Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supports artistic work created by, presented to, and engaged with its geographic region.

IP TAKE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation seeks to bring artistic expression to its region. However, that artistic work can come from all around the world. Dance performance, engagement, and legacy are at the forefront of this funder’s grantmaking.

PROFILE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, or MAAF, is a vigorous funder of the arts and supporter of creators who live and work all over the United States and the abroad. The foundation seeks to develop “partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work and advance access to and participation in the arts.” MAAF provides grants to a wide range of artists and organizations.

For the foundation’s purposes, the Mid-Atlantic region consists of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. However, it also supports the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Grants for Artists "allow artists to explore and create, provide touring engagements regionally and internationally, help to build audiences, and provide support and services to assist in career development."

The Grants for Organizations seeks to "strengthen the region’s presenter network, give communities access to high quality artistic experiences, build audiences, and provide opportunities for greater understanding and appreciation of the arts."

The largest of MAAF’s funding programs is ArtsCONNECT, a program that prioritizes teamwork: It provides support for projects in which at least three Mid Atlantic performing arts presenters from two different states work collaboratively to present a touring solo performer or ensemble. 

MAAF provides each funded program between $1,000 to $10,000 to bring the performance artist or group to its stage and its community. This dollar range reflects MAAF’s commitment to covering 50 percent of each presenting organization’s costs—including dancers’ appearance fees, travel, lodging, and performance operating expenses.

MAAF also operates a Special Presenter Initiatives program. It's a microcosm of ArtsCONNECT, specifically geared towards bringing performance to Delaware, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (the smallest populations in the Mid Atlantic region). Grants range from $500 to $5,000. For this program, performance groups must be from the Mid Atlantic or reside outside of the U.S.

Southern Exposure is a national funding initiative that provides support to bring "exemplary contemporary and traditional performing arts" from Latin America to communities throughout the U.S (no geography restrictions here). This program operates as a hybrid: partly like ArtsCONNECT in that it funds presenting organizations to bring in performance groups and partly as a curator since it selects a roster of groups the presenting organizations can bring in.

MAAF reports that it annually administers hundreds of grants totaling around a $1,000,000. These are big numbers, and there is certainly opportunity here for a Mid Atlantic organization looking to present dance—or for some performers looking to partner with them.

To access the database of past grantees, click here.


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