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$125,000 in Grants Awarded to Bring Performing Artists from Latin America to Communities Across the United States   


Baltimore, MD – August 22, 2016 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have announced grants through the 2016-2017 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.

“The value of cultural exchange cannot be overstated,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Experiencing another country’s artistic expressions forges special bonds between peoples and offers occasions for honoring our differences and celebrating our similarities.”

Alan Cooper, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Executive Director commented, “Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America is a vital link connecting artists of Latin America with communities across the United States. Southern Exposure expands a priority commitment of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in providing access to international artists for American audiences.”

MAAF and the NEA have made awards totaling $125,000 to 39 organizations across the United States to bring these remarkable companies to their towns and cities:

Elizabeth Rodri­guez: Radicales Libres (Chile)
Elizabeth Rodriguez trained as an engineer while studying dance at University of Arcis, and her work often incorporates original set designs evoking principles of physics and engineering. “Radicales Libres” or “Free Radicals” features a light box she designed in which the performance by Rodriguez and four additional dancers, of varying ages, takes place. Through their movement, they gradually create a sculptural body, under a similarly sculpted pulsing light installation. Using distinctive and original choreography, “Radicales Libres” experiments with and reflects on the passage of time and the effect on bodies, memory, and identity.

Elizabeth Rodríguez will visit:

> Long Island City, NY
> Staten Island, NY

Herencia de Timbiqui­ (Colombia)
Herencia de Timbiquí works to preserve the ancestral roots of the marimba de chonta, and traditional instruments such as the bombo, cununos and the guasá and combines them with a powerful band, including energetic vocals, brass, keyboards, and guitar. The currulao ensemble features exceptional hand percussion on drums that resemble West African djembes, beautifully honoring traditional regional music styles. The ensemble has performed throughout South and Central America, in Europe and at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Herencia de Timbiquí will visit:

> Redlands, CA > Charleston, IL > Twisp, WA
> Hollywood, FL > Albuquerque, NM > Whitewater, WI
> Fort  Lauderdale, FL > Flushing, NY
> Orange City, IA > Tulsa, OK

La Yegros (Argentina)
La Yegros is at the forefront of the Argentinian Nu-Cumbia genre, incorporating and placing a modern lens on Chamamé, Carnavalito and many other Argentine folk genres less familiar to international audiences. Produced by “Fuerza Bruta” producer King Coya, her singing cuts through the male-dominated contemporary cumbia scene, drawing on both deep folk traditions and cutting edge beats. The electro-folklore artist has toured extensively internationally, but only made her U.S. debut last year.

La Yegros will visit:

> Grass Valley, CA > Placitas, NM
> Arden, DE > New York, NY
> Cambridge, MA > Madison, WI
> Wayne, NJ

Silencio Blanco: Chiflón: el silencio de carbón (Chile)
The puppetry ensemble Silencio Blanco is known for working with white marionettes, constructed with a newspaper base, that perform in silence; no dialogue is used and the marionettes do not speak. Human experiences are represented through everyday situations and familiar gestures. Bunraku and marionette puppeteers transmit the human movement through the puppet, evoking illusion and suspended belief so that it appears as if even the heartbeat of the characters can be heard. “Chiflón, el silencio del carbón” or “Chiflón, the silence of coal,” is the company’s third work and explores the story of a young miner forced to find work in one of the most dangerous mines in Chile after the mine where he worked collapses. High imagination and modest scale conspire to create a greatly accessible and deeply engaging puppet work for adults and ages 10+.

Silencio Blanco will visit:

> Los Angeles, CA > Somerville, NJ
> Miami Beach, FL > New York, NY
> Chicago, IL > Portland, OR
> College Park, MD > Lewisburg, PA

Troker (Mexico)
Troker is a world-class band with a distinctive groove that mixes jazz, rock, funk, and a Mexican touch; their electric and eclectic energy can bring an audience to its feet. Troker arrived on the Guadalajaran jazz scene in 2004 and the ensemble has only become more innovative with time. The six-piece group has created a blend of the composed and the improvised, where metal riffage merges with powerhouse funk drumming and DJ scratching, and horn lines pulled from jazz and the mariachi tradition of the band’s homeland. Growing in international stature, the band has four award winning albums and has performed at 80 international engagements during the last two years.

Troker will visit:

> Tucson, AZ > Durango, CO > Hanover, NH
> Chico, CA > New Haven, CT > Huntingdon, PA
> San Francisco, CA > Frostburg, MD > Reading, PA
> San Jose, CA > Salisbury, MD > Columbia, SC

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 2016-2017 curators included Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; Sergio Arbeláez Ospina, Manager and Artistic Director for Guadalajara International Music Fair and Director de Contenidos for Colombian music market, Circulart in Mexico; and Carmen Romero, Director of Teatro a Mil Foundation and the Santiago a Mil International Festival in Chile. 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 2017-2018 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. Established in 1979 the Foundation is one of six regional arts organizations in the United States. The Foundation primarily serves the states and territories of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia. It also works nationally and internationally. 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.