A group of dancers face the back of the stage with an empty house behind them. Some are in wheelchairs, some on crutches, and some stand.

USArtists International Announces Over $290,000
in Grant Support



Baltimore, MD – July 13, 2020 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced over $290,000 in grant support to 31 ensembles and solo performers who will represent the United States at 33 different festivals around the globe through the third round of USArtists International’s (USAI) 2020 program year. USAI grantees will travel to six continents and perform in 26 countries. Grantees include 12 dance, 15 music, and four theater companies and solo performers. At the time of this press release, engagements are moving forward with confirmed travel arrangements and artists and their hosts taking necessary health precautions to ensure a successful engagement.

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. The program extends the reach and impact of professional artists dependent on touring for continued sustainability and career advancement. Since its inception in 2006, USAI has awarded over $7.89 million through 1021 grants to 609 ensembles and solo performers. Guidelines for the 2021 program will be available in late July.

USAI is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Howard Gilman Foundation for support of New York City-based organizations.

The USAI 2020 round three grantees include a mix of emerging and established companies that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines. 58% of the round three grantees are new to the USAI program and this is the first time Rhode Island has been represented. The USAI 2020 round three grantees are:
 

  • The Alonso Brothers, NY: Art With Me, Mexico
  • Ami Dang, MD: Amok, Belgium
  • Ben Wendel High Heart, NY: Jazz Onze+ Festival, Switzerland and NueJazz Festival, Germany
  • BODYART, CA: SIBU International Dance Festival, Malaysia
  • BODYTRAFFIC, CA: Belgrade Dance Festival, Serbia
  • Caborca, NY: Folds and Unfolds, Colombia
  • Chaksampa Tibetan Dance & Opera Company, CA: Tibetan Shoton Festival, India
  • Degenerate Art Ensemble, WA: International Festival of Contemporary Dance Mexico City, Mexico
  • Dell’Arte International, CA: Mitambo International Theatre Festival, Zimbabwe
  • DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion, CA: International Festival of Santa Lucia, Mexico
  • Ekmeles, NY: Ars Musica, Belgium
  • Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, NY: Woza Africa Festival, South Africa
  • Full Radius Dance, GA: International Festival for Inclusive Dance Art, Germany
  • Hub New Music, MA: Alba International Music Festival, Italy
  • International Contemporary Ensemble, NY: Dark Music Days, Iceland
  • Island Moving Company, RI: International Dance Festival San Nicola, Italy
  • The Jamie Baum Septet+, NY: Kathmandu Jazz Festival, Nepal
  • Josanne Francis Septet, MD: The Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, Haiti
  • Kayla Farrish Decent Structures Arts, NY: EDANCO International Contemporary Dance Festival, Dominican Republic
  • Kevin Spencer, VA: Atta Festival, Turkey
  • Leonardo Suarez Paz’s PIAZZOLLA 100, NY: Centennial of Astor Piazzolla Festival, Argentina
  • The Makanda Project featuring Chico Freeman, MA: Outreachmusic Festival, AustriaNick Photinos, IL: Dots+Loops, Australia
  • Portland Percussion Group, OR: Gaida Festival, Lithuania
  • Tasha Smith Godinez, CA: Buenos Aires Harp Week, Argentina
  • Taylor Mac, NY: Bergen International Festival, Norway
  • Third Coast Percussion, IL: Salve Musica, Lithuania
  • Tom Lee, IL: Pesta Boneka, Indonesia
  • Van-Anh Vo & Blood Moon Orchestra, CA: HOZO Ho Chi Minh City International Music Festival, Vietnam
  • WaxFactory, NY: Cankarjev Dom/SCENE Festival, Slovenia and Croatian Cultural Center/ProgramPlus Festival, Croatia
  • YJastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, NM: Festival of Jerez, Spain  


Supported engagements promote the vibrant diversity of American artists, expand opportunity and exposure to international audiences, and enhance creative and professional development of U.S. artists by providing connections with presenters, curators, and artists around the world. Following their engagement at the Matik-Matik Festival in Colombia in early March 2020, The Young Mothers of Austin, TX had this to say about their experience: “This engagement was incredibly important for everyone involved! Firstly, the musicians in The Young Mothers…established new bonds with the audience in Colombia. The festival had an amazing informal vibe while still keeping the music focused and at a surprisingly high level. This informality allowed all the members of The Young Mothers to mingle with audience and meet fans, other musicians from the region (many from throughout Colombia) and critics, writers, presenters. This part of the festival interaction felt important and will undoubtedly helped us establish deep bonds with the people of Bogotá and beyond. Secondly, we started a new collaboration with the Bogotá band EL Ombligo. This interaction will be documented on the Matik Matik label later this year.”  

MAAF convened two panels via video conference on May 26 and 27, 2020 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.  

Photo: USAI supported The Dancing Wheels Company of Ohio at the 2019 Luminous Festival in China. While there, the ensemble held a workshop with 40 aspiring dancers with disabilities. Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

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 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
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 www.mellon.org.  

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. howardgilmanfoundation.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 Foundation 
karen@midatlanticarts.org