USArtists International
2015-2016 Round Two
Grants Announced

Over $186,000 Awarded to 22 U.S. Artists and Ensembles


Baltimore, MD – March 9, 2016 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced grants totaling $186,200 to five theater, three dance, and 14 music ensembles from across the United States to support their engagements at 27 festivals in 15 countries around the globe through the second of three grant rounds of the 2016  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 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, USAI provides grants to ensembles and individual performers in dance, music, and theatre invited to perform at significant international festivals. The program 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 based 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 total, the program has awarded over $4 million to 400+ 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. Theatre artist Thaddeus Phillips was funded to perform at Aurora Nova in Edinburgh in 2015.  He had this to say about his experience: “This presentation of17 Border Crossings at Aurora Nova could not have happened without the support of USAI funding…Professionally, the Aurora Nova presentation of 17 Border Crossings at Summerhall gave my work great international visibility and presenters from across Europe, the UK, Asia and Australia saw the work. We are now in serious discussions with the International Festival in Hong Kong to present 17 Border Crossings at the Festival in 2017, as well as a six city tour of Denmark.”

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 Kronos Quartet of California to Saint Genet of Washington, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago of Illinois to Dancing Earth of New Mexico. They include ensembles and soloists from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. A complete list of grantees can be found here.

MAAF convened a panel on February 3, 2016 to review applications in dance, music and theater. The panel consisted of four experienced artists and arts professionals as well as one lay-panelist.

The FY16 Round Two panel included:

  • Aaron Greenwald, Executive Director
    Duke Performances (Durham, NC)
  • Jeffrey James, former Hopkins Center Director (lay panelist)
    Dartmouth College (White River Junction, VT)
  • Anthony Kelly, Associate Professor of the Practice (Music)
    Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Aparna Ramaswamy, Co-Artistic Director,
    Ragamala Dance (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Chen Yi, Professor of Composition
    University of Missouri-Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)

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
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.