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Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Announces Inaugural Grants for Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America

Baltimore, MD - Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation have announced the first round of grants in support of Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America ("Southern Exposure"). The program is a new national initiative committed to building greater understanding and appreciation of the cultural richness and diversity of Latin America through the presentation of exemplary dance, music and theater artists from that region in communities across the United States. Southern Exposure invests in projects that offer the public opportunities for significant engagement with the visiting artists. It encourages organizations to reach new audiences, including those with origins in Latin America that reflect the demographic changes in the U.S. over recent decades. In addition, the structure of the program assures that artists perform in a minimum of three cities or states.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation will grant awards totaling $404,790 to 23 organizations presenting five different performing arts ensembles from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. The U.S. grantees developed touring projects as consortia comprised of at least three partner organizations, thereby sharing costs and expertise.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "Southern Exposure is a model program, demonstrating how a modest federal investment can deliver significant results. By forming presenter consortium, costs can be shared among the host organizations. At same time, the presenters can leverage community resources to assemble an exciting slate of outreach activities that together with the companies' performances, offer a unique opportunity to connect with a growing Hispanic audience."

"The arts provide an extraordinary platform for international cultural exchange and engagement," stated Margaret Ayers, President of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. "Through Southern Exposure, dozens of communities across the United States will be enriched by exposure to the cultures of Latin America, a region still largely unfamiliar to many Americans."

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Executive Director Alan Cooper added, "Southern Exposure is a terrific example of the public and private sectors working together to efficiently address areas of shared interest. In this case, fostering international cultural dialogue and providing diverse communities with access to exemplary arts experiences."

Southern Exposure seeks to develop and deepen relationships between communities and artists in the United States and artists in Latin America. The projects will take place in 12 states across the country and the District of Columbia. Projects include ensembles working in contemporary and traditional music, and multidisciplinary and street theater. Three of the ensembles have never performed previously in the United States. For a complete list of funded organizations, ensembles, and detailed project descriptions, click here.

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

About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation fosters and supports arts programming for the benefit of arts organizations, artists and audiences and encourages exchanges that link the arts resources of the mid-Atlantic region to the rest of the nation and the world.  The Foundation was created in 1979 and is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region's state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional perspective.  The region includes nine states and jurisdictions:  The District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. To learn more about MAAF, its programs and services, visit our web site at www.midatlanticarts.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts ("NEA") was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov

About the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation

The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation currently supports nonprofit organizations conducting work in three program areas: Protecting Reproductive Rights, Improving the Performance of Public Institutions in New York, and a new initiative, Promoting International Arts Engagement. The objective of the arts initiative is to help develop global understanding in communities throughout the world that have limited contact with American culture, and to introduce American audiences to cultures that are rarely represented in the U.S. The initial plans are to support international engagement between U.S. visual and performing arts organizations and their counterparts in Latin America, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. For more information about the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation visit: www.rsclark.org.