April 14, 2021

MentorTalks: Using Arts to Advocate

Got 30 minutes? You’ve got a mentor! Join us for our next MentorTalks when we welcome Carla Dirlikov Canales, internationally renowned opera singer, entrepreneur, and U.S. State Department Arts Envoy on Tuesday, April 20th at 4:00pm EDT.

Carla has been a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Turnaround Arts Program, was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of its 100 Leading Global Thinkers and won the Medal of Excellence from the Sphinx Organization, which was presented to her at the Supreme Court by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. In each case, she was the first opera singer ever to receive the honor. 

As a singer, Carla has received worldwide acclaim and is best known for her portrayals of Bizet’s “Carmen” which she has performed close to 100 times in over a dozen countries. She has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and top international venues in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Carla has served as a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy since 2005. 

In 2020, Carla’s envoy missions included creating new arts programs for the U.S. Embassies in Honduras, Peru, Montenegro, and Kazakhstan. Currently, she is a 2021 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University, the youngest fellow in the history of the program to date.

What would you like to learn about arts advocacy? The power of the arts? Or, being an opera singer and entrepreneur? Post your questions on the Facebook Event page for this episode or use #MentorTalks when posting your questions on social media, and we’ll see you online!




Courtesy Carla Dirlikov Canales. Photo by Alberto Caceres Zenteno.
Carla Dirlikov Canales - Singer, Advocate, Entrepreneur

Carla Dirlikov Canales brings global experience bridging cultures through performing arts. She is an internationally renowned mezzo-soprano opera singer, best known for her portrayals of Bizet’s “Carmen,” which she has performed nearly 100 times in more than 12 countries. 

A social advocate and cultural entrepreneur, Carla is the founder of The Canales Project, an arts advocacy organization that uses performance and music to address issues and promote conversation about cultural exchange and identity worldwide. She served as co-creator, CEO, and artistic director of programming for the Culture Summit, a forum held in Abu Dhabi to convene arts and policy leaders from around the world on issues of cultural diplomacy and is also a long-time arts envoy for the U.S. Department of State. 

Carla is currently at Harvard University serving as a 2021 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow, the youngest fellow in the history of the program to date.