Tajik-American Battle of the Bands

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact GrantProposalsDushanbe@state.gov Executive Summary:
The U. S. Embassy Dushanbe Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U. S. Department of State is pleased to announce funding is available to mark the 30th Anniversary of U.S.-Tajik relations

through a competition among professional and amateur musicians to cover American songs.

This program increases the exposure of Tajik audiences to American music and celebrates the many joint projects and partnerships in U.S.-Tajik relations over the past 30 years.

The U. S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Dushanbe is soliciting Proposals for cooperative agreements from Tajikistan’s civil society and independent media organizations that focus on the priority areas specified below.

Applicants should pay close attention to the Public Affairs Section’s goals, priority program areas, and target audiences when developing their proposals.

Proposals cannot exceed 12 pages.

Current Situation & Problem Statement:
Music is a uniting force for the world – anyone who appreciates the music of another country can find common ground with people of that culture.

American artists such as Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, and Motley Crue performed in the Soviet Union, helping bring together the people of the two nations at a time when government relations were tense.

Learning American music is not just a bridge between two peoples, but is also a way to learn about American culture and to improve one’s English.

While some American pop songs are widely known in Tajikistan, many famous American bands are virtually unknown, despite selling millions of records in the United States and abroad.

During the pandemic, the U. S. Embassy has been unable to bring American musical groups to Tajikistan, which has exacerbated the problem.

This project will help address the shortage of knowledge about American music, culture, and English in Tajikistan and increase positive ties between our two countries as we celebrate 30 years of U.S.-Tajik relations.

Review of Past Projects:
The U. S. Embassy in Dushanbe previously supported projects that brought American musical groups to Tajikistan on short tours.

During the pandemic, the Embassy organized a series of virtual performances through the Virtual American Arts program.

This project builds on past program in a sustainable way by empowering local musicians to serve as a longer-term cultural bridge between Tajik citizens and American culture.

Proposed Project Introduction:
This funding opportunity seeks to:
1. Motivate local musicians to learn a set of American songs through an open competition, 2. Facilitate the professional recording of these songs, 3. Facilitate the recording of music videos for artists selected to participate in the competition, 4. Organize a short tour across Tajikistan with the winning musicians Project Goal:
Increased exposure of American music among the Tajik population and increased knowledge about the 30 years of positive U.S.-Tajik relations.

Project Audience(s):
The primary target audience for these projects should be men and women aged 15-35 living in Tajikistan, who have an interest in music and culture.

Project Objectives:
Each project should achieve the following objectives:
Increase knowledge of American music and notoriety of the participating musicians through campaigns, videos, performances, and recordings shared online and through traditional media such as radio and television.

Increase performances of American music in Tajikistan by organizing a tour for the winning musicians around selected cities.

Increase the affinity for American music and culture among participants in the contest and their audiences online and in-person Examples of activities include but are not limited to:
● Organize a competition among musicians to learn a set of 8-10 American songs by an American musical group or artist that is popular in the United States but is relatively unknown in Tajikistan.

Song lyrics should not contain profanities and should have a positive message.

The Embassy and the grantee will jointly decide upon the artists and songs to include.

● Fund and facilitate the professional recording of the band’s songs at a studio in Tajikistan ● Fund and facilitate the recording of one music video per contestant ● Broadcast the music and videos of participating artists online and through radio, and educate listeners and viewers about the American artists and how they reflect the history of the United States during the time they were active ● Provide the recorded songs free of charge to the public online without copyright restrictions or royalty fees for use ● Organize at least one live concert for all or some of the contestants ● Broadcast the recorded songs and music videos online and through traditional media such as radio and television ● Organize a competition for fans to vote on their favorite bands and songs ● Organize a tour for the winning musicians around the major cities of Tajikistan Provide a prize to the winning band in the form of new musical equipment The Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described under circumstances deemed to be in the best interest of the U. S. government, pending the availability of funds and approval of the designated grants officer.

This program will be funded under the Smith-Mundt authorization.

All programming is subject to the statutory limitations of the funding determined.

Funding Mechanism Type:
Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

For this project, the U. S. Embassy will be involved in the selection of the American artists and songs, including prior review and approval of the suggested music.

The applicant will coordinate with the U. S. Embassy in the implementation of the project.


Proposal Submission Information Please follow all instructions of the NOFO carefully.

Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Please refer to the "Related Documents" section to access the complete NOFO.

Related Programs

Public Diplomacy Programs

Department of State

Agency: Department of State

Office: U.S. Mission to Tajikistan

Estimated Funding: $40,000

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:

Additional Information of Eligibility:

The following organizations are eligible to apply: ● Not-for-profit organizations ● Civil society/non-governmental organizations For this announcement, only Tajikistan-based organizations are eligible to apply.


Organizations may subcontract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award.

When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.


In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.


Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.


Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.  6.

This award does not allow: ● Projects relating to partisan political activity; ● Conferences abroad or individual trips abroad; ● Charitable or development activities; including direct social services; ● Construction projects; ● Projects that support specific religious activities; ● Fund-raising campaigns; ● Lobbying for specific legislation or programs ● Medical, scientific research or surveys; ● Art or cultural projects; ● Commercial projects; or ● Projects that duplicate existing projectsRequired Registrations

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