Attention Actors, Dancers, and Musicians! The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Wants to Send You Abroad

It's safe to say that the world's opinion of the United States is a rather complicated one. Many global citizens disapprove of our politics and foreign policy yet are perfectly content checking their Facebook accounts on their iPhones while wearing jeans from the Gap.
To that end, Pew Research recently published its Global Attitudes research, and the results — neatly encapsulated in this Washington Post piece entitled "Who Loves and Hates America" — makes for fascinating reading. For example, the harshest views of America are in the Middle East and South Asia. On the other hand, the U.S. is most popular in continental Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the northeast Asian countries of South Korea and Japan. The author sums it up best, saying, "Nobody polarizes public opinion like Uncle Sam."

We bring this up because many foundations are concerned with how America is perceived abroad, and they want to do something about it by accentuating the positive exports that the U.S. has to offer. One such entity is the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. The foundation, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has issued a call for applicants for its USAArtists International Program. The program is "committed to ensuring that the impressive range of performing arts in the United States is represented abroad, and that American artists can enhance their creative and professional development through participation at international festivals."

Grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to "American dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo performers that have been invited to perform at international festivals and/or for performance engagements that represent extraordinary career opportunities abroad."

Applicants must be professional dance, music, or theater ensembles or solo artists, including practitioners of folk and traditional forms, or be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, or have a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor that has nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Furthermore, among other criteria, the festivals must be sponsored or organized primarily by a non-U.S.-based organization and be international in scope with representation from at least two countries outside the host country. (For a full list of eligibility requirements, click here.)

The December 5, 2014, deadline is for engagements taking place between March 1, 2015, and February 29, 2016.