USArtists International Announces over $477,000 in Round Three Grants

Largest Round of Support in the History of the Program

Baltimore, MD – June 20, 2019 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced 48 grants totaling $477,900 to 16 dance, 23 music, and nine theater companies and solo performers from across the United States. Engagements will take place at 63 festivals in 32 countries around the globe through the third and final grant round of the 2019 USArtists International (USAI) program.

This round is a landmark for the program reaching historic levels across the board, attesting to USAI’s value in developing American artists and fostering international cultural exchange. The number of grants increased from 38 to 48

  • The number of grants increased from 38 to 48
  • The total funding increased from $341,610 to $477,900 
  • The number of applications increased from 104 to 118
  • The number of countries artists will visit increased from 27 to 32
  • The number of states represented in the grantee pool increased from 12 to 15

Of the new grant program records, MAAF’s Executive Director Theresa Colvin said, “We are so pleased to be able to offer this level of support to U.S. performing artists traveling abroad. The commitment of the USAI funders to this program, and their willingness to expand their support, allows for incredibly transformative experiences for both artist and audience alike.”

The first deadline of the 2020 cycle is September 5, 2019 for projects taking place between December 15, 2019 and December 14, 2020. The online application will be available in July 2019 and 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 $7.09 million through 937 grants to 556 ensembles and solo performers since its inception in 2006.

Supported engagements often lead to additional opportunities and engagements. Monika Herzig’s Sheroes, an ensemble of seven female jazz artists from Indiana, received a 2019 USAI grant to perform at the Jazz Tales Festival in Egypt and the Women in Jazz Festival in Germany. In their final report, they stated that “We were able to collaborate with an Egyptian singer-songwriter, Youssra El Hawary, and her band for the concerts at the Jazz Tales Festival in Egypt on the request of the promoter. We performed one of her pieces and one of our pieces together for sell-out crowds in Cairo and Alexandria and we were able to learn about her musical styles and idiosyncrasies, which were new to us. In addition, we provided a workshop for the local musicians in Egypt and were able to expand the jazz language to unique instruments, such as the Oud. The promoter will book us again for future editions of the festival and collaborate with the Cairo Jazz Festival on expanding the number of performances and workshops. During our time in Germany, we were able to showcase at the Jazz Ahead gathering in Bremen and caught the attention of several members of the European Festival Organization. As a result we will be invited for the Belgrave Jazz Festival, the Canarias Jazz & Mas Heineken Fest, and the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton. At the Women in Jazz Festival in Halle we performed a double bill with German saxophonist Alexandra Lehmler and her group, a most inspiring artistic experience as her music truly crosses boundaries. And we were able to add the Theaterhaus Stuttgart Jazztage Festival during our stay with a most successful performance to a packed Theaterhaus in a double bill with the NDR Big Band.”

USAI grantees include a mix of emerging and established artists that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines. Third round 2019 grantees include:

  • Aaron Nigel Smith, OR: Rototom Sunsplash, Spain
  • Abraham.In.Motion, NY: Colours International Dance Festival, Germany; Grec Festival of Barcelona, Spain; and International Dance Festival Italica, Spain
  • Andrew Schneider, NY: Grec Festival of Barcelona, Spain
  • Apple Hill String Quartet, NH: Fidelio Trio Winter Chamber Music Festival, Ireland
  • Axam Dance Theatre Experience, GA: Re:generations, United Kingdom
  • The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, PA: Bachfest Leipzig, Germany
  • Belinda McGuire Dance Projects, NY: International Festival of Contemporary Dance (EDANCO), Dominican Republic
  • Ben Wendel Seasons Band, NY: Langnau Jazz Nights Festival, Switzerland and Loule Jazz Festival, Portugal
  • Blue Heron, MA: Early Music Days, Germany
  • Chaksampa Tibetan Dance & Opera Company, CA: Tibetan Shoton Festival, India
  • The Crossing, PA: Choral Biennale, The Netherlands
  • The Dancing Wheels Company, OH: Luminous Festival, China
  • Deborah Abel Dance Company, MA: International Contemporary Dance Festival Lila Lopez, Mexico
  • Dorrance Dance, NY: Brisbane Festival, Australia
  • Double Edge Theatre, MA: Porsgrunn International Theater Festival, Norway
  • Emmanuel Music, MA: Leipzig Bachfest, Germany
  • Fanna-Fi-Allah, CA: Esperanzah, Belgium; Festival of Culture, France; and Lands End Festival, France
  • Greg Ward’s Rogue Parade, IL: Festival Jazz International Nijmegen and Jazz International Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Half Straddle, NY: Mladi Levi Festival, Slovenia and Noorderzon Festival. The Netherlands
  • Hedwig Dances, IL: Festival stage TOTAL, Germany
  • Heidi Latsky Dance, NY: High Fest International Performing Arts Festival, Armenia
  • Heidi Duckler Dance, CA: LOFT International Contemporary Dance Festival, Chile
  • Hilary Chaplain, NY: International Puppet Theatre for Adults Festival, Bulgaria
  • Homer’s Coat, NY: Carthage Theatre Days, Tunisia
  • Houston METdance, TX: SIBU International Dance Festival, Malaysia
  • JACK Quartet, NY: International Music Festival NOW!, Germany; Milano Musica, Italy; and Strings of Autumn, Czechia
  • Jason Samuels Smith & Company, NY: Belgrade Dance Festival, Serbia
  • Joe Chambers & M’Boom, NC: Bologna Jazz Festival, Italy and Culture Autumn Schliersee, Germany
  • Joseph Keckler, NY: Fierce Festival, United Kingdom
  • Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole with Shawn Pimental, HI: Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival, New Zealand
  • Kina Zore, MA: Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe
  • Linda May Han Oh, NY: Jazz Jantar Festival, Poland and Plovdiv Jazz Fest, Bulgaria
  • Los Angeles Master Chorale, CA: Audi Summer Concerts, Germany and Salzburg Festival, Austria
  • Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider, NY: Cervantino Festival, Mexico
  • Miguel Zenón Quartet, NY: Jazz Plaza Festival, Cuba
  • Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, MN: Guitar-Festival Iserlohn, Germany
  • Miramar, VA: Fourviere Nights, France
  • Nora Chipaumire, NY: Dance in August, Germany; La Batie-Festival of Geneva, Switzerland; and Zurcher Theater Spektakel, Switzerland
  • Pacific Mambo Orchestra, CA: Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
  • Parangal Dance Company, CA: World Music and Dance Festival, Japan
  • Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, NY: Kulturufer Festival, Germany and Tel Aviv Dance at the Suzanne Dellal Center, Israel
  • PHILADANCO!, PA: Landgraf International Festival, Germany
  • Ranky Tanky, SC: North Sea Jazz Festival, The Netherlands; Rudolstadt Festival. Germany; and Water Music: Black Atlantic Revisited, Germany
  • Somi, NY: Autumn Jazz Festival, France
  • Tempesta di Mare, PA: Magdeburg Telemann Festival, Germany
  • Thaddeus Phillips, PA: Aurora Nova, United Kingdom
  • Theater Breaking through Barriers, NY: International Theatre Festival of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Croatia
  • Trisha Brown Dance Company, NY: Edinburgh International Festival, United Kingdom

MAAF convened two panels via teleconference on May 20-21, 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 Actor’s Gang (CA) cast photo of The New Colossus, which opened the Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival in Chile in January 2019 with support from USAI. Credit: Ashley Randall Photography.

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.

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation