Baltimore, MD – March 6, 2019 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced 37 grants totaling $336,910  to 11 dance, 18 music, and eight theater companies and solo performers from across the United States. Engagements will take place at 33 festivals in 25 countries around the globe through the second of three grant rounds of the 2019 USArtists International (USAI) program. The third and final deadline of the 2019 cycle is April 3, 2019 for projects taking place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The online application can be accessed here.
USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for support of artists from the Chicago area, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Howard Gilman Foundation for support of New York City-based organizations.
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 abroad. USAI provides grants to ensembles and individual performers in dance, music, and theater, resulting in the promotion of international cultural exchange and the creative and professional development of U.S. artists. In total, the program has awarded over $6.62 million through 889 grants to 528 ensembles and solo performers since its inception in 2006.
Supported engagements often lead to additional opportunities and engagements. Rivers of Sound Orchestra of New York received a 2019 USAI grant to perform at November Music in The Netherlands and Ars Musica in Belgium. In their final report, they stated that “Thanks to USAI’s generous support for Rivers of Sound’s performances at Ars Musica and November Music, I was able to create three additional engagements for the ensemble, including Bimhuis (Netherlands), De Bijloke (Gent), and the EFG London Jazz Festival. The latter represented a very significant development for Rivers of Sound. Not only was the 300 seat auditorium sold out, but the ensemble’s performance was broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now, reaching a potential audience of 100,000. Also, London Jazz Festival is largely an industry conference, attracting promoters and presenters from all over Europe, many of whom were in attendance for the Rivers of Sound performance and have expressed interest in hosting the ensemble in the future. Although London was not officially part of the USAI funded performances, this performance could not have happened without USAI support, and added significantly to the success of the tour.”
USAI grantees include a mix of emerging and established artists that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines. Second round 2019 grantees include:
  • Aszure Barton & Artists, CA: International Summer Festival Kampnagel, Germany
  • Ballet Hispanico, NY: Tel Aviv Dance, Israel
  • BANDALOOP, CA: World Summit on Arts and Culture, Malaysia
  • Basil Twist, NY: World Festival of Puppet Theater, France
  • Calliope Duo, TX: ASEAN Music Festival, China
  • David Novak, NC: Storyfest: International Storytelling Festival, Singapore
  • Deborah Hay Dance Company, TX: Dance in August, Germany
  • Ensemble Pamplemousse, CA: Musica: International Festival of Today’s Music, France
  • Evidence, A Dance Company, NY: Let’s Dance International Frontiers, United Kingdom
  • Gamelan Tunas Mekar, CO: Art and Culture Festival, Indonesia and Bali Art Festival, Indonesia
  • International Contemporary Ensemble, NY: Global Invasion Festival Berlin, Germany
  • J’Sun Howard, IL: New Dance Festival International Festival, South Korea
  • Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, NY: Brighton Festival, United Kingdom and Take Me Somewhere, United Kingdom
  • Jeff ‘Siege” Siegel Quintet featuring Feya Faku, NY: Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, South Africa
  • Kimberly Bartosik/daela, NY: SUPERSENSE Festival, Australia
  • Kina Zoré, MA: Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe
  • Kronos Quartet, CA: Espinho International Festival of Music, Portugal and Land without Shadow: Festival of the Lower Alentejo, Portugal
  • Las Aves, IN: International Sacred Music Festival, Ecuador
  • Lone Wolf Tribe, NY: Season of Unusual Theatre, Canada
  • Manual Cinema, IL: National Book Fair of Leon, Mexico
  • Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn, NY: Jewish Culture Festival, Poland
  • Miguel Gutierrez, NY: Montpellier Danse Festival, France
  • Monika Herzig’s Sheroes, IN: Jazz Tales Festival, Egypt and Women in Jazz Festival, Germany
  • Nick Lehane, NY: World Festival of Puppet Theater, France
  • Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, NY: Dresden Music Festival, Germany and Prague Spring Festival, Czechia
  • RudduR Dance, NY: June Fragments International Dance Festival, Ecuador
  • S.E.M. Ensemble, NY: Ostrava Days, Czechia
  • Sandbox Percussion, NY: Vale of Glamorgan Festival, United Kingdom
  • Sirius Quartet, NY: One Hand Festival, Germany
  • SITI Company, NY: The Theatre Olympics, Japan
  • So Percussion, NY: Cork Midsummer Festival, Ireland and Summer Nostos Festival, Greece
  • Stephen Petronio Company, NY: Montpellier Danse Festival, France
  • The Gottabees, MA: AHA! Festival, India
  • Theater Mitu, NY: MESS International Theater Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Third Coast Percussion, IL: Taiwan International Percussion Convention, Taiwan
  • Toomai String Quintet, NY: Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe
  • Vijay Iyer Trio, NY: Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Australia and Wellington Jazz Festival, Australia
MAAF convened two panels via teleconference on January 29-30, 2019 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.
In July 2018, MAAF completed a comprehensive evaluation of the USAI program from its inception in 2006 through 2017. Results of that report can be found here.
Photo: The Gottabees, seen here performing Lollipops for Breakfast, will perform at the AHA Festival in India through USAI 2019. Photo Credit: Liz Linder.
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.
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. Additional information is available 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.
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 $9 million in grants annually to more than 300 Chicago arts groups, mostly in general operating support, as part of its overall Chicago Commitment. Learn more at
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.