Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation tasks itself with supporting artistic work created by, presented to, and engaged with its geographic region. It gives grants to both individual artists and organizations, and dance is a big part of its giving.

IP TAKE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is primarily focused on bringing artistic expression into its region, but it wants that artistic work to come from all around the world. Dance performance and community engagement are a primary focus of this foundation's giving. Most of its grants are given to presenting organizations, but individual artists residing anywhere in the U.S. can apply for grants through its USArtists International program.

PROFILE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is a vigorous funder of the arts, supporting creators who live and work all over the United States—and the world. So why the “Mid Atlantic” name? It’s because the foundation’s focus is bringing this diversity of artists and artistic expression into its region for performances and community engagement, and is primarily focused on funding the presenting organizations that will host them there. The “there” of the Mid Atlantic: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The foundation also intriguingly includes support of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If this strikes you as a lot of land mass, a lot of diversity, and a lot of opportunity for both artistic expression and showcasing it, you’re correct on all fronts. Commensurate with all of this, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) provides grants to a wide range of artists, primarily through presenting organizations that in turn use the funds to bring in artists to perform on their stages, exhibit their work, and engage with their community. Dance takes on a very big focus in this area, however, traditional ballet takes a back seat.

The biggest of MAAF’s funding programs is ArtsCONNECT, a program that’s all about 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 artist or ensemble. A consortium of presenters bands together to apply, with a mid-March deadline. There are some worm-hole details regarding which presenting organizations can band together to submit an application; be sure to read the guidelines carefully.

In a similar vein, MAAF also operates a Special Presenter Initiatives program, specifically geared towards bringing outside performances to the area, with grants ranging from $500 to $5,000. For this program, the performance groups must be from the Mid Atlantic or reside outside of the U.S.

MAAF also operates a program specific to South American performing arts. 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).

If you’re a dancer or dance ensemble that resides either in the Mid Atlantic region or outside of the U.S., you also may want to seek out the opportunity to join MAAF’s Mid Atlantic Tours roster, which puts you on a touring bill traveling throughout the region with the foundation’s oversight.

And in terms of giving to individual artists, the foundation gives out grants of up to $15,000 directly to artists who need assistance funding their festival appearances each year through its USArtists International Program.

To access the database of past grantees, click here


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