USArtists International 2021-2022 First Round Grants

Performing Artists to Represent the United States at International Festivals in 16 Countries 

First Round of USArtists International 2022 Provides
Over $175,000 for Virtual and In-Person Engagements

Baltimore, MD – December 15, 2021 – Mid Atlantic Arts has announced grants to 17 solo artists and ensembles in support of the first round of USArtists International (USAI). The artists represent eight states and will travel to 20 different festivals and arts markets around the globe. The grantee pool for the first round is composed of 64% first-time grantees to the USAI program and includes the first engagement on the Côte d’Ivoire.

USAI supports performances by American artists at engagements at international festivals and global presenting arts marketplaces outside of the United States. In an effort to remain flexible to the needs of the field as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, USAI currently accepts applications for funding to support virtual performances as well as eligible in-person engagements. The program funds individuals and ensembles across all performing arts practices and disciplines.

Mid Atlantic Arts is committed to the development and expansion of both the careers and artistic goals of U.S. performers by providing connections to audiences, presenters, curators, and their peers through the USAI program. By elevating the voices that reflect a vibrant array of creative expression, we are able to celebrate and share the diversity and imagination of the United States.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. It is the only program of its kind in the United States, and since its inception in 2006, has awarded over $8.7 million in support.

The next deadline for USAI is Wednesday, March 30, 2022 for projects taking place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Grantees are a mix of dance, music, and theater artists that showcase a diversity of styles within their disciplines and include:

NY vocalist and composer Sara Serpa traveled to the Braga Cultural Festival in Portugal in July 2021 with support from USAI. She had this to say about her experience, “This international engagement allowed me to deepen my artistic and professional relationship with the ensemble: saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist David Virelles. It also brought awareness to my project from Portuguese curators and general audiences. I was introduced to a curator in the North of Portugal, received a proposal request from an art center in the South of Portugal, and was reviewed by an academic publication on Women and Decolonization. The jazz and creative music scene in Portugal is highly male dominated, with very few women being given performance opportunities or featured in festivals as band leaders. The fact that I presented this project in Braga gave my work exposure and validation, as a female Portuguese musician, performer-composer, living in New York.”

USAI grantees are selected through a panel process. Mid Atlantic Arts convened the Round One USAI panel via video conference on November 2, 2021. 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 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

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
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. Additional information is available at

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