Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America

Tours to Visit 31 Communities Across the United States

Baltimore, MD – July 18, 2019 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have announced grants totaling $120,000 through the 2019-2020 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.

“We are thrilled to be able to share these wonderful musicians, dancers, and theater artists with communities across the United States,” said Theresa Colvin, Executive Director of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. “Southern Exposure truly is special in its ability to highlight what is unique about the cultures it represents while also illuminating the common humanity in all people.”

Grants support 37 engagements in 18 states across the U.S and include the following artists and venues:

Fidel Nadal (Argentina)

Fidel Nadal stands in front of a graffitied wall. He wears a green sweat jacket and a yellow, green, and red head wrap.Latin GRAMMY nominee Fidel Nadal is an Afro Argentinean singer and songwriter described by Rolling Stone magazine (Argentina) as “the Rasta who revolutionized Latin rock.” The son of an anthropologist and a leading advocate for the recognition of black Argentines, Fidel Nadal’s ideology is rooted in Rastafarian culture and benefits from an intense connection with countries like Jamaica and Haiti. Reggae rhythms and Afro-Argentine culture merge in his sound. In 2011, Fidel received two Latin GRAMMY nominations for Best Alternative Album “Forever Together” and Best Alternative Song “Te Robaste Mi Corazón.” His music conveys messages of Pan-African consciousness and Afro-Argentine identity. 

Fidel Nadal will visit:

  • African American Museum in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Cedar, Minneapolis, MN
  • Center for Afro-Panamanian Studies, Inc., Brooklyn, NY
  • City of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Firstworks, Providence, RI
  • OK Roots Music, Tulsa, OK
  • West Branch Arts Consortium, Loganton, PA
  • Yeleen Production, Seattle, WA

Francisco, El Hombre (Brazil)

Four men and one woman squeeze onto a small grey, modern couch. They are dressed in casual street clothes. Two of the men sit on the arms of the couch.

Composed of both Mexican and Brazilian musicians, the group “Francisco, El Hombre” has recorded a song that has become the anthem of the Feminist movement in Brazil with the release of their video “Triste, louca ou má.” Their lyrics speak to the current social and political moment in Brazil, and take inspiration from their travels touring in Latin America. “We are the borders I have crossed,” says the lyrics of the song entitled “Francisco, el Hombre,” from the band with the same name. The band believes there is no border that cannot be crossed through music. The Portuguese and Spanish lyrics have forged a cross cultural connection with the people of Latin America.

Francisco, El Hombre will visit:

  • Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA
  • Festival International de Louisiane, Lafayette, LA
  • Fundarte, Miami Beach, FL
  • LEAF Community Arts, Black Mountain, NC
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • Utah Arts Festival Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT

Sofía Viola (Argentina)

Sofia Viola is photographed from her shoulders up against a brightly woven textile.  She wears vivid makeup and her hands are held up to frame her face.Viola takes the stage embracing her guitar or her charangón and performs her songs which drift from tango to vibrations of the Andes, from milonga to happy cumbia, from rock to vallenato, and from chamamé to blues, in a show that is pure blood traction and interpretative power. She composes songs in which she professes her unconditional love for Latin American folklore in all its dimensions; and in her solo show she tells micro stories that speak of love, ecology, junk food, and universal themes from her perspective. A native Argentinian, her style was formed in the suburban tango, but she also draws from rock music and the Argentinian “Tropical Wave” style.

Sofía Viola will visit:

  • Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, Berkeley, CA
  • Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, DC
  • The Cedar, Minneapolis, MN
  • Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD
  • Culturetrust Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA
  • Esperanza, Philadelphia, PA
  • FirstWorks, Providence, RI
  • International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT
  • Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, Inc., Bloomington, IN
  • Miami New Drama, Miami Beach, FL
  • OK Roots Music, Tulsa, OK
  • Old Town School of Music, Chicago, IL
  • Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD

Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores (Mexico)
Touring “¡Vívelo!”

A male and female dancer move around each other at the front of the stage. Another group of performers stand in the background singing and clapping. Everyone is dressed in traditional costumes. The background is deep red.

“¡Vívelo!” merges different rhythms and dance styles such as folkloric dance, contemporary, Spanish dance, and African-inspired movements. Mexican musical ensemble Son Luna provides the traditional music of Veracruz, Mexico, and dance troupe Jóvenes Zapateadores showcase the evolution of Son Jarocho roots with different rhythms and dance styles. Masterfully displaying dance genres from the region and beyond, this large scale production provides strong entry points for presenters seeking a highly energetic folkloric piece.

Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores will visit:

  • California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
  • Methow Arts, Twisp, WA
  • San Jose State University Research Foundation, San Jose, CA

Teatro y Su Doble (Chile)
Touring: “Feos” (“The Ugly Ones”)

A woman stands to the left beside a man who is seated in front of her. He seams to be reaching for the camera. Both have facial abnormalities.Written by acclaimed Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón and inspired by the story “La Noche de los Feos” by Mario Benedetti, “Feos” is a visual feast of Bunraku-style puppetry. A man and a woman who have spent their whole lives alone and subjected to stares due to physical deformities have a chance encounter in line at a movie theatre and together go in search of the light behind the darkness, although nothing is quite as it seems. Incorporating stop motion projections, puppeteering of the highest caliber, and a story that challenges audiences to look at their own faults with honesty and acceptance, the production is a unique work of beauty. The play is for adult audiences and is performed with English surtitles.

Teatro y Su Doble will visit:

  • Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, Chicago, IL
  • Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD
  • Fundarte, Miami Beach, FL
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
  • The Public Theater, New York, NY

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

MAAF worked with a group of curators to suggest potential artists for the Southern Exposure roster. The 2019-2020 curators included Cecilia Kuska, Cultural Programming Director of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina; Cuauhtémoc Nájera Ruiz, National Coordinator of Dance at the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), Mexico; and Octavio Arbeláez Tobon, Arts manager, Curator and Director of MAPAS Performing Arts Cultural Market; Colombia. The final roster was compiled with input from presenting organizations from throughout the U.S. Presenters were able to book artists from the roster and receive fee subsidy for bringing the artists to the presenter’s community.

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

Images: Fidel Nadal. Credit: Courtesy of Odelia Artists; Francisco, El Hombre. Credit: JEFF Properties; Sofía Viola. Credit: Courtesy of Odelia Artists; Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores. Credit: Mario Aguilera; Teatro y Su Doble. Credit: Elio Frugone Pina.

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
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
410.539.6656 x104