USArtists International 2016-2017
Round Two Grants Announced

Over $276,000 Awarded to 25 U.S. Artists and Ensembles

Baltimore, MD – March 14, 2017 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced grants totaling $276,450 to three theater, 12 dance, and 10 music ensembles from across the United States to support their engagements at 28 festivals in 17 countries around the globe through the second of three grant rounds of the 2017 USArtists International (USAI) program.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have partnered to support USAI for over ten years. This year, MAAF welcomes new support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for support of artists from the Chicago area, and the Howard Gilman Foundation for support of New York City-based organizations. Additionally, the NEA is providing increased support for the first time to artists invited to perform at festivals in Cuba.

USAI is the only national initiative in the United States solely devoted to supporting performances by American artists at important international cultural festivals and arts marketplaces. USAI provides grants to ensembles and individual performers in dance, music, and theatre, resulting in the promotion of international cultural exchange and the creative and professional development of U.S.-based artists. In total, the program has awarded over $4.53 million to 460+ ensembles and solo performers since its inception in 2006.

Supported engagements often lead to new career and creative opportunities. Bach Aria Soloists, Inc. (BAS) of Kansas City, MO received USAI funding to perform at The Thailand International Composition Festival in July 2016.  They had this to say about their experience: “The first goal was to perform the Asian premiere of Dialogue by Narong Prangcharoen. Not only did BAS achieve this – but a week before the festival they learned that time had been provided for them to present a full concert. They were the only musicians that featured any work other than that by living composers. One Thai composer came up to Elizabeth Suh Lane after the performance and said she thought that their concert was the first time any musicians had performed Baroque music in the Baroque style in Thailand. The second goal was to perform BachReach at a school in the region. BAS took BachReach to the Ban Bowin School for 775 students and about 25 teachers. There was an interpreter that moderated the question/answer period. The students had many questions prepared and were very excited to attend the performance. The experience was truly inspirational. The children were from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and ages.The overall outcome is that BAS is now well known and respected by the top composers from all over the world. Many new artistic collaborations have been suggested both by composers that wish to write a piece for BAS and by individuals that wish to see BAS perform in their city. BAS is anxious to do more touring after this very positive experience, and is inspired to do more musical outreach in other countries as a representative of the United States.”

According to the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, a project of the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. arts and cultural exports have expanded in recent years, yielding a $24 billion trade surplus in 2013. Of that $24 billion, performing arts and works by independent artists generated $1.7 billion. Activities such as those supported by USAI have not only creative and cultural exchange benefits, but an economic impact as well.

The latest round of USAI grantees are a mix of emerging and established companies that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines:

  • Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, New York, NY performing at the Macao Arts Festival, China
  • Bridgman/Packer Dance, Valley Cottage, NY performing at New Baltic Dance, Lithuania
  • Cantus, Minneapolis, MN performing at The Busan Choral Festival & Competition, South Korea
  • Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN performing at the Cradle of Creativity, International Association for Theatre for Children & Young People, South Africa
  • The Claudia Quintet, Binghamton, NY performing at the TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Canada
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York, NY performing at Days of Dance Festival, Poland
  • Dorrance Dance, New York, NY performing at Colours International Dance Festival, Germany
  • Full Radius Dance, Atlanta, GA performing at A Different Look, Spain
  • Giordano Dance Chicago, Chicago, IL performing at the International Baltic Ballet Festival, Latvia
  • Guillermo Galindo, Berkeley, CA performing at documenta 14, Germany and documenta 14 Athens, Greece
  • Dan Hurlin, New York, NY performing at The Holland Festival, Netherlands
  • Hubbard Street Dance, Chicago, IL performing at International Dance Days, Germany
  • International Contemporary Ensemble, Brooklyn, NY performing at Festival Extension and Festival of Musics, France
  • John Jota Leanos, San Francisco, CA performing at the Ibero-American Capital of Culture Festival, Portugal
  • The Knights, Brooklyn, NY performing at Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, France
  • Kontras Quartet, Evanston, IL performing at Vrystaat Arts Festival, South Africa
  • Mark Morris Dance Group, Brooklyn, NY performing at Sgt. Pepper at 50, United Kingdom
  • Martha Graham Dance Company, New York, NY performing at New Baltic Dance, Lithuania
  • Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble, New York, NY performing at the Festival of the Caribbean, Cuba
  • Pan-Pacific Ensemble, Pullman, WA performing at the Thailand International Composition Festival, Thailand
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh, PA performing at The BBC Proms, United Kingdon; Rheingau Music Festival, Germany; and Salzburg Festival, Austria.
  • Postcommodity, Santa Fe, NM performing at documenta 14 Athens, Greece
  • Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY performing at Let’s Dance International Frontiers, United Kingdom
  • Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Jenkintown, PA performing at the International Ukrainian Dance and Culture Festival, Ukraine
  • Nate Wooley, Brooklyn, NY performing at the Victoriaville International Festival of Current Music, Canada

MAAF convened a panel via teleconference on January 30-31, 2017 to review applications in dance, music and theater. The panel consisted of experienced artists and arts professionals as well as lay-panelists. For a complete list of panelists, please click here.

The final grant application deadline for USAI 2017 is April 5, 2017 for projects taking place between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Information about the USAI program, guidelines, current grantees, and the online application can be accessed 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. 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.

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. The Foundation is the largest private funder of arts and culture in Illinois, awarding more than $11 million in grants annually to more than 300 Chicago arts groups, mostly in general operating support, part of its overall Chicago Commitment. Learn more at

About the Howard Gilman Foundation
Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City.