Spring 2024 USArtists International Grants Announced

Spring 2024 USArtists International Grants
Support Performing Artists at Festivals Worldwide

Largest Application Round in Program History Sends 32
Performing Artists and Ensembles to 42 Festivals Worldwide

A dancer in a colorful sari kneels in profile on the right. Behind her musicians can be seen against a studio wall.

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Image: Mythilii Prakash in rehearsal for Taapam. Chennai, India January 2024. Credit: V. Gowrishankar.

Baltimore – June 26, 2024 – Congratulations to the 32 ensembles and solo artists receiving grant support through the spring 2024 USArtists International (USAI) program round. Those artists will represent the United States at 42 different festivals and venues worldwide. Engagements will take place on five continents – including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America (Canada and Mexico) and South America. Grantees include ensembles from all six of the Regional Arts Organizations’ jurisdictions and include 17 music, eight dance, and eight theater/interdisciplinary companies and solo performers. Eighteen of the grantees have never received a USAI grant. Over 150 eligible applications were received for the spring round and a total of $318,270 in grants were awarded. Since its inception in 2006, USAI has provided over $10.4 million to performing artists from across the U.S.

USAI supports performances by American artists at important cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe. Committed to the presence of US-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 US artists by providing connections with presenters, curators, and artists around the world. USAI extends the reach and impact of professional artists dependent on touring for continued sustainability and career advancement. 

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 study highlights 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. With increasing application numbers following the pandemic, it is clear there is growing need and want for this type of travel support.

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 2025 USAI program will announce guidelines availability and deadlines this summer. Please visit our website for more information on the program timeline and guidelines.

Spring 2024 grantees include:

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, NY
The International Summer Festival, Germany

Abby Z and the New Utility, NY      
Dance Umbrella Festival, United Kingdom

Anh Vo, NY
Explodes with a Boom Festival, Vietnam

Blood Moon Orchestra, CA
HOZO Festival, Vietnam

Chaksam-pa, CA
Tibetan Opera Festival 2025, India

Charles Lloyd Sky Quartet, CA      
Athens Epidarus Festival, Greece
North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands

Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, NY
Cali International Ballet Festival, Colombia

Ensemble Ibérica, MO
The Palace of Mexican Music, Mexico

Faye Driscoll, NY     
Teatro do Bairro Alto (TBA), Portugal
Teatro Municipal do Porto (DAP/TMP), Portugal

Gracimá, PR 
Festival of Drums and Cultural Expressions of Palenque, Colombia

Hilary Field, WA        
International Guitar Festival Entrecuerdas, Chile

Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation, CA          
Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Norway
North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands
Worldwide Festival, France

John Escreet’s “Seismic Shift”, CA
Guimarães Jazz Festival, Portugal

La Folia Global, NE
Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Finland

Loadbang, NY
IntAct Festival, Thailand

Magos Herrera Quartet, NY
UNAM Culture Festival, Mexico

Making Movies, MO
Harrison Festival of the Arts, Canada
Ness Creek Music Festival, Canada
Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Canada

Music From The Sole, NY   
Aste Nagusia Festival, Spain
Tap Liege Festival, Belgium

Nicole Zuraitis, CT
Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival, Croatia

Samora Pinderhughes, NY
November Music Festival, Netherlands
Rockit Festival, Netherlands
Super Sonic Jazz Festival, Netherlands

Sasha Berliner, NY
North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands

Seraph Brass, NC
International Winds and Brass Festival, Peru

Sister Sylvester, NY
International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Surabhi Ensemble, IL
Udupa Music Festival, India
Winter Festival, India

Thaddeus McWhinnie Phillips & Tatiana Mallarino Perez, NY
Fall Festival, Spain

The Living Earth Show, CA
Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Norway

Tom Lee, NY
Pesta Boneka, Indonesia

Unfolding Disability Futures, IL
ADDN JOMBA! ACCESS Contemporary Dance Festival, South Africa

Vanessa Sanchez & La Mezcla, CA
International Dance Festival of Jalisco, Mexico
Lila Lopez International Contemporary Dance Festival, Mexico

Walter Smith III, MA
Jazz Alghero, Italy
Malta Jazz Festival, Malta
North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands

WaxFactory, NY
Midsummer Scene Festival, Croatia

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, NY
Festival de Marseille, France
Shubbak Festival, United Kingdom

USAI artists travel to international engagements to build relationships with peers and international presenters, hone their craft, grow their practice, and see other artists’ work. Mythilii Prakash traveled to Music Academy’s Annual Dance Festival in India in January 2024 and shared this in her final report, “The original goal for undertaking this project was to return to the Music Academy Festival, after a gap of 6 years as a more mature, informed, and seasoned artist. The gap (which also included the pandemic) was a time that changed my interaction with my practice and performance of the Bharatnatyam form and particularly its repertoire, which is what is presented by the Academy’s Festival. A deeper and more nuanced look into Bharatanatyam’s complicated history has shifted my understanding of “tradition” and made me reflect on the ethics of performing repertoire that was made by and then erased on the bodies of its original practitioners. The result has been a desire to find my own personal entry point into the repertoire’s content and presentation. I worked with a wonderful team of international artists, including new collaborators from India, to create a unique piece that both embraces and challenges the repertoire – informed by our own individual journeys as artistic practitioners today. An important goal was instigation of dialogue. Increasingly, the goal of creative work for me is to follow my conviction in exploring pieces that provoke thought and instigate conversation, rather than focusing on making work that will be “liked.” The audience response was stirred, including those who were moved by the narrative, those who appreciated the craft of using existing structures to explore new terrain, and also those who felt unsure of the pushing of boundaries when it comes to “repertoire.” I look forward to continuing development of this work.”

USAI grantees are selected through a panel process. Due to the large number of application received in the spring round, Mid Atlantic Arts convened two Dance/Theater panels and two Music videoconference panels to review applications on May 20-23, 2024. The panels consisted of experienced artists and arts professionals. For a complete list of panelists, please click here.

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, and Southeast Europe. 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.

Mackenzie Kwok
Communications and Social Media Manager
Mid Atlantic Arts 
410.539.6656 x123