Friendship Ambassadors Foundation Newsletter Not Traveling? Forward to a Friend!
Spring 2009

Due to Increased Demand for FAF's Services

Groups, Ensembles, and Individuals can take advantage of low cost, exciting travel projects in 2009 - 10:
ˇ Concert exchanges and performance tours,
ˇ Training workshops,
ˇ Service projects, and
ˇ Large international gatherings far away or close to home

Before the summer break: share this information with individuals planning to travel in Summer 2009 and start your post-recession discussions now for group and individual travel in 2010!

in this issue
  • FAF - Contact
  • Great Inexpensive Concert Tours to New York City
    Still Available in 2009
  • Individuals Need To Know: Pass the Word Along
  • The Global Consortium
  • Annual UN Youth Assembly Attracts Cultural Diplomats

  • Great Inexpensive Concert Tours to New York City
    Still Available in 2009

    FAF just completed two wonderful trips to New York City, and with the economy the way it is, we are seeing even lower prices for group tours as we head into the main summer season.

    Did you cancel your big trip abroad? Looking for a simple, quick alternative that will provide impact and a great artistic and educational experience for your ensemble in 2009? Looking for a cost efficient opportunity for your cultural or volunteer service group?

    FAF has some wonderful opportunities in New York in 2009 that should not be missed.

    Ellen J. Bowen, Director of Choral Activities, Grosse Pointe South High School ˇ March 2009
    "The Grosse Pointe South choir's trip to NYC was well organized and very exciting. We so enjoyed the UN and the opportunity to sing for the UN (International) school ... (T)he workshop with Gavin Creel - and then watching him in Hair - was an experience our students will never forget. I have traveled with FAF since 1976 and each trip has been a new and exciting experience. By the way, our rooms ... were amazing. We were only a half of a block off Times Square and I could lie in my bed and watch Time's square ball turn from red, to blue, to green. What memories we will all have. Thank you."

    Michelle Jo Santoso, Huntington Middle School Orchestra tour companion ˇ April 2009
    "Thank you for all the wonderful work and organization during our stay in New York. We all had a great time and the most precious, once in a lifetime event was when our kids were performing. It was a great experience. Everything was very well organized and precisely on time. Yin-Chu was wonderful. Wishing you all the best in everything you do, and hope there is chance to work with you again."

    Early Summer 2009: Replicate these great experiences at a price you can all afford.

    Late Summer 2009: Visit New York and add in an appearance at the annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations.
    ˇ Performance Ensembles: perform inside UN Headquarters (not in the lobby or outside, nearby ...).
    ˇ Young Diplomats and Faculty: Attend the Youth Assembly at the United Nations this August for a very special cultural exchange right here in the USA (see below for more).
    This is a once in a lifetime experience that none of you will want to miss.

    Performance Ensembles: A Week in NYC at a Glance, FAF Style!
    Day 1- Upon arrival in New York City, an FAF representative will be there to welcome you. Board your private motor coach for your transfer to your accommodations in midtown Manhattan. After settling in and depending on arrival times, enjoy a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant or a short FAF orientation before turning in for the night.

    Day 2- Board your private motor coach this morning to the Empire State Building; tour the Observatory Tower. After getting to know New York from above, take some free time to discover 5th Avenue and the Grand Central Station area. Your motor coach will take you to your first indoor performance and exchange. Have dinner together at a restaurant nearby, arranged by FAF.

    Day 3 - Enjoy breakfast then join FAF staff and interns: explore the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art (entrance included), one of the world's finest museums. Have lunch in the museum's cafeteria. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon for shopping or individual sightseeing. Tonight: special exchange opportunities will be tailored for each group.

    Day 4- After breakfast, stroll through Rockefeller Center and the famous Central Park. Visit the Central Park Zoo, Conservatory Garden, enjoy the Carousel and Carriage Rides, or do some row boating on the Lake. In the afternoon, board your motor coach for your transfer to Greenwich, Connecticut. Meet the members of the Youth Band for United Nations and have an indoor joint concert at the Greenwich High School. Reception and dinner arranged after the performance.

    Day 5 - Depart to Downtown and take a cruise to the Statue of Liberty. Upon arrival, prepare for your first outdoor concert at the Statue of Liberty Flagpole area. After a fun, al fresco performance, take time on your own to explore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
    Upon your return to Manhattan, visit Ground Zero. Explore Chinatown and Little Italy. Tonight: special exchange opportunities will be tailored for each group.

    Day 6 - In the early afternoon, meet for lunch at the hotel and then transfer to United Nations headquarters in New York City for a visit and your concert. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of this vital peacemaking institution. Visit the gift shop for your souvenirs. Mail them with special stamps available only from the UN! In the early evening, join other international performers for the annual U.C. Peace Arts Festival inside the United Nations. This is also an award ceremony for UN officials involved with cultural activities.

    Day 7 - After breakfast, enjoy a 2-hour, semi-circle cruise around Manhattan, which will be a breathtaking experience and allow you to get to know some of the history of Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time at Times Square. After an early dinner at Times Square, enjoy an included, evening performance on Broadway tonight!

    And: all at a very inviting price that is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law through FAF. Make an impact at a fraction of the cost of high rate, for-profit tour operators (Actually, even tour operators use FAF these days to increase the impact of their tours and lower costs overall. With no profit motive whatsoever, the foundation is happy to oblige.)

    Individuals: Join a tour! Learn more about opportunities where you can join in. Do you have a member in your ensemble or group that REALLY wants to travel in 2009? See below for info on a service trip to Jordan this summer. And invite individuals to look online and learn more, too!

    Individuals Need To Know: Pass the Word Along
    Jordan irff

    2009 Service Tour Of Note: The International Relief Friendship Foundation is planning a major renovation project on tour to Jordan in Summer 2009. Go on to the FAF website for all the details.
    This is a perfect opportunity to visit a friendly country in the Middle East, contribute to development where it is sorely needed and help a nonprofit organization fill its quota so that all the work can actually get done.
    The work is supported in part by Queen Rania's Jordan River Foundation and will include fun, educational, and exchange opportunities before and after the actual project work.
    Do you know a student who is interested in travel? Please let them know about this important travel opportunity. It will be great for Jordan and great for their high school or college resume, too!

    High school and college level youth leaders, and those interested in cultural diplomacy on the international scale, will not want to miss the annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations in August. See below for more.
    (For the First Time Ever: Younger High School students will want to visit www.superfutures.org for a chance to join in on the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, too.)

    Women and men will want to learn more about the conference: "Women, Water, and Food Protection" taking place in Calcutta, India, with a side trip to Nepal, in November.
    Interested parties can sign up right on the FAF website. All are invited to attend and ensure that their voices will be heard!

    So, if you haven't seen the FAF site in awhile, take a visit. Whether or not you are planning any group travel in the near future, are deciding on a programme to join yourself or for one of your students, or perhaps considering joining nearly 1000 young people and their mentors every year at FAF's very successful UN Youth Assembly in New York.

    The Global Consortium
    Coe College Bands performing in Taiwan, August 2008

    For years, Friendship Ambassadors Foundation has been promoting a cultural view of global diplomacy, the foundation hopes to help create a world where we all appreciate each other's culture with mutual respect.

    With this in mind, FAF has created a new, free, online service, unveiled in March, called The Global Consortium. It will promote this idea by encouraging all pre-formed, mission-based travel groups, of all kinds, to list their names, project, location, dates, regions,and proposed outcomes at the online intranet address we have provided at: www.faf.org.

    The purpose of the Consortium will be to encourage collaboration in programming, fund and media development at a time when more voices are better than fewer, while also enabling the US State Department to recognize the vast importance of these cultural and service based tours, and for the media themselves to know more about the depth and breadth of these projects around the world.

    We hope you will decide to sign on, no matter how or whom you are traveling with, soon. Good Travels!

    Annual UN Youth Assembly Attracts Cultural Diplomats
    YA08 PIC

    In keeping with the FAF mission to ensure cultural involvement in the process of global development, the foundation created and directs the annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations each August, at UN Headquarters in New York City. This year, the events (free after registration) will take place August 5 - 7, 2009 at the UN. The gathering will feature well known speakers, workshops and a large arts festival called the (United Cultures) U.C. Peace Arts Festival.

    This summer the Youth Assembly will seek to have concerts in the Japanese Peace Bell garden inside the UN campus: a rare and unique performance opportunity that will gather large and appreciative crowds. (Concerts in the garden will be sought for Hiroshima Day, 6 August 2009.)

    The 6th annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations is a partnership with the UN Department of Public Information and others. It is endorsed by dozens of Permanent Missions to the UN.

    The YA, as it is called by the thousands of young people, arts ensembles, and leadership mentors who attend, is a place to unite those seeking a peaceful and more equitable world for all - while also allowing those involved in policy and volunteer service to interact with those who see the arts and cultural exchange as an essential part of that dialogue going forward.

    Individuals, arts ensembles, faculty and students alike are encouraged to sign up while there are still Delegate and Observer places available. Check out the blog, past assemblies, and log onto to our registration page soon. We already have over 450 registrants and we look forward to seeing YOU there in 2009, too!

    FAF - Contact

    299 Greenwich Avenue
    Greenwich, Connecticut USA 06830

    43-45 Margit Krt.
    1024 Budapest, Hungary


    USA: 001-203-542- 0652; -0661(f)
    Europe: +36-1-225-7464 (t/f)

    Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, with international affiliations, including the United Nations Department of Public Information, UNESCO, ACDA, Greenwich Arts Council, and other associations with academic, cultural, and diplomatic institutions worldwide. (FAF's U.S. Headquarters, in Greenwich, CT, is pictured above.)

    The goals of the foundation include the creation and facilitation of cultural exchange programmes that encourage mutual understanding and global cooperation, the promotion of youth leadership events, and support for sustainable development through cultural tourism in emerging regions worldwide.

    "I appreciate your time and effort, am grateful for your support and am quite overwhelmed with pride to read the amount of effort you have made on behalf of our trip. You have a true concept of what diplomacy involves and effect it repeatedly." - John McIntyre, Tour Coordinator, Greenwich Choral Society, June 2008 (Part of FAF's Sister City Project between Greenwich. CT and Vienne, France)

    "The Movement Laboratory Youth Ensembles' 'Goodwill thru Dance Program' has traveled with FAF for over 20 years ... Thanks FAF for helping ... We will continue to create illuminate and teach peace." - Judy Williams Henry, Founder, Artistic Director

    "If you saw the impact you have on youth (and young at heart), you would have to shade your eyes from the brightness of hope." - Paulette Schatz, Project Manager, United Nations Development Programme, Afghanistan

    "We are truly appreciative of the time you take to involve the world's youth in the process of global development. " - Astrid Hurley, U.N. Programme on Youth

    "It was a wonderful, wonderful trip. We're all home, safe & sound now with glorious echoes & scenes in our heads & hearts. Thank you for your patience & persistence & attention to detail all the way along the line to liftoff , And all went well in country too - The drivers were excellent & the students were speechless & happy. So, yes, I've appreciated how solid & consistent & thoughtful you've been, & flexible, & imaginative! All the best. You certainly ARE the best! Many, many thanks." - Devon McNamara, (Leader, West Virginia Wesleyan), 6/06 ... By the way, WVWC repeated this successful programme in 2008 and will travel with us on a new cultural exchange with a full class, off to Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, and Vienna in 2009.

    "On the wonderful work that Friendship Ambassadors is accomplishing, I commend you for your leadership in promoting cultural exchange between people both young and old around the world. Hillary joins me in sending her best wishes." - Former President Bill Clinton

    "I commend FAF's efforts to work with young people to help them find possible means and ways to peace and reconciliation. I would also wish to stress the importance of generous support for this project." - President Martti Ahtisaari, (former) President of Finland, 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

    "God love you for the love you give through the joy you spread." - Mother Teresa

    "What you are doing couldn't be closer to my heart. I urge you to keep opening new doors of friendship wherever you travel and perform. Godspeed!" - Leonard Bernstein

    "I know of few projects today that succeed more in helping our young musicians do what they do best: sharing the magic & glory of music with their love of people & their zest for new adventures." - Alice Tully

    "We strongly support FAF's mission to create international cultural opportunities . . . please, do your best to help them in their nonprofit efforts." - András Török, author, former Secretary of State for Culture, Hungary

    "First of all, let me tell you that the tour was Wonderful! We couldn't have asked for better more receptive audiences. Secondly . Secondly, whatever you do ... keep [FAF Artistic Director] Yin-Chu Jou. I couldn't have asked for a more gracious, "johnny on the spot," kind, loving, helpful person to travel with! And I know very well that it takes a team to make something like this come to fruition. So THANK YOU ALL, FAF!" - Kim Clayton, Founder and Director Clayton Productions August 2008

    "The Alliance Francaise of Greenwich would like to thank you and your Artistic Director Yin-Chu Jou for your efforts in including [us] in the Greenwich Choral Society trip to France honoring the Greenwich/Vienne Sister City 2008 initiative... The trip was seamless, due in no small part to your advance planning ... We thank you and your team for making this historic trip so memorable." - Renee Ketcham, President, Alliance Francaise of Greenwich, July 2008

    "Thanks again for everything you did for our experience, Yin-Chu. It was certainly a first-class operation, and you were friendly, charming, professional, and organized." - Dr Christopher J . Nicholas, Coe College Bands Soloist; Associate Director of Bands The University of Wyoming Department of Music; August 2008

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