Portrait of Carla Canales

Guest Artist in Residence: Carla Canales

Lecture, Q&A, and Workshops
Apr 14, 2022, Apr 20, 2022
Jewett Auditorium
See access restrictions below

Carla Dirlikov Canales is an internationally-renowned mezzo-soprano who has also received recognition as a cultural entrepreneur and social advocate. Join us for several exciting events of Ms. Canales’ residency!  

These are in-person events, open only to students, staff, and faculty in the Wellesley College testing protocol with their College ID. All others may view the livestream on the Concert Series YouTube Channel.

Workshop: Cultural Diplomacy
March 2, 5-6:15 PM
Jewett Auditorium

This session will explore how to harness the power of culture to advance foreign policy objectives. It aims to fill an important but often overlooked angle in current foreign policy debates and add a valuable dimension to cocurricular discussions in international affairs. Led by Carla Canales, who has been an active Arts Envoy for the U.S. State Department since 2005. During the workshop, participants will become familiar with the history of U.S. cultural diplomacy and will better understand how the power of the arts has repeatedly been deployed by the U.S. government to help achieve foreign policy objectives. 


Midday Muse: Building Nonprofits - Hear Her Song
April 14, 1 PM
Jewett Auditorium

Carla Canales, Founder and Director of The Canales Project, a nonprofit organization that gives voice to issues of identity through music, will highlight the initiative, “Hear Her Song,” which honors extraordinary women leaders around the world through new songs inspired by their words. This session will discuss how and when to build a nonprofit organization and will look at how an advocacy project can create positive social impact.

Workshop: Artist as Entrepreneur
April 20, 5 PM
Jewett Room 209

This workshop will focus on developing a plan to tackle your goals as an entrepreneur or performing artist. Actively discover your driving passions, identify your strengths, and determine your vision and goals to create a strategy that realizes your purpose. We will translate business terminology and apply it toward creating and executing an artistic vision.

Carla Canales has been praised by Opera Magazine for a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality” and is known for her portrayal of Carmen, which she has played close to 100 times in over 12 countries. She is the first singer to receive a Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Michigan Alliance for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award, named a Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, engaged as a Turnaround Artist on the President’s Committee for the Arts, and was named one of Musical America’s 30 Movers and Shapers of 2018. In 2016 she founded The Canales Project, a non-profit that gives voice to issues of identity through music.

For more information, please contact:


Generously supported by:

Marjorie Copland Baum Memorial Fund and the Florence Jeup Ford ’22, Mary M. Crawford ’22, and Virginia Ford ’48 Artist in Residence Endowment Fund