Presenters in Mid-Atlantic Region Receive $240,000 in Support

Baltimore, MD – August 3, 2020 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced 39 grants through its 2020-2021 ArtsCONNECT touring program. The grants, awarded directly to the presenting organizations, will provide $240,000 in support of tours by nine performing artists and ensembles at 31 different performing arts presenters in the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Supported presenters include six grantees new to the ArtsCONNECT program, and represent a mix of independent, municipal, and university-based organizations from urban, suburban, and rural communities across the mid-Atlantic region.

MAAF is working with all of our grantees to be as flexible as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of this press release, ArtsCONNECT presenters and artists were working together to select engagement dates while taking into account the necessary health precautions to ensure a successful partnership. For more information on a particular engagement, please contact the venue directly.

Tours will visit the following organizations and communities in person or virtually over the next twelve months:

A small orchestra plays on a stage bathed in blue and white light. The conductors back is to the audience and we can see their silhouettes in the image foreground.

Alarm Will Sound
Supporting the tour of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds, an outdoor site-specific music cycle that explores connections between nature and music, and an electronica program encompassing music by Aphex Twin, Jlin, Luke Vibert, SOPHIE, and others.

Image Credit: Michal Ramus.

Four musicians, three men and a women, pose with their instruments against a white background. (l-r) Standing bass, guitar, hand percussion, and standing snare.

American Patchwork Quartet
A new roots music ensemble that reimagines timeless songs from America’s past with four acclaimed musicians that bridges genres and cultural backgrounds.

Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

Two female acrobats face each other upside down.  Their faces are turned to the camera. They are doing matching split handstands.

Cirque Kalabante
(Montreal, Canada)
Supporting the tour of Afrique en Cirque, a contemporary circus production that fuses long-established African arts and European circus traditions.

Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

A person, dressed in a hooded animal suit, sits cross legged. They wear a shiny gold paper crown in their head.  The stage is lit in dark blue with a white spot.

Far from the Norm
(Kingston Upon Thames, UK)
Supporting the tour of BLKDOG, inspired by Sally Brampton’s Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression, the work delves into the notions of inner-city coping mechanisms.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

A large group of musicians is posed against a white background with children's instruments. Balloons and confetti cover the floor in the foreground.

Fifth House Ensemble
A respected chamber ensemble that specializes in emerging artist training, arts-integrated programming, and civic practice, participating in a series of performance-based residencies throughout our region.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

Four women face the camera, their bodies tilted in slight profile.  They are all wearing pageant swimsuits and smile and wave at the camera.

Jane Comfort and Company
Supporting the tour of Unvarnished America, a repertory concert based on the Bessie-Award winning choreographer’s 40th Anniversary Retrospective.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

 A group of five people sit on stage around and in an inflatable raft

Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers
Supporting the tour of CARTOGRAPHY, a new theatrical work for audiences of all ages that explores the commonalities of migration and the concrete and metaphorical mapping at the center of worlds in motion.

Image Credit: Elman Studio.

A group of dancers in white pull and move around a central male dancer.  Some of the dancers are marked with white paint.  In the background, a bright half circle glows on a dark background.

Red Sky Performance
(Toronto, Canada)
Supporting the tour of Trace, a highly kinetic contemporary dance work inspired by Indigenous (Anishinaabe) sky and star stories, offering a glimpse into our origin as well as our future evolution.

Image Credit: David Hou.

Head shot of Xenia Franca in slight right profile.  She wears a burgundy blouse and flowered wallpaper can be seen in the background.

Xenia Franca
(Sao Paolo, Brazil)
A Latin Grammy-nominated singer who honors the roots of African diaspora in Brazil, blending traditional percussion with electronica, jazz, and R&B.

*One project was cancelled due to COVID-19 and is not listed above. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

A complete list of ArtsCONNECT grants, including links to presenters and artists, can be accessed here.

MAAF convened a virtual panel, composed of five artists and arts professionals, on April 27-28, 2020 to review the applications and make recommendations.

ArtsCONNECT increases access to live performing arts engagements across the mid-Atlantic region through support for touring projects proposed by presenter consortia. In addition to public performances, each engagement includes complementary activities designed to foster greater appreciation for artists’ work, and offer meaningful exchanges between artists and the public. The program supports tours of exceptional artists involving all performing arts disciplines, including dance, music, theater, multi-disciplinary work, and folk/traditional arts.  

ArtsCONNECT is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program. 

About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work and advance access to and participation in the arts. The Foundation was created in 1979 and 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. For more information on the Foundation’s programs and services, please visit:

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
410.539.6656 x104