The U.S. Department of State awarded over $20,000 so that a cultural center in Ecuador could host “drag theater performances” for diversity and inclusion.
On September 23rd, The State Department gave a $20,600 grant to the Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano (CEN), which is a non-profit organization that is supported by the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador, to “promote diversity and inclusion”.
The project at CEN began on started Sept. 30 and runs until Aug. 31, 2023. According to the State Department’s grant which is listed on the USASpending.gov website, it will have “3 workshops,” “12 drag theater performances,” and a “2-minute documentary.”
The grant is part of the State Department’s public diplomacy program. The program seeks to “support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign public and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world.”
Over the years, The State Department awarded hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money to the CEN. However, the September grant looks like the first time The State Department has funded drag performances.
In 2016, it awarded $50,000 grant to the CEN in order to promote the College Horizons program, to teach English to youth of color. In 2015, The State Department gave $234,000 to the CEN to build of a new auditorium.