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Second Round of 2015 Grants Announced

Over $168,000 Awarded to support U.S. Performing Artists at Important International Engagements

Baltimore – March 16, 2015 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced grants totaling $168,670, to five theater, six dance, and ten music ensembles from across the United States to support their engagements at 26 festivals in 16 countries around the globe through the second of three grant rounds of the 2015 USArtists International (USAI) program.

USAI is the only national initiative in the United States solely devoted to promoting the excellence and diversity of American performing arts abroad. The program works to strengthen the creative and professional development of American artists through participation at important international festivals and performing arts markets. Engagements supported through the program provide American performing artists the opportunity to exchange ideas and practices with their counterparts around the world, and sustain their careers through exposure to new audiences and access to the international marketplace. In total, the program has awarded over $3,721,000 to 409 ensembles and solo performers since its inception in 2006. The program is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Supported engagements often lead to new career and creative opportunities. Kyle Abraham of Abraham.In.Motion who traveled to the internationale tanzmesse in Germany in August of 2014 had this to say about the experience: “Our original goal for undertaking the project was to gain access to new European markets and to raise the profile of Abraham.In.Motion’s work by exposing it to new audiences, and toward that end the trip was overwhelmingly successful. Our work was seen by more than 158 representatives of performing arts organizations from over 35 countries as well as a total audience of 760, and the exposure has culminated in at least 5 weeks of confirmed European touring for Abraham.In.Motion’s 2014-2015 season.”

The latest round of grantees are a mix of emerging and established companies that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the Music Maker Blues Review of North Carolina, and Dance Theater of Harlem to the contemporary puppet theater of Paul Zaloom from Los Angeles. They include ensembles from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and the state of Washington.

Due to the high volume of applications, MAAF convened two separate panels, with music applications reviewed on January 21-22, 2015 and dance and theater applications on January 22-23, 2015. Each panel consisted of four experienced artists and arts professionals as well as one layperson.

The FY15 Round II music panel included:

  • Anthony Brown, Artistic Director
    Fifth Stream Music and the Asian American Orchestra (Berkeley, CA)
  • Ellis Finger (lay panelist)
    former Director of the Williams Center for the Arts Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
  • Amy Iwano, Executive Director
    University of Chicago Presents (Chicago, IL)
  • Sarah Rucker, Founder
    Full Gallop Arts (Austin, TX)
  • Jon Yanofsky, Director
    Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts, Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY)

Panelists for the FY15 Round II dance and theater panel included:

  • Bunni Copaken (lay panelist), Board member
    Kansas City Repertory Theatre (Mission Hills, KS)
  • Andre Perry, Executive Director
    Englert Theatre (Iowa City, IA)
  • Michael Reed, Senior Director, Cultural Participation and Programming
    Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Lauren Snelling, Artistic Director
    OZ Arts (Nashville, TN)
  • Sixto Wagan, Director, Center for Arts Leadership
    University of Houston (Houston, TX)

About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work, advance access to and participation in the arts, and promote a more sustainable arts ecology. For more information on the Foundation’s programs and services, please 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 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. To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. The Foundation makes grants in five core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Diversity; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects. The Arts and Cultural Heritage program seeks to nurture exceptional creative accomplishment, scholarship, and conservation practices in the arts, while promoting a diverse and sustainable ecosystem for these disciplines. The program supports the work of outstanding artists, curators, conservators, and scholars, and endeavors to strengthen performing arts organizations, art museums, research institutes, and conservation centers.