News Column

Over $330,000 Awarded in Grants to Present Performing Artists from Latin America

July 1, 2014

BALTIMORE, July 1 -- The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation issued the following news release:

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation have announced the grants for the 2014-2015 Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America (Southern Exposure) program, which supports the presentation of exemplary dance, music and theater artists from Latin America in communities across the United States. The tours are developed by consortia of organizations in different cities or states that work cooperatively in building activities that include performances and opportunities for members of the public to have direct interaction with the visiting artists. Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation will grant awards totaling $334,800 to 15 organizations from eight states presenting Delfos Danza Contemporanea of Mexico, Gracias a la Vida: The Rebel Spirit of Violetta Parra of Chile, Letieres Leite and Orkestra Rumpilezz of Brazil, and Mariano Pensotti of Argentina.

Delfos Danza Contemporanea ( is Mexico's leading contemporary dance company. Founded in 1992 by Artistic Directors Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, the eight-member company will perform an evening length piece, Cuando Los Disfraces Se Cuelgan ("When Disguises Are Hung Up") at each stop on the tour as well as conduct lectures, discussions and master classes. They will tour to the Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME; University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; and University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Gracias a la Vida: The Rebel Spirit of Violeta Parra is a multi-artist project comprised of internationally-renowned Chilean musicians featuring the noted pop artist Francisca Valenzuela, folk quartet Illapu, and hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux. The project celebrates the work of the influential Chilean songwriter, folklorist, and founder of the Nueva Cancion movement that combined political and social content with Latin American folk and traditional music forms. The artists will visit the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Los Angeles, CA; Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL; and Pace University, New York, NY.

Letieres Leite and Orkestra Rumpilezz ( is a 20-piece big band from Bahia, Brazil, founded in 2006, whose music is a mixture of the percussive rhythms of candomble (an Afro-Brazilian religious practice) and the North American jazz big-band tradition. The tour will feature the artists in public performance as well as artist talks, workshops and open rehearsals and take the band to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY; The Rhythm Foundation, Miami, FL; San Jose Jazz Society, San Jose, CA; and SFJazz, San Francisco, CA.

Mariano Pensotti ( is an award-winning Argentinian playwright and theater director whose work has been presented in his home country as well as at prestigious festivals and venues around the world. The tour will present the play Cineastas ("Filmmakers") that uses innovative staging to tell the personal and fictional stories of four filmmakers in Buenos Aires. Pensotti and the five actors in the piece will visit the California Institute of the Arts (REDCAT), Los Angeles, CA; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; On the Boards, Seattle, WA; The Public Theater (Under the Radar Festival), New York, NY; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

"Considering the changing demographics of the United States, it's crucial that Americans have more opportunities to gain a greater appreciation for the richness and diversity of Latin American cultures," stated Roslyn Black, Program Officer at the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Joan Shigekawa, added "Southern Exposure offers unique opportunities for audiences to interact with artists in an authentic and captivating way that helps bridge cultures." Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Executive Director Alan Cooper noted, "the program is a wonderful example of the public and private sectors collaborating to meet mutually-desired objectives in the arts."

For a complete list of engagement dates, times, and detailed project descriptions, click here.

Grant recommendations were made by the following panel that reviewed the applications submitted to the program:

* Betto Arcos, freelance reporter and music critic

National Public Radio and Public Radio International-BBC (Los Angeles, CA)

* Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Artistic Director

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, OH)

* Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL)

* Anne Kogan, Programming Manager, Lisner Auditorium

George Washington University (Washington, DC)

* Arthur Zegelbone, retired Foreign Service Officer

U.S. Department of State (New York, NY)

For more information on the Southern Exposure program, click here (

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Source: Targeted News Service

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