Good Evening, Congratulations on the successful completion of the maiden virtual YES Academy Nigeria. Just a few weeks ago, my colleague Madison Conoley kicked off the program. It is my pleasure to connect with of each you today and to witness the result of all your hard work.
The United States has a rich history of music from across all genres, and I thank all the facilitators: Richard Steighner, Steven Stark, Alfredo Austin Kate bass and Tony Memmel, for sharing that history and their talents with you during this program.
We also commend the Association of American voices, the organizers of this program, and their local collaborators for this innovative initiative. In my short time here in Nigeria I have listened to different Nigerian artists from (A-Sha) to Burna Boy. I must say that Nigeria has a very rich and vibrant music industry, and I am happy for the role you are playing in nurturing young talents within the industry.
The global pandemic greatly affected the arts and culture community. But we have also experienced how art transcends borders and brings people together. In the last few months, we have witnessed the power of arts to connect, to heal, and to empower. The United States is pleased to be supporting YES Academy Nigeria and creating a community of artists that will use their talents to shape positive narratives and empower their communities.
More than ever, Nigeria needs you. You can be a unifying voice in times of disunity. You can be a voice of hope at a time of hopelessness. You can inspire a vision for a future where every Nigerian is a key partner in nation building.
Once again, I congratulate you all. This program may have come to an end, but you now belong to a global community of artists using their platform to make positive change. Again, I thank our American artists for being a part of this program. Tonight is about you and I look forward to experiencing the fusion of our two musical worlds.