2024 Fall Round USArtists International Grantees Announced

Performing Artists from all Six U.S. Regions to Travel to 25 International Engagements with Program Support

A lone dancer poses outside at the top of ancient stone steps framed by stone columns.

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Image: Jade Stewart of Company E at the Entrance to the Temple of Jupiter, Thuburbo Majus, Tunisia. Carthage Dance Festival, June 13, 2023. Credit: Paul Gordon Emerson.

Baltimore – December 19, 2023 – The fall round of the 2024 USArtists International (USAI) program will support 24 performing artists from across the United States providing over $262,000 to support engagements at 25 festivals around the globe. Grantees will visit five continents and include 13 music, eight dance, and three theater/interdisciplinary companies and solo performers. Fourteen of the grantees have never received a USAI grant. USAI has awarded over $10.2 million to performing artists from across the U.S. since its inception in 2006.

USAI supports performances by American artists at important cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe. Committed to the presence of U.S.-based artists on world stages, the program provides grants to ensembles and individual performers in dance, music, and theater invited to perform at significant international festivals. USAI encourages and promotes the vibrant diversity of American artists and creative expression in the performing arts by expanding opportunity and exposure to international audiences, encouraging international cultural exchange, and enhancing creative and professional development of U.S. artists by providing connections with presenters, curators, and artists around the world. 

In October of 2023, the National Endowment for the Arts released Crossing Borders through Cultural Exchange. The report summarizes the USAI Annual Survey Report published in 2022 and takes a look at why USAI is so important and how it helps artists reach new audiences and build their creative practice. The case studies highlight six performing arts groups who have participated in USAI over the past couple of years and provide a glimpse into how they used USAI funding, the benefits they experienced as a result of this support, and the impact of that support on their work and growth.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Mellon Foundation. It is the only program of its kind in the United States.

The 2024 USAI program spring deadline is Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Please visit our website for more information on the program timeline and guidelines.

Fall 2024 grantees include:

Adam Zanolini: The Heliacal Rising of Sothis, IL
Journey to Jazz Festival, South Africa

Afro-Andean Funk, NY
Kultrun, Canada

CornMaiz String Band, KY
The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, Ireland

Emily Johnson / Catalyst, NY
Festival TransAmériques, Canada

Garth Fagan Dance, NY
CoCo Dance Festival, Trinidad And Tobago

Gaspard&Dancers, NC
HazarDance Festival, Romania

Jean Appolon Expressions, MA
Edanco, Dominican Republic

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, Inc., NY
Hakawy Festival, Egypt

Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, CA
International Folklore Festival Sakartvelo, Georgia

Lenora Lee Dance, CA
International Dance Encounter PUCP, Peru

Leonardo Suarez Paz’s PIAZZOLLA 100, NY
Bourbon Country Theater, Brazil

Macondo Chamber Players, MA
Pro Musica, Mexico

Maribeth Diggle, VA
O Festival, Netherlands

Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits, TX
Curacao International Jazz Festival, Netherlands Antilles

MC Tingbudong, NY
Spring Outing (Chunyou), China

Miguel Zenón Quartet, NY
Bergamo Jazz Festival, Italy

Monika Herzig’s Sheroes, IN
Jazzmandu, Nepal

Mud Water Theatre, CA
JOAT International Street Dance Festival, Canada

Mythili Prakash, CA
Music Academy’s Annual Dance Festival, India

Roomful of Teeth, MA
House of Radio and Music: Présences Festival, France

The Georgia Spiritual Ensemble, GA
ICR Brasil and Steve Biko Institute, Brazil

The Haus of Glitter Dance Company, RI
The Rhythm of Change Festival, Mali

Zoe & Cloyd, NC
Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Ireland

Zora Howard, NY
Kunsten Festival of the Arts, Belgium

USAI artists often report that they were able to create new or rekindle old connections through their international engagements. Heather Massie, who took her one woman show HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr to FINFRINGE in Finland in May 2022, had this to say about her experience, “My goals for this festival were multifaceted; foremost, to further my mission of inspiring audiences, encouraging young women in STEM, and establishing Hedy Lamarr as a role model for intelligence, ingenuity, and invention. It was a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchange between the US and Finland, and with my audiences and fellow artists. I especially enjoy seeing the work of the other artists, creating connection and lasting friendships. I reconnected with international artists I met at previous festivals and forged connections with new artists. These are a source of inspiration, as well as of knowledge of future opportunities. It was my goal to see all the other shows in the festival, and as it was a smaller festival, I was able to see all but two of them. I reconnected with artists from Sweden and Iceland and forged new friendships with artists in Finland, the UK, Cyprus, Ireland, and Spain. Connection with the audiences during my performances was a particular pleasure, including a Q&A after my second performance, and my audiences prove to be a great source of ideas for engagement.”

USAI grantees are selected through a panel process. Mid Atlantic Arts convened Dance/Theater and Music videoconference panels to review applications on

November 17-18, 2023. The panels consisted of experienced artists and arts professionals. For a complete list of panelists, please click here.

Image: Jade Stewart of Company E at the Entrance to the Temple of Jupiter, Thuburbo Majus, Tunisia. Carthage Dance Festival, June 13, 2023. Credit: Paul Gordon Emerson.

About Mid Atlantic Arts 
Mid Atlantic Arts supports artists, presenters, and organizations through unique programming, grant support, partnerships, and information sharing. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is aligned with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. We combine state and federal funding with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to nurture diverse artistic expression while connecting people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. To learn more about Mid Atlantic Arts visit www.midatlanticarts.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Learn more at www.arts.gov.

About the Trust for Mutual Understanding
The Trust for Mutual Understanding awards grants to American nonprofit organizations to support direct exchange in the arts and the environment between professionals from the United States and TMU’s geographic region: the Baltic States; Central Asia; Central, East, Southeast Europe; Mongolia; and Russia. www.tmuny.org

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at mellon.org.

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts 
410.539.6656 x104