News Column

Over $198,000 Awarded to 29 U.S. Performing Artists for Important International Engagements

July 15, 2014

BALTIMORE, July 15 -- The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation issued the following news release:

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced grants totaling $198,970, to six theater, ten dance, and thirteen music ensembles and solo artists from across the United States to support their engagements at 42 festivals in 26 countries across the globe through the final of three grant rounds of the 2014 USArtists International (USAI) program.

USAI is the only national initiative in the United States solely devoted to promoting the excellence and diversity of American performing arts abroad. The program works to strengthen the creative and professional development of American artists through participation at significant international festivals. Engagements supported through the program provide American performing artists the opportunity to exchange ideas and practices with their counterparts around the world, and sustain their careers through exposure to new audiences and access to the international marketplace. In total, the program has awarded over $3,435,000 to 369 ensembles and solo performers since its inception in 2006. The program is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Supported engagements often lead to new career and creative opportunities. Aparna Ramaswamy and Orchestra traveled to the Soorya Rasavikalpam Festival in India in November 2013. Aparna had this to say about the experience: "This was my first opportunity to perform in India as a soloist in my own right. Response to my performance from high-level presenters, discriminating audiences & press was overwhelming & will go a long way toward elevating my stature as a soloist in India. Festival Chair Soorya Krishnamoorthy - whose organization oversees festivals of Indian classical music & dance all over the world-has invited me to perform in Malaysia, Singapore & Australia in March 2015."

The latest round of grantees are a mix of emerging and established companies that showcase a diversity of styles within their artistic disciplines from Kyle Abraham/ of New York City to The Actors' Gang of Los Angeles and from Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans to Double Edge Theater of Massachusetts. They include solo performers and ensembles from California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. A complete list of grantees can be found here.

Due to the high volume of applications, MAAF convened two separate panels at its Baltimore office, one for music and a second for dance and theater. Each panel consisted of four experienced artists and arts professionals as well as one layperson.

Panelists for music included:

* Maure Aronson, Artistic and Executive Director

World Music/CRASHarts (Cambridge, MA)

* Adam Fong, Executive Director

Emerging Arts Professionals, and Center for New Music (San Francisco, CA)

* Denise Gonzales, Director of Community Philanthropy

New Mexico Community Foundation (Santa Fe, NM)

* Kathryn Maguet, Executive Director

Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA

* Jennie Wasserman, Manager Programming and Concerts

Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York, NY)

Panelists for dance and theatre included:

* Donald Byrd, Artistic Director

Spectrum Dance Theater (Seattle, WA)

* Colleen Furukawa, Vice President of Programming

Maui Arts & Cultural Center (Maui, HI)

* Ann Gilbert, President

Ann Gilbert Associates (Washington, DC)

* Jose Luis Valenzuela, Artistic Director

Latino Theater Company (Los Angeles, CA)

* Jodee Nimerichter, Director

American Dance Festival (Durham, NC)

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Source: Targeted News Service

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