Center Stage is a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Center Stage creates opportunities for in-depth exchange among artists, presenters, and the public, creating alliances for exploration – and mutual understanding. Center Stage will support U.S. tours of five performing arts ensembles total from Colombia and Peru in June-November of 2021. Each tour includes residencies in large cities and small towns, and a range of activities from performances, workshops, and discussions, to artist-to-artist exchanges, masterclasses, media activities, and community gatherings. More information here.

Nominations are due by midnight EDT, October 15, 2019.
 

Selection Criteria 
- Demonstrate high artistic quality and accomplishment.  
- Have an interest in engaging with U.S. communities, including youth, through public and in-school performances, workshops, discussions, artist-to-artist exchanges, and social events.
- Be comprised of two to nine ensemble members (artists and staff) who are citizens and residents of the selected countries, and 21 years or older at the time of a Center Stage tour.
- Have previous touring experience but have rarely been seen in the U.S.
- Have an ability to communicate electronically via email and Skype in English.
- Have an interest and agree to actively share their experiences through traditional press outreach and social media channels.
- Be available to tour in the U.S. for approximately one month during the period of June-November 2021.

Center Stage is particularly interested in professional artists creating contemporary work. 

Nominations may be submitted by presenters, artists and their representatives, U.S. Embassy personnel, regional arts organizations, state arts agencies, international institutions, and individuals in the U.S. and abroad knowledgeable about performing arts ensembles in the identified countries. Artists interested in participating may submit a nomination on behalf of their own ensemble. Multiple nominations for ensembles are accepted.

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* 1. Name of Ensemble

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* 2. Country of Performing Arts Ensemble

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* 3. Art form/genre of ensemble

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* 5. Website & Social Media Links

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* 6. List up to 3 work samples of ensemble (YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc.)

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* 7. Primary contact for the ensemble

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* 8. Your Contact Information (if different than previous question)

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* 9. How would you describe this ensemble’s artistry and suitability for the Center Stage program? Please limit your answer to 250 words or less.

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* 10. What is the ensemble’s previous experience touring abroad? Please limit your answer to 250 words or less.

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* 11. Why is this ensemble a good choice to connect with Americans? How would they share their experiences at home? Please limit your answer to 250 words or less.

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* 12. May we contact you for additional information?

All nominations will be reviewed by a panel of artistic advisors with knowledge of the performing arts and culture in these specific countries. The selection of groups will take into consideration diversity and mix of genres, and logistical considerations. All nominees will be notified of their status by email in December 2019. Finalists will be asked to show their work and meet with Center Stage representatives during planning trips to each country in March-April of 2020. Recommendations will be made by the New England Foundation for the Arts, in consultation with Lisa Booth Management, Inc., to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for final approval. 

If you have any questions regarding Center Stage, please contact Kelsey Spitalny, Program Coordinator, at kspitalny@nefa.org.

Center Stage is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government. It is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc. More information at centerstageus.org.

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