USArtists International Announces Over $380,000 in
Support of 29 Artist Engagements Worldwide

Worldwide Stages Begin to Reopen and U.S. Artists Return to Touring

Eight members of the Jazz House Collective stand outside of a venue in front of a Bahrain Jazz Festival step and repeat backdrop.  They are all dressed casually and have their arms around each others shoulders.f

Photo: The JAZZ HOUSE Collective of Montclair, NJ headlined the 2021 Bahrain Jazz Fest with support from USArtists International. Credit: Courtesy of the Artist.

Baltimore – March 17, 2022 – Mid Atlantic Arts has announced grants totaling $381,510 to 29 solo performing artists and ensembles in support of the second round of USArtists International (USAI). The artists represent 10 states and will travel to 35 different festivals and arts markets around the globe. The grantee pool includes the first engagement in Cabo Verde and the first USAI artist from Puerto Rico.

USAI supports performances by American artists at engagements at international festivals and global presenting arts marketplaces outside of the United States. In an effort to remain flexible to the needs of the field as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, USAI currently accepts applications for funding to support virtual performances as well as eligible in-person engagements. The program funds individuals and ensembles across all performing arts practices and disciplines.

Mid Atlantic Arts is committed to the development and expansion of both the careers and artistic goals of U.S. performers by providing connections to audiences, presenters, curators, and their peers through the USAI program. By elevating the voices that reflect a vibrant array of creative expression, we are able to celebrate and share the diversity and imagination of the United States.

The lives and livelihoods of U.S. performing artists have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with almost all work and touring coming to a complete halt in 2020. As the world begins to open back up, USAI is helping to support artists’ return to stages worldwide, impacting both creative and economic returns in the U.S. and abroad.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. It is the only program of its kind in the United States, and since its inception in 2006, has awarded over $9 million in support.

The next deadline for USAI is Wednesday, March 30, 2022 for projects taking place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Grantees are a mix of dance, music, and theater artists that showcase a diversity of styles within their disciplines and include:

In addition to building audiences and professional connections, USAI also helps advance cultural understanding. NJ-based JAZZ HOUSE Collective traveled to Bahrain in December of 2021 to participate in the Bahrain Jazz Fest and had this to say in their final report, “All of us at the JAZZ HOUSE Collective are most appreciative for USAI’s generous support. It is not easy to garner the support needed to venture into unchartered territory. As such, it is rare that as artists we get to be a part of a cultural exchange in a country for which jazz has little to no presence. As jazz ambassadors, we felt the awesome responsibility and legacy of representing this music abroad as Dizzy Gillespie first did in 1955 with the first U.S. State Department tour. The opportunity to travel across the globe to a Gulf state and learn about Islamic people and culture was priceless. There is much we do not understand about this culture and its people. Jazz has always served as a unifier; by going into the schools and performing at the jazz festival, we used jazz as a tool to build bridges. The students and musicians who were involved will “play it forward” where they live. We, in turn, took home a wider cultural view of the world.”

USAI grantees are selected through a panel process. Mid Atlantic Arts convened two panels to review the Round Two applicants on January 26 and 27, 2022. Both the Dance/Theater and Music panels consisted of experienced artists and arts professionals as well as a lay-panelist. For a complete list of panelists, please click here.

About Mid Atlantic Arts 

Mid Atlantic Arts supports artists, presenters, and organizations through unique programming, grant support, partnerships, and information sharing. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is aligned with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. We combine state and federal funding with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to nurture diverse artistic expression while connecting people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. To learn more about Mid Atlantic Arts visit www.midatlanticarts.org.

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. www.arts.gov

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Additional information is available at www.mellon.org.

About the Trust for Mutual Understanding

The Trust for Mutual Understanding awards grants to American nonprofit organizations to support direct exchange in the arts and the environment between professionals from the United States and TMU’s geographic region: the Baltic States; Central Asia; Central, East, Southeast Europe; Mongolia; and Russia. www.tmuny.org

Contact:
Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts 
karen@midatlanticarts.org
410.539.6656 x104