Mid Atlantic Arts Welcomes Puerto Rico

Mid Atlantic Arts Welcomes Puerto Rico
as Tenth State/Jurisdictional Partner

Memorandum Of Understanding Signed in Ceremony
at the National Endowment for the Arts

Seven people pose in the lobby of the National Endowment for the Arts. The flags of the United States and Puerto Rico flanks them on each side.

Baltimore, December 8, 2022 – On Tuesday, December 6th Mid Atlantic Arts officially welcomed the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico into the regional arts organization family during a special Memorandum of Understanding signing event at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) joins nine other state agencies (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, USVI, VA, and WV) that make up the Mid Atlantic Arts regional partnership.

The Chair of the NEA, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, made remarks and was joined by Pam Breaux, President & CEO, of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Carlos Ruiz, Executive Director, ICP also spoke before the official signing ceremony along with Romona Riscoe Benson, Chair, and Theresa Colvin, Executive Director of Mid Atlantic Arts.

“Puerto Rico has an enormous depth of history, arts, and culture, and I am thrilled to see this new partnership between the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and Mid Atlantic Arts,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “With this agreement, all of the state and jurisdictional arts agencies are connected with a regional arts organization. This connection strengthens our nation’s arts and culture infrastructure and provides important opportunities for beneficial growth.”

Speaking on behalf of ICP, Executive Director Carlos Ruiz said “This partnership between the Regional Arts Organization (RAO) – Mid Atlantic Arts (Mid Atlantic) and the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP – Puerto Rican Institute of Culture) will provide access to more opportunities for our constituents. There are 2.2M Puerto Ricans in the states that form part of the Mid Atlantic RAO, in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia, and the USVI. This partnership results in developing stronger ties with Puerto Ricans of different generations that reside in mainland USA. This partnership stemmed from the efforts of the National Assembly of State Arts Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts. We look forward to further building this relationship and the outcomes that will result from it.”

Mid Atlantic Arts Board Chair, Romona Riscoe Benson, remarked “The vitality of the arts and culture of Puerto Rico will strengthen our work in the region, nation, and beyond. We are excited to welcome the beautiful island of Puerto Rico to the Mid Atlantic family.” Following on that, Theresa Colvin, Executive Director of Mid Atlantic Arts stated “We are so pleased to share our programs and partnership with the artists, organizations, and people of Puerto Rico. We look forward to learning from the arts community in Puerto Rico and finding ways our current and future programs can support their work.”

Mid Atlantic Arts and its partner state arts agencies share a common purpose—to expand services to artists and organizations while providing increased access to audiences across geographic, artistic, and institutional boundaries regionally, nationally, and internationally. Mid Atlantic Arts supports partners by: providing access to programs and additional resources from federal and private funders, engagement in the development of new programs that broaden the impact of state programs, professional development and capacity building for arts organizations and individuals, and additional support through the US Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs) as a collaborative consortia.

The USRAOs strengthen and support arts, culture, and creativity in our individual regions as well as across the nation. We serve the nation’s artists, arts and culture organizations, and creative communities with programs that reflect and celebrate the diversity of the field in which we work. USRAOs provide arts programs in all disciplines to more than 20 million Americans each year in all 50 states and U.S. territories. We partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts agencies, individuals, and other public and private funders to develop and deliver programs, services, and products that advance arts and creativity.

Artists and organizations based in Puerto Rico are eligible to apply for the 2023-2024 program round which begins July 1, 2023. Applications are already open for a number of programs and can be accessed at https://www.midatlanticarts.org/.

Image: (l-r) Romona Riscoe Benson, Chair, Mid Atlantic Arts; Carlos Ruiz, Executive Director, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña; Pam Breaux, President and CEO, National Assembly of State Arts Organizations; Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, Chair, National Endowment for the Arts; Theresa Colvin, Executive Director, Mid Atlantic Arts; Zoe Rodriguez, Chief of Staff, Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration; and Michael Orlove, Director of State, Regional & Local Partnerships, National Endowment for the Arts. Credit: James Kegley Photography.

About Mid Atlantic Arts
Mid Atlantic Arts nurtures and funds the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connects people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional, national, and international perspective. To learn more about Mid Atlantic Arts, its programs and services, visit our website at www.midatlanticarts.org.

About the Instituto de Cultura Puertoriqqueña
The Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP or Puerto Rican Institute of Culture) was established by law decree in 1955 as, “an official, and autonomous entity whose purpose is to preserve, promote, enrich and diffuse the cultural values of the Puerto Rican people, and achieve a broader and fuller awareness thereof”. ICP oversees Support for the Arts, Popular Arts Division, Music Division, Scenic Arts Division and the administration of two Theaters, among many other responsibilities. Puerto Rico is a source of renown artists at International Level, has a strong Jazz, Music and Performing Arts scene, and ample and varied Folk Arts and Traditional Arts field in different forms ranging from artisanship to music and dance. ICP collaborates with its constituents in Puerto Rico as well as those in mainland USA and territories. Visit ICP’s website at https://www.icp.pr.gov/en/

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.

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts 
410.539.6656 x104