickets are now available for this thrilling performance. Buy now to secure your spot!

Check back later this fall for more information on this jam-packed week.


General admission tickets are available for $29.03. $10 UNC-Chapel Hill student tickets available with valid UNC One Card. Additional discounts available. Limits apply. Visit our FAQ page for details.


  • Runtime: TBD
  • Intermission: TBD
  • Additional information: Visit our FAQ page


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.

This is a program with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by Meridian.

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