Canadian-born, American-educated Heena Patel always loved the performing arts, especially those related to her South Asian heritage. After an apprenticeship to a noted tabla master in India, she jumped boldly from engineering to arts administration. As she did, she saw... Read more →


Kaisha S. Johnson has serious world music credentials, from working with a pioneering presenter in New York City to joining WOMEX’s “Samurai,” its conference curation crew. She’s also created a platform for women of color and those who support them... Read more →


Drew Foxman wanted to create an organization that would do more than present or produce music, that could do more than facilitate exchange or collaboration between diverse artists. He wanted to use the tools he’d witnessed in international community development and social innovation to train forward-thinking young musicians to go into their home communities and engage in hands-on projects to make things better. After years of thinking about the issues and honing in on the right plan, he launched Giant Steps, home of the Music Action Lab. Its first cohort, featuring musicians from half a dozen countries, gathered in the Bay Area last year for a month of training, playing, and performing. Foxman’s approach exemplifies a new generation of broad, tech-friendly initiatives popping up in the world music scene, melding the roles of label, presenter, and management, all with an unflagging emphasis on musician empowerment and social good. Read more →


Matthew Covey of CoveyLaw has decades of experience with the US visa system, as it pertains to artists and bands coming to America to perform. He’s been an active, compelling voice advocating key shifts in visa policy for the arts. He’s also an immigration lawyer, which gives him special insight into the current confusing atmosphere about what musicians need to consider as they prepare to play in the US. We ran a few of the most common and pressing questions by Matt, and he gave us some helpful tips and information for artists seeking visas. Read more →