Monday, July 16, 2012

The Cultural Exchange Fund

The Cultural Exchange Fund

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support APAP Members engaged in establishing global cultural exchanges.
“The Cultural Exchange Fund has allowed me to meet artists and see projects I never would have had the opportunity to connect with. It has allowed me meaningful time within a community to understand their issues, and how the artists meet those needs and how they might interface with those of my own community. It also provided me with the luxury to be able to view a project multiple times, so that I could be certain that it was an appropriate selection for our series. Finally by allowing me the opportunity to attend a festival, it enriched my knowledge of the field and gave me first-hand experience of the work of not just one, but three dozen artists, some I will program right away, and others I am now aware of for opportunities that may arise in future series.” 
– Jordan Peimer, Director Public Programs, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
   (Traveled to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival in August 2009)

Program Description

The Cultural Exchange Fund (CEF) is a travel subsidy program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to assist U.S. based presenting professionals and their organizations and companies in building partnerships and collaborations with international touring artists, companies and their collaborators and to experience the work of artists from around the world in its cultural context. The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) recognizes that promoting global exchanges of artists and their work and cross-cultural programs is essential to fully engage audiences and communities in the breadth and diversity of performing arts experiences and provides an opportunity for presenting professionals to expand and deepen their knowledge of artists, traditions and cultures from around the world. APAP strongly encourages but does not limit travel to the following regions: the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
APAP awards travel subsidies to individual presenting professionals including agents, managers and producers, presenting organizations and to groups of presenting professionals traveling to see the work of artists and companies, or to develop and advance projects with international artists and their collaborators.  All applicants must be active members of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. 
Beginning in the fall of 2011, the Cultural Exchange Fund will launch a pilot travel subsidy program for artists who wish to travel abroad to conduct research for a project or presentation. The Cultural Exchange Fund will not fund artists that are performing in festivals or touring in or outside of the United States, or traveling abroad to meet with international presenters about performance opportunities.
Artists -- please note: Artists seeking funding for festival performances should visit theMid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
CEF does not fund for-profit organizations that cannot demonstrate a mission and history of relationship building, or project development that serves the presenting field, presenting organizations, or a particular community.

Cycle III Round I Awardees - June 2011

  • Janie Yao, Dance of Asian America
  • Rob Gibson, Savannah Music Festival
  • Lane Czaplinski, On the Boards
  • Chris Jennings, Shakespeare Theatre
  • Miranda Wright, Center for Sustainable Practice
  • Kim Whitener, HERE
  • Mary Lou Aleskie, International Festival of Arts & Ideas
  • Jeremy Ganter, Mondavi Center @ UC Davis
  • Kaisha Johnson, Center for Traditional Music and Dance
  • Linda Shelton, Joyce Theater Foundation
  • Jordan Peimer, Skirball Cultural Center
  • Erika Elliott, City Parks Foundation
  • Leigh Ann Hahn, Grand Performances
  • Ken Kohberger, Young Auditorium
  • Cory Baker, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
  • Ben Johnson, Northrop Concerts Lectures, University of Minnesota
  • Ed Noonan, Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents 

 Please Note:

  • Applicants may not apply for multiple trips within the same round. You may, however, submit one application per round; and
  • Arts Presenters welcomes new applications from previous CEF grantees.

Funding Cycle

Application Deadlines and Award Announcement Dates are as follows:
Funding Round
Travel Period
June 1, 2011
July 2011
July 2011 - December 2011
November 4, 2011
December 2011
December 2011 - June 2012
June 1, 2012
July 2012
July 2012 - January 2013
November 16, 2012
December 2012
January 2013 - May 2013


How to Apply 

  1. Review the project guidelines and application;
  2. Complete the electronic application. Click here to access the application for individual applicants. Click here to access the application for group applicants; and
  3. Submit the online application by 5:00 pm (Eastern Time) on the day of the deadline listed in the table above.

Need assistance with this grant application?

Have questions? Send an email to Laura Benson, Professional Development/Knowledge Management Associate, or call 202-207-3852.

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