USArtists International 2021 Announces Round One Grants

USArtists International Announces
Over $250,000 in Grant Support
for Future Virtual and Live Engagements

Baltimore, MD – February 4, 2021 – Mid Atlantic Arts has announced over $250,000 in grant support to 25 ensembles and solo performers who will represent the United States through the first round of USArtists International’s (USAI) 2021 program year. USAI grantees include nine dance, 14 music, and two theater companies/solo performers and represent 10 states. Engagements include both virtual and in-person events and will take place between January 2021 and June 2022.

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, USAI 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. USAI extends the reach and impact of professional artists dependent on touring for continued sustainability and career advancement. Since its inception in 2006, USAI has awarded over $8.19 million in support.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Howard Gilman Foundation for support of New York City-based organizations.

In an effort to remain flexible to the needs in the field as they navigate COVID-19, USAI currently accepts applications for funding to support virtual performances as well as eligible in-person engagements at international festivals. Support for postponed engagement dates is also being offered.

Two grantees supported under the virtual track include Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Stephen Petronio Company. Philadelphia’s Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra will perform virtually at the World Economic Forum in The Great Reset: A Global Concert. This engagement is scheduled to be performed simultaneously at the opening of the Annual Meeting 2021, across online channels, and in World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hubs around the world. And, at Brazil’s 2021 Sede em Rede – International Festival, Stephen Petronio Company of NYC will premiere a full-stage performance of “Are You Lonesome Tonight”—a reimaging of a duet first created as a dance film, as well as “American Landscapes,” through a virtual engagement.

The next deadline for USAI is March 31, 2021 for projects taking place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Potential applicants are encouraged to carefully read through the program guidelines in advance due to changes put in place since the pandemic.

USAI 2021 round one grantees are a mix of emerging and established companies that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines. Grantees include:

Right before the pandemic broke, Roomful of Teeth Vocal Arts Project of Newfane, VT, travelled to New Zealand with support from USAI 2020. They said this of the experience: “As an ensemble whose work centers respectful cross-cultural dialogue, our week in New Zealand was a revelation. Roomful of Teeth has recently begun an examination of our role in decolonizing musical practices and to spend a week at the New Zealand Festival – in the country’s capitol – and witness the depth and breadth of the reverence and engagement with the indigenous Maori culture was extraordinary. Here is a model that will inspire and inform us for years to come. “

USAI grantees are selected through a panel process. Mid Atlantic Arts convened a panel via video conference on November 17, 2020 to review USAI first round applications in dance, music, and theater. The panel consisted of experienced artists and arts professionals as well as a lay-panelist. For a complete list of panelists, please click here.

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

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at

About the Howard Gilman Foundation
Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City.

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.

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts