Got a few minutes? Join us on #MentorTalks and you’ve got a mentor!

MentorTalks is a monthly, interactive video series that puts you in touch with extraordinary exchange alumni leaders and mentors on a variety of topics. The series runs on Facebook and occasionally on Instagram. You get a chance to learn about each mentor and their work, and then ask them questions live, all in 30 minutes or less (per guest).

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!



Carla Dirlikov Canales - Artist, Entrepreneur, Arts Envoy

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.


Previously, on MentorTalks...

Anar Simpson at TechWomen
On August 8, Anar Simpson of Technovation spoke about pursuing a career in tech, networking, overcoming career challenges, and the importance of having women and diversity in tech.
Bring your appetite! Learn how a beginner blogger has combined digital strategy and “uncelebrated food” to form the perfect recipe.
Alice talks about how she went from working two jobs to taking the leap as a social impact entrepreneur, how Socialgiver is revolutionizing fundraising in Thailand, the impact of her exchange program experiences, creating partnerships, and using technology for change and sustainability.
CBS journalist and Peace Corps alumnus Ramy Inocencio talks about forging your own career path, being a good mentor and mentee, and more.
Kathryn Rose and Fran Pastore
Kathryn Rose and Fran Pastore, entrepreneurs and Global Entrepreneurship Summit alumni, spoke about business strategies and development, finding funding, and more.
Are you thinking about starting your own nonprofit? Find out what exchange alumni Julia Beabout and Brian McCarty have to say about founding and running successful nonprofit organizations on our MentorTalks episode Thursday, January 28th.