In Out from Under the Proscenium: A Paradigm for U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, Peter Kovach advocates for people-to-people diplomacy, through a cultural diplomacy of engagement. The article focuses on the arts as a venue through which international peers can co-create, and in fact is reminiscent of Amelia Arsenault and Geoffrey Cowan's points in Moving from Monologue to Dialogue to Collaboration: The Three Layers of Public Diplomacy.
As opposed to promoting cultural products through the one way, monologue-style communication that is a performance such as a concert, sending an American, for example, to explore an artistic medium in a foreign country avoids evoking notions of cultural hegemony. The benefits of such an approach are two-fold:
1) It validates the country partner
2) It adds to American’s knowledge of the outside world.
In addition to the fact that fusion of culture and creative endeavor is something that enhances both cultures, these support the notion that successful public diplomacy should involve engagement and listening. The collaborative aspect of creating of an end-product ensures that the exchange results in legitimacy and helps build credibility between the two parties.
The prototype of what Kovach advocates follows the scenario of an international jam session that results in a product that is a fusion of the different cultures, which then becomes a tangible cultural product that can be promoted. He gives the example of jazzman Darryl Kennedy, who went to Egypt as a Jazz Ambassador and connected with some local musicians. After jamming with the local group for two months, they cut a joint CD and ended up going on tour in Egypt.