November 2019
USArtists International Announces 2020 First Round Grants
Black and white image of five casually dressed men standing in a European pedestrian street surrounded by buildings.
MAAF has announced over $183,000 in grant support to 20 ensembles and solo performers who will represent the U.S. at 24 different festivals around the globe through the first round of USArtists International (USAI) 2020.

USAI grantees will travel to six continents and perform in 19 countries. Grantees represent nine states and include a mix of emerging and established companies and soloists that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines. Fourteen of the 20 grantees are new to the USAI program.

USAI is the only national initiative in the U.S. solely devoted to supporting performances by American artists at important international cultural festivals and arts marketplaces abroad.   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 $7.27 million through 957 grants to 570 ensembles and solo performers.
The next deadline of the 2020 cycle is November 22, 2019 for projects taking place between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021. The final deadline of the 2020 grant round is April 1, 2020. The online application can be accessed  here .  

Image: The Young Mothers of Austin, TX will perform at the Matik-Matik Festival in Colombia with support from USAI 2020. Credit: Peter Gannushkin.
ArtsCONNECT Applicants - Important Changes for 2020!
Three women holding stringed instruments stand in front of a faded blue wooden building.
ArtsCONNECT supports projects developed collaboratively by a consortium of presenters within the mid-Atlantic region, jointly booking a touring artist. Each presenter in a consortium may request funding of up to 50% of the negotiated artist fee for the project, not to exceed $10,000.
MAAF recently conducted a full program evaluation to see how ArtsCONNECT can better serve presenters in our region. Here are the key changes we are implementing this year:
  • A new set of review criteria: ArtsCONNECT will focus on mission impact, artistry, community benefit, and outreach as the core measures to evaluate its projects
  • A tiered funding structure for presenters of all sizes: ArtsCONNECT projects will be supported in three funding tiers - Projects with artist fees of $5,000 or below; Projects with artist fees between $5,001 and $15,000; And projects with artist fees of $15,001 or above. 
  • A listing that will include all projects in development: The Projects In Development listing supports ArtsCONNECT’s partner-seeking process and connects presenters across the mid-Atlantic region with each other. Submission to the listing is required.
We suggest that all applicants attend an ArtsCONNECT webinar. The next webinar is Thursday, December 12. You can register here .
Deadlines for 2020-2021 projects:
Projects in Development Listing Submission Deadline: February 21, 2020
Final Application Deadline: March 13, 2020

Image: HEAR in NOW, featuring Mazz Swift, Silvia Bolognesi, and Tomeka Reid, are touring through ArtsCONNECT 2019-2020. Credit: Nisha Sondhe Photography.
Jazz Touring Network Launches First Commissioning Project
Founded over 18 years ago, the Jazz Touring Network (JTN) is breaking new ground in 2020 by premiering their first collective commissioning project. Commissioning and presenting new work has been a long time goal for the JTN. In 2018, lead presenter James Lemons from the Lake Placid Performing Arts Center and several other JTN host sites began dreaming up their first project. For their inaugural undertaking, they chose to commission drummer and composer, Allison Miller . Allison is currently working on a new suite titled “In Our Veins: Rivers and Social Change,” a historical reimagining of social movements and rivers through music, dance, and video. The completed piece will premier in Lake Placid in NY on January 23, 2020 then make stops in PA, DE, and VA. To see the full tour listing click here . Follow us on Twitter to track Allison’s new project.   
Mid Atlantic Tours Artists Performing in NYC This January
Two of our 2020-2021 Mid Atlantic Tours roster artists are performing in NYC this January - check them out and then book! Fee support grants are available for mid-Atlantic presenters booking these artists for engagements scheduled between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Ak Dan Gwang Chil (Seoul, South Korea)
Ak Dan Gwang Chil (ADG7) is a multi-award winning Korean traditional music group, featuring six Korean traditional musicians and three powerhouse female folk singers. ADG7 performs repertoire from the sacred, shamanic, and secular gut (ritual music) and minyo (folk song) traditions of the Hwanghae-do region, a western province of North Korea. 
See Ak Dan Gwang Chil live at globalFEST 2020 in January in NYC. 

Choir!Choir!Choir! (Ontario, Canada)
Choir!Choir!Choir! is a Toronto-based singing group led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non-traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir. Just show up and they’ll teach you an original arrangement to a song you love.
APAP 2020 Attendees: Participate in a Choir!Choir!Choir! performance during the Sunday Plenary Session at the conference.

Photo: Ak Dan Gwang Chil. Credit: Courtesy of the artist.
Giving Tuesday is December 3rd!
December 3rd is #GivingTuesday! Giving Tuesday was established in 2012 as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and a way to encourage people to think about philanthropic giving.

Our goal this #Giving Tuesday is to reach new supporters. We hope to add 20 new friends to our donor family. It seems like such a small number - but to us it's huge! Did you know that National Endowment for the Arts grants have to be matched on a 1:1 basis? Every new gift we receive and every new friend we make is so important to making that match happen!

We will be celebrating #GivingTuesday with all of the wonder and creativity the arts have to offer with Twos-day photos (duets, partners, and friends!). Look for amazing photos of our grantees and constituents all day Dec. 3 rd . And we hope you will join us in supporting the arts at
Jazz Road Touring Grants Announced
Jazz Road, a national initiative led by South Arts in partnership its sister Regional Arts Organizations, has announced the recipients of the first round of Jazz Road Tours funding. Thirty-one artists and ensembles from throughout the U.S. will receive $359,600 to build tours with an emphasis on reaching rural, isolated, and underserved communities, in combination with dates at more traditional venues.

MAAF is thrilled to see so many mid-Atlantic region artists among the grant recipients and looks forward to learning more about their touring experience as the program moves forward. Congratulations to all of the grantees and safe travels!

Jazz Road is an artist focused program that supports musicians through touring and residency grants. The program works to spread jazz nationwide, strengthen work opportunities and compensation for jazz artists, and bolster deeper engagement between jazz musicians, presenters, and communities. U.S.-based jazz artists that define themselves as emerging or mid-career are eligible for support.

The next grant round will support the creative residency component. Guidelines will be available in early 2020.
Welcome, Leah!
Welcome to our newest staff member, Leah Harrison. Leah is our new Program Associate, International and will be assisting Robyn Busch with the USArtists International, Southern Exposure, and Performing Arts Global Exchange programs. Leah comes to MAAF from the Spoleto Festival USA where she served as the Institutional Writer with responsibilities in both the Development and PR/Marketing departments. Leah holds a Masters in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University, a Masters in Musicology from Florida State, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music History from Converse College. Welcome, Leah!
Opportunity Quick Links
  • The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2020 Maryland Heritage Awards. The public is invited to nominate individuals, places, and traditions for their outstanding support of folklife. Awards are $5,000 each and recognize sustained contributions to Maryland’s living cultural traditions. Nominations are due Friday, December 6, at 5 p.m. EST.
  • Multiplexer: States of Democracy: Open Call For Video Art! The Lake Forest College Sonnenschein Gallery is seeking artists whose practice is influenced by and exhibits a bearing on the state of democracy in the United States. Deadline: December 8, 2019.
  • Gottlieb Foundation Invites Applications From Mature Sculptors, Painters, and Printmakers. The Foundation wishes to encourage artists who have dedicated their lives to developing their art, regardless of their level of commercial success. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate that they have been working in a mature phase of their art for at least 20 years. Deadline: December 15, 2019.
  • The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is accepting submissions for the annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards. The awards are designed to recognize and encourage authors and illustrators starting out in the field of children's books who share Ezra Jack Keats' commitment to children and diversity.To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have had no more than three books published. Deadline: December 31, 2019.