Newsletter Header. Four horizontal rows of purple circle across a rectangle.  The Mid Atlantic Arts logo sits in the top left corner in white and bright yellow.  The word NEWS stretches across the circles with a circle to the left calling out OCT 2023.

Juan Souki Named Executive Director

of Mid Atlantic Arts

Earlier this week, the Board of Directors of Mid Atlantic Arts announced that Juan Souki will join the organization as Executive Director effective November 1, 2023. Juan succeeds Theresa Colvin who retired in May of 2023 after six years as Director.

Juan Souki comes to Mid Atlantic Arts from Odelia Artists where, in his role as Director, he championed innovative, breakthrough programs connecting folk artists with new markets, introducing their work to prominent global presenters through cultural storytelling campaigns. During his tenure, he orchestrated international tours spanning over twenty-five states in the USA and twelve countries around the world, including collaborations with several organizations in the Mid Atlantic region such as The National Council for the Traditional Arts in Virginia, the AfroTaino collective in Pennsylvania, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in Maryland, The Smithsonian Center for folklife and cultural heritage in Washington, D.C., Princeton University Concerts in New Jersey, and globalFEST in New York.

Juan's past research and advocacy projects honor communities that have illustrated their survival process through transformative arts practices and have resulted in publications by the Taylor and Francis Journal of Theatre and Performance Design, as well as public speaking invitations by the APAP conference in New York City; The Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic; The Numoo Artists Development Initiative program at the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi; and multiple artist mentorship programs across the USA and Canada.

Mid Atlantic Arts worked with Creative Evolutions on a nationwide search process led by a board search committee co-chaired by Romona Riscoe Benson and Mara Manus. Juan will begin his tenure on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. He can be reached at

Image: Juan Souki. Credit: Ram Martínez.

Folks and Traditional Arts News

Central Appalachia Living Traditions Experiences

Deadline October 23rd!

Non-profit organizations and folk and traditional artists/practitioners in ARC-designated counties of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply for grant amounts from $1,000 to $10,000 through the Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) Folk & Traditional Arts Experiences grant program. The deadline is Monday, October 23rd.

CALT Experiences grants fund public-facing projects and events that bring community members together around folk and traditional arts practice and cultural knowledge. Funded projects encourage broad public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of living traditions and/or grow and disseminate artistic skill and cultural knowledge within the community. Because this program intends to diversify and expand the types of folk arts and cultural activities available in communities throughout the region, applications must be for new projects or projects that expand and/or diversify existing programming.  

Learn more and apply here.

Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellows Announced!

An image of blue mountains beneath an orange sky with the National Association of Black Storytellers logo at the top. Below are headshots for each six fellows.

Mid Atlantic Arts' recently announced recipients of the 2023-2024 Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship in partnership with the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS) and South Arts.

Congratulations to:

  • Kentucky: Andrew Baskin, Madison County
  • North Carolina: Ronnie W. Pepper, Henderson County
  • Ohio: Lyn Ford, Columbiana County
  • Tennessee: Kelle Jolly, Knox County
  • Virginia: L. Renée: Author, Tazewell County
  • West Virginia: Aristotle Jones, Cabell and Monongalia County

Fellows receive $5,000 to support Black Appalachian storytelling practices, research, performances, and documentation. Fellows will also receive support to attend the 41st Annual National "In the Tradition..." Black Storytelling Festival and Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, from November 8-12 and will receive a year-long membership to the organization.

The National Association of Black Storytellers awards the Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowships  to honor, celebrate, and support Black storytellers representing Appalachian Regional Commission-designated counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The goals of this fellowship program are to preserve and expand the understanding of Black Appalachian storytelling traditions that embody the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans, and to build bridges through intergenerational opportunities.

ArtsCONNECT and Special Presenter Initiatives Guidelines Available

Guidelines have been posted for the 2024-2025 ArtsCONNECT and Special Presenter Initiatives programs. The Project period for ArtsCONNECT and Special Presenter Initiatives supported projects is July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025. Applications for both programs will open later this fall with deadlines in March of 2024.

ArtsCONNECT provides funding support toward diverse and robust live performing arts engagements for all audiences and communities across the mid-Atlantic region. Active participation for presenters of all sizes is encouraged. Learn more at our informational webinar on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

The Special Presenter Initiatives support the presentation of professional performing artists/ensembles at small and mid-size arts and community organizations based in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, West Virginia, and the Federally recognized Native nations that share this geography. The Special Presenter Initiatives will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

USArtists InternationaI NEA Report

Color Cover Page of the Crossing Borders NEA Report.

The National Endowment for the Arts recently shared a report on our  USArtists International  (USAI) program, a critical program supporting US artists' transformative performance opportunities abroad. This long-awaited report was published by the NEA research team as a result of collaboration with a third-party research firm and in consultation with Mid Atlantic Arts' USAI staff since 2019. The report summarizes the USAI Annual Survey Report published in 2022  and  features stories of six artists who have benefited from USAI support. 

USAI remains a singular national initiative for performing artists seeking support to grow their careers outside of the United States and develop new relationships with audiences and communities through cultural exchange. Crossing Borders through Cultural Exchange takes a look at why USAI is so important and how it helps artists reach new audiences and build their creative practice. The case studies highlight six performing arts groups who have participated in USAI over the past couple of years and provide a glimpse into how they used USAI funding, the benefits they experienced as a result of this support, and the impact of that support on their work and growth.

Performing artists from across the US and its territories are eligible for support through USAI. The next application deadline is Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

Living Legacy Jazz Award Tickets Still Available!

Color tile of drummer Billy Hart with the words 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO 11.2.2023 Kimmel Center Philadelphia PA.

Tickets are still available to the 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO

honoring the 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Awardee Billy Hart. Join us on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at the Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia from 7:00-9:30pm.

Guests will enjoy a Bubbles and Bites Dessert Reception (includes bubbles & beer/wine bar and a full dessert buffet) plus an extra-special treat later in the evening following the Award Ceremony and celebration of Billy Hart.

Tickets are available on eventbrite.

Art has the power to connect communities, bridge divides, and transform lives. When you  make a gift to Mid Atlantic, you not only support the artists and organizations in our region, but you also ensure that thousands of community members have access to meaningful and inspiring art.  

Our programs, whether international or regional, promote accessibility. We know that not everyone can formally access art as patron or ticket-buyer and not all organizations are able to host touring artists, which is why we often build-in additional community engagement activities for many of our programs.

Mid Atlantic supported artists not only present their work on stages around the globe—they also engage local schools, community centers, and neighborhoods to effect real change in real people.

Now, we need your support and commitment to continue to do this impactful work.  Please help us make our fall fundraising goal of $10,000 by making a gift at one of the suggested giving levels below.

Donate Today

Opportunity Quick Links

Color photo of a large airy gallery with a display of basket work.
  • The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is inviting applications for its FY25 General Operating Support (GOS), General Program Support (GPS), and Projects Serving Artists (PSA) Grant Programs. GOS grants provide annual support for the overall operations of organizations with missions exclusively devoted to the arts and which meet the Council’s eligibility criteria. GPS grants provide support for the arts-related costs of full-time, ongoing, public arts programs that meet the Arts Council’s eligibility criteria. The PSA grant program provides support to help eligible organizations cover costs for technical support or services to artists who reside in New Jersey or whose work benefits New Jersey residents. Deadline: December 12, 2023 by 12 PM EST.
  • The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery invite applications to its premier fellowship program. Scholars from any discipline whose research engages the art, craft, and visual culture of the United States are encouraged to apply, as are those who foreground new perspectives, materials, and methodologies. Deadline: November 1, 2023.
  • VIA Art Fund invites applications for the spring 2024 award cycle of its Artistic Production grant program. Artistic Production grants are awarded to individual artists, nonprofit organizations, and institutions to support new artistic commissions outside museum or gallery walls, within the public realm, or in non-traditional exhibition environments. Eligible applicants include artists, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions, art production platforms, and biennials or festivals working in contemporary art in the United States and internationally. Letters of Inquiry Deadline: November 9, 2023.
  • The Women’s Studio Workshop invites applications for its Art-in-Education Artist’s Book Residency, which operates with the Kingston City School District. The eight-to-10-week residency is awarded to two artists to create a new artist’s book and teach young people in WSW’s studios. Deadline: November 15, 2023.
  • Saratoga Arts invites applications for its arts education grants program, which will provide grants of up to $5,000 to support arts education projects in public Pre-K-12 schools and community-based arts education projects in Fulton, Montgomery, and Saratoga Counties of New York. These projects must consist of “hands-on” learning in at least 3 separate sessions to ensure that learners of all ages are exposed to art in new ways. Deadline: November 28, 2023.
  • Stochastic Labs awards fully sponsored residencies to exceptional engineers, artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs worldwide. Residencies are of variable length and include a private apartment at the mansion, co-working and/or dedicated workspace, shop access (laser cutter, 3D printer, etc.), a monthly stipend, and a budget for materials. Residents become part of Stochastic’s creative community, participating in weekly dinners and invitation events. Residents may apply as individuals or as teams. Deadline: October 3, 2024.

Image: Installation shot featuring Steve Carty's baskets in the Sally D. Francisco Gallery at Peters Valley School of Craft; "Traditional Basketry & Beyond - An Exhibition with Artist Steven R. Carty." Credit: Emily Haag.

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