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$175,000 in Grants Awarded to Bring Performing
Artists from Latin America to Communities
Across the United States


Baltimore, MD – July 14, 2017 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have announced grants through the 2017-2018 Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America program. The support will help communities across the U.S. bring exceptional performing arts groups from Latin America for performances and community engagement activities that build an understanding and appreciation for the richness and diversity of Latin American cultures.

Jane Chu, Chairman of the NEA commented, “When visiting artists and local audiences come together, they both gain insights into another country. The Southern Exposure program gives U.S. audiences experiences through music and dance of Latin America, and touring artists learn about the United States through its places and its people.”

“We are delighted to see the growth of Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America into numerous diverse communities, in both rural and urban areas, across the United States,” said Theresa Colvin, MAAF’s Executive Director. “Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is committed to providing access to international artists for American audiences, and Southern Exposure allows us to bring exceptional Latin American performers and their cultural traditions to so many people nationwide.”

Through the program, $175,000 will be awarded to support 85 engagements across the United States to bring these remarkable companies to their towns and cities:

Betsayda Machado & La Parranda El Clavo (Venezuela)

Bringing passion and color through traditional rhythms and dances, Betsayda Machada and La Parranda El Clavo-her village’s own multi-generational band-invite audiences to discover, indulge, and celebrate the contagious beats of Afro Venezuelan soul. The energizing percussion and voice ensemble presents an engaging repertoire cultivated through centuries of African tradition and musical influence in Venezuela.

Betsayada Machado & La Parranda El Clavo will visit:

> Berkeley, CA > Louisville, KY > Schenectady, NY
> Grass Valley, CA > Lowell, MA > Easton, PA
> Los Angeles, CA > Minneapolis, MN > Philadelphia, PA
> Stanford, CA > Butte, MT > Providence, RI
> Denver, CO > Helena, MT > Richmond, VA
> Hollywood, FL > Durham, NC > Barnard, VT
> Savannah, GA > Princeton, NJ > Milwaukee, WI
> Chicago, IL > Albuquerque, NM
> Bloomington, IN > Flushing, NY


DanzAbierta (Cuba)

Established in 1988, DanzAbierta is the pioneer of contemporary dance in Cuba, now under the artistic direction of Choreographer Susana Pous Anadon, and mentored by Guido Gali. Today, DanzAbierta and Susana Pous have renewed the company’s artistic and aesthetic principles, winning numerous awards in Cuba and abroad for choreography and performance in major international festivals including Avignon, Montpellier, Holland Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, Caliendanza, Schirittmacher, Danse Encore, and others.

DanzAbierta will visit:

>Washington, DC > Cambridge, MA
> Miami, FL > Philadelphia, PA


Daymé Arocena (Cuba)

Blessed with an exceptional voice, Daymé Arocena boasts an impressive vocal range and tremendous scat technique. She is a standout performer, with a musical style rooted in jazz, bebop, and Afro Cuban traditions, as well as urban and electronic rhythms. Crediting Ella Fitzgerald as an influence, Daymé Arocena blends classic soul and soul jazz standards with Cuban musical styles, for a spellbinding, multilingual homage to her Cuban roots.

Daymé Arocena will visit:

> Phoenix, AZ > Frostburg, MD > East Meredith, NY
> La Jolla, CA > Rockville, MD > New York, NY
> Los Angeles, CA > Collegeville, MN > Columbus, OH
> San Francisco, CA > Minneapolis, MN > Portland, OR
> San Jose, CA > Helena, MT > Bethlehem, PA
> Santa Cruz, CA > Hanover, NH > Philadelphia, PA
> Chicago, IL > Placitas, NM > Burlington, VT
> West Lafayette, IN > Albany, NY
> Cambridge, MA > Brooklyn, NY


Joan Soriano (The Dominican Republic)

Born in the countryside near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano fashioned his first guitar from fishing line and a discarded metal box. At age 13, he hitched a ride to Santo Domingo and went on to work with some of the island’s greatest bachata stars. Today, he is an internationally touring bachata artist. This African and Spanish-based soul music – or “Dominican Blues,” is infused with equal parts romance and grit.

Joan Soriano will visit:

> Mendocino, CA > Helena, MT > Tulsa, OK
> San Francisco, CA > Durham, NC > Sisters, OR
> Arden, DE > Lebanon, NH > Lewisburg, PA
> Chicago, IL > Flushing, NY > Loganton, PA
> Frostburg, MD > New York, NY > Roanoke, VA
> Salisbury, MD > Cleveland, OH > Burlington, VT
> Minneapolis, MN > Dayton, OH > Green Lake, WI


The Garifuna Collective ft. Umalali (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras)

Featuring Garifuna drums, maracas, turtle shells, swaying rhythm guitars, and groovy bass lines, the Garifuna Collective is multi-generational ensemble featuring some of the most accomplished musicians of the Garifuna community. Located on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and other Central American countries, the Garifuna people’s traditions blend elements of West African and Native Caribbean heritage. The showcased group, Umalali-meaning ‘voice’, is a moving ensemble that captures the beauty and power of Garifuna female expression.

The Garifuna Collective ft. Umalali will visit:

> Joshua Tree, CA > Cambridge, MA > Portsmouth, NH
> Miami Beach, FL > Towson, MD > Flushing, NY
> Chicago, IL > Minneapolis, MN

For a complete list of engagement dates, times, and detailed project descriptions, click here.

Each year MAAF works with a group of curators to suggest potential artists for the Southern Exposure roster. The 2017-2018 curators included Ever Chavez, Executive Director of FUNDarte, Miami, FL; Catalina Maria Johnson, Music Journalist and Producer/Host of Beat Latino on Chicago Public Radio, Chicago, IL; and Natacha Melo, Co-Creator of the South American Dance Network, Montevideo, Uruguay. The final roster is compiled with input from presenting organizations from throughout the U.S. Presenters are able to book artists from the roster and receive fee subsidy for bringing the artists to the presenter’s community. The roster of artists/companies for the 2018-2019 Southern Exposure program will be available this fall at

For more information on the Southern Exposure program, click here.

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. To learn more about MAAF, 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. 

Karen Newell, Director of External Affairs