NEW YORK - American Actress/Singer, Helen Hayes Award nominee, and recording artist Mary Millben is set to perform the American National Anthem and the Chinese National Anthem (in Chinese) for the 40th Anniversary of U.S.-China Student Exchanges on Thursday, November 21st, 2019 at The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington, D.C, hosted by The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in coordination with The United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Four decades ago, student exchanges opened a new chapter for the U.S.- China relationship, and its relationship has deepened through student exchange and cultural understanding. Mary values student exchanges having personally studied in China - Xian University, Yunnan University(Kunming), Peking University (Beijing), and Fudan University (Shanghai) - as a part of the University of Oklahoma Journey to China 2006 summer program. Over the past decades, almost 330,000 American students or scholars have studied or researched in China. Last year, around 360,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S. Both countries have benefited - and continue to benefit - from student exchanges, which should be celebrated and promoted as the U.S. and China strengthen ties.
"China has a special place in my heart. I have such fond memories studying in China as an exchange student and shared in a recent interview with China Daily. It was a life-changing experience and a key contributor to why I advocate for students to study abroad. Student exchanges and investing in such programs will birth generations who value global citizenry. As an American artist, I value the unique and significant role I can play in strengthening international relationships. I understand the important relationship shared between the U.S and China - through my experiences in American politics and having lived briefly in China. I thank His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, for the kind invitation, and I will continue to support President Trump and President Xi in helping strengthen U.S.-China ties through cultural diplomacy."
Mary has become one of the world's new celebrated voices and a coveted go-to in the United States due to her rousing arrangements of America's patriotic music. Mary has performed for three consecutive U.S. Presidents (President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump) and the National Anthem at the 58th Presidential Inauguration Victory Celebration of President Donald J. Trump. Most recently, Mary performed the National Anthem for President Trump's official 2020 reelection kickoff rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
Most recently, Mary was featured entertainment honoring America's World War II veterans and Gold Star families for the World War II 75th Anniversary Veteran's Day Commemoration Ceremony at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Performance: HERE. For Fox News live airing, HERE.
Mary has been a featured artist at The White House, the United States Congress, Off-Broadway, for the NBA, MLB, RIO Olympics - U.S. Olympic Team Fencing Announcement Ceremony, and will make her National Football League (NFL) debut performing the National Anthem for the Washington Redskins vs. Detroit Lions on Sunday, November 24th, 2019. Mary has graced concerts halls all across the globe from Asia to Europe to Canada.
Mary's debut single "Grace Will Lead Me Home," is now Academy Award/Oscar-eligible for the upcoming film/TV award season. "Grace Will Lead Me Home" was written for the new feature film "The Meanest Man in Texas," directed by Justin Ward, and produced by Brad Wilson and Casey Bond. The film is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Prior to entertainment, Mary was a White House Presidential Appointee and White House intern to President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. Mary serves as a Global Ambassador for Education Africa, a National Spokesman for American Federation for Children, and an advisory board member for Scholar Vets. Furthermore, Mary is a long-time advocate for America's troops, veterans and military families, in addition to causes for children and arts education in America. Mary shares her journey with Johnny President, a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of the U.S. Intelligence community for 20+ years. Mary is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma and a native Oklahoman.