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USArtists International (USAI)

Grants to USA Artists, Ensembles, and Nonprofits for
Live and Virtual Performances at International Venues

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/31/21 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants of up to $15,000 to USA and territories individual professional artists, ensembles, and nonprofit organizations to support participation in live or virtual performances at international venues. Priority will be given to proposals elevating historically underrepresented artists, traditions, and justice for all communities and that meet the review criteria.

USArtists International supports performances by U.S. artists at impactful international festivals and performing arts marketplaces outside the United States and its territories. The program supports the engagements of exemplary solo artists and ensembles across all performing arts disciplines including dance, music, theater, multidisciplinary work, and folk/traditional arts.

USArtists International is designed to encourage the presence of U.S. performing artists on international stages and in the global arts community; to support engagements that develop and expand both the careers and artistic goals of U.S. performers by providing connections with presenters, curators, and fellow artists; and to promote justice in the arts community by elevating the diverse voices contributing to the vibrant array of creative expression in the United States.

Grant Tracks: 

  • Travel Track: MAAF will accept applications to the USArtists International program that seek travel funding to perform internationally.
  • Virtual Track: Artists and ensembles whose otherwise eligible international festival engagements have already determined that an in-person festival is impossible and have decided to offer the festival virtually are also permitted to apply for funding.

Eligible expenses supported through both travel and virtual USAI engagements are performance fees, agents’ fees related to participation in the international engagement, registration/application fees up to $250, and fiscal sponsor administration fees, if applicable. Travel-specific or virtual-specific engagements can include the following additional expenses, respectively. Applicants planning to travel internationally for their engagement can also include travel, housing, per diem, shipping, and visa fees as eligible expenses in the budget section. Applicants planning to perform virtually can also include up to $2500.00 in technology needs (hardware or software) as eligible expenses in the budget section.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174881

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will seldom cover the applicant's eligible expenses in their entirety and generally range from $1,000 to $10,000. Grant requests may not be less than $1,000 and may not exceed $15,000.

Term of Contract:

- Projects taking place between January 5, 2021, and June 30, 2022
- Projects taking place between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must:
- Be a dance, music, or theater ensemble or individual artist, that work at a professional level; festivals and/or curators cannot apply on behalf of U.S. artists;
- Be designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or apply using a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor that is designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization;
- Currently reside in the United States or its territories;
- Be invited to perform at an impactful international festival or performing arts market that meets the eligibility guidelines below;
- Not have received a USAI grant within the calendar year, regardless of when the festival(s) or market(s) take place*;
- Not be involved in the curation, administration, or management of the festival or performing arts market for which they seek funding;
- Be in good standing with Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with no overdue or outstanding required reports and/or grant documents;
- And meet residency requirements: USAI funding is only available to performances in which at least half of the performers are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For all projects with international collaborators or accompaniment, at least half of the performers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and the lead creative artist must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

*Artist(s)/ensembles that received a USAI grant in 2020 are permitted to apply to USAI on October 1, 2020, as the award date will fall in early January 2021; artist(s)/ensembles that receive a grant from the October 1, 2020 round will not be eligible to apply on March 31, 2021.

Eligible festivals must:
- Be sponsored or organized primarily by a non-U.S. based organization;
- Be curated;
- Not require a registration, application, performance, or any other type of fee or amount paid by performers exceeding USD $250.00;
- Be international in scope with performers representing at least two countries outside the host country, or have a U.S. theme with representation from at least three U.S. ensembles and/or solo performers;
- Be open and marketed to the general public;
- And provide the applicant with a signed letter of invitation or signed contract to perform at the festival, stating the details of the festival’s financial or in-kind contributions towards eligible project expenses as identified in the USAI guidelines under Grant Amounts and Eligible Expenses.

Eligible Performing Arts Markets must: Meet all festival eligibility requirements listed above with the exception that they do not need to be open and marketed to the general public and that they may charge artists for showcase participation.

Eligible engagements must:
- Pay artists or artists must receive in-kind contributions towards eligible project expenses as defined in the USAI guidelines under Grant Amounts and Eligible Expenses;
- And be at least 20 minutes in duration, which may be comprised of single or multiple works or excerpts from longer pieces.

For restrictions, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

Want to learn more? Attend a webinar!

USArtists International: Am I eligible?
February 18, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Sign up:
View recording:

USArtists International: Tips and Pointers for Applicants
March 10, 2021, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
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View recording:

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadlines for USArtists International (USAI) 2020 – 2021 are:
- October 1, 2020, by 11:59 PM Eastern: For projects taking place between January 5, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Certification sheets and letters of invitation are due by October 8, 2020. The application will open on August 21, 2020, for artists/ensembles applying to the October 1 deadline.
- March 31, 2021, by 11:59 PM Eastern: For projects taking place between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Certification sheets and letters of invitation are due by April 7, 2021.

Please note that applicants applying to the travel or virtual USAI track of this program are permitted to apply for up to three engagements; a mix of travel and virtual engagements is permitted, and applicants can submit both eligible travel and virtual expenses in that case. Grantees that are awarded grants for travel and are later unable to travel may shift to the virtual track with staff approval.

USArtists International and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation prioritize artist health and safety. Grantees will not be penalized by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation if they cannot or choose not to perform at a festival for which they have received a grant. Should a grantee be unable to travel for any reason, options regarding grant funds are subject to federal guidance from the National Endowment for the Arts. Grantees that choose to travel do so at their own risk

Application Tips and Pointers Webinar Recording:

View a Recording: Am I eligible?:

View a Recording: Tips and Pointers for Applicants:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

You are welcome to contact Program Officer, International Robyn Busch at or Program Associate, International Leah Harrison at with questions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
201 N. Charles Street, Suite 401
Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: 410.539.6656
Fax: 410.837.5517

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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