Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

USArtists International (USAI)

Grants to USA Artists, Ensembles, and Nonprofits
for Performances at International Cultural Events

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/05/18 11:59 PM ET Application Deadline; 12/04/2018 is the Deadline for Certification Sheets and Letters of Invitation


Request a Grant Writer

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 to USA and territories individual artists, ensembles, and nonprofit arts organizations to support touring performances by US-based artists at performing arts marketplaces and international festivals. Funding is intended to support performances by exemplary artists and ensembles representing all performing arts disciplines, including music, dance, theater, folk/traditional arts, and multidisciplinary work.

USArtists International is designed to encourage and promote the vibrant diversity of US artists and creative expression in the performing arts by expanding opportunity and exposure to international audiences, encouraging international cultural exchange, and enhancing creative and professional development of US artists by providing connections with presenters, curators and fellow artists. The program is committed to the presence of US artists on world stages and aims to extend the reach and impact of professional artists dependent on touring for continued sustainability and career advancement.

Eligible festivals must:
-Be sponsored or organized primarily by a non-US based organization
-Be curated and not require registration, application, performance or any other type of fees from performers to exceed USD $250.00
-Be international in scope with performers representing at least two countries outside the host country, or have a US theme with representation from at least three US ensembles and/or solo performers
-Be open and marketed to the general public
-Provide the applicant with a signed letter of invitation or signed contract to perform at the festival, stating the details of the festival’s financial or in-kind contributions towards eligible project expenses as identified in the USAI guidelines under Grant Amounts and Eligible Expenses.

Eligible Performing Arts Markets must:
-Meet all festival eligibility requirements listed above with the exception that they do not need to be open and marketed to the general public.

Eligible engagements must:
-Pay artists or artists must receive in-kind contributions towards eligible project expenses as defined in the USAI guidelines under Grant Amounts and Eligible Expenses
-Be at least 20 minutes in duration, which may be comprised of single or multiple works or excerpts from longer pieces.

Multiple Engagements:
Artists/Ensembles are limited to one application per program deadline, but may submit an application seeking support for performances at up to three festivals and/or markets as long as the artists/ensembles will not travel to and from the US between engagements. Applicants must provide separate signed letters of invitation or signed contracts for each festival and/or market.

Festivals: For the purposes of USAI, a festival is defined as an event, primarily focused on the arts, consisting of live public performances by multiple international performing artists/ensembles in dance, music or theater which takes place within a contiguous period of three months or less. A festival must demonstrate a consistently high level of activity for its entire duration, including public performances and/or ancillary activities, such as workshops, lecture/demonstrations, public presentations, etc.

Fringe Festivals: Engagements that are part of fringe festivals may be eligible for USAI support if the engagement meets all of the eligibility criteria for festivals.

Performing Arts Markets: For the purposes of USAI, a performing arts market is defined as a curated or juried event with a maximum duration of two weeks featuring showcases of performing artists marketed primarily to performing arts industry professionals and in some cases, general audiences. The intent of a performing arts market is to provide artists and performing arts industry professionals with opportunities to develop and deepen professional relationships. Performing arts markets are frequently accompanied by panels, symposia and workshops related to the marketing and promotion of the performing arts for industry professionals.

Eligible Expenses:

Eligible expenses supported through USAI are performance fees, travel, housing and per diem, shipping, visa fees, agents’ fees related to participation in the international engagement, registration/application fees up to $250 and fiscal sponsor administration fees, if applicable. Expenses not listed in the USAI budget are not eligible for support.

USAI will only support airfare equivalent to economy class rates, purchased no less than 14 days prior to departure date. Any foreign air travel funded through USAI must be done on an approved US flag air carrier as part of the Fly America Act, or a foreign air carrier under an air transport agreement with the United States when these services are available.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174881

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants generally range from $1,000 to $10,000. Grant requests may not be less than $1,000 and may not exceed $15,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects submitted for the April 5, 2018 deadline may take place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must:
-Be a dance, music or theater ensemble or individual artist, that work at a professional level; festivals and/or curators cannot apply on behalf of U.S. artists.
-Be designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, OR apply using a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor that is designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
-Currently reside in the United States or its territories
-Be invited to perform at a significant international festival or performing arts market that meets the eligibility guidelines
-Not have received a USAI grant within the calendar year, regardless of when the festival(s) or market(s) take place
-Not be involved in the curation, administration or management of the festival or performing arts market for which they seek funding
-Be in good standing with Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with no overdue or outstanding required reports and/or grant documents
-Meet residency requirements: USAI will only fund performances in which at least half of the performers are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For all projects with international collaborators or accompaniment, at least half of the performers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and the lead creative artist must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Applicants will be assessed in part on the risk of noncompliance with Federal statutes, regulations and the terms and conditions as provided by the applicant’s Certification and Statement of Assurances in the submitted application and the results of previous audits including adherence to Single Audit requirements as set forth by Federal statutes.

Eligible Grantees/Fiscal Sponsors:

All grants made through USAI will be awarded only to U.S. dance, music, or theater ensembles and individual artists designated as nonprofit organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or to fiscal sponsors with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status acting on behalf of the artists/ensembles. Nonprofit organizations serving as fiscal sponsors must provide this service as a part of their regular operations, and this service must be available to any artist that meets the respective organizations’ published criteria for fiscal sponsorship.

-Fiscal sponsors that are willing to assume full responsibility for the grant may sponsor one or more organizations that do not yet have their own nonprofit Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 501(c)(3) status but that otherwise meet the criteria for eligibility.

-The fiscal sponsor will be legally, financially, administratively, and programmatically responsible for all aspects of the award. As the official grantee, the fiscal sponsor will be the organization that must submit all documentation, final reports, and any amendment request that would affect the terms and conditions of the award.

Please note the following:
-If a festival or market engages a U.S. organization to select ensembles and solo artists for participation, each selected artist/ensemble or their fiscal sponsor, if applicable, must submit an application, not the U.S. organization responsible for selecting the artists/ensembles. The panel will review each application separately.


Under these guidelines, an application is not eligible if:
-Artists/ensembles have been awarded a USAI grant within the calendar year, regardless of when the festival(s) or market(s) occur
-At least half of performers are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents
-Applicants are student or youth ensembles, amateur groups or groups comprised of participants from instructional programs (such as bands, music or dance artists/ensembles of academic institutions.)
-Applicant is a for-profit entity: either individuals or ensembles
-Applicant or member of applicant ensemble is involved in festival or market curation, administration or management of the festival or market for which they seek funding

Seeking funding for festivals or markets that:
-Take place within the United States or its territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern MarianaIslands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands
-Are not curated or where artists/ensembles must produce their own performances, e.g. artists/ensembles that are self-selected, rent a venue, receive no contribution towards the eligible expenses or a percentage of box office income from the festival or market
-Require artists/ensembles to pay any type of fee in order to participate, including application or registration fees beyond the allowable limit of USD $250.00
-Present artists/ensembles in a showcase less than 20 minutes in duration or workshop format

Festivals that:
-Consist primarily of activities other than public performances: that might include workshops, training or conference sessions, competitions, primarily academic or curricular programs.

Fringe festivals are not eligible for consideration if any of the following apply:
-The fringe festival is not curated;
-Artists/ensembles are self-produced or self-selected;
-Artists/ensembles receive no contribution towards eligible expenses or no percentage of box office revenue;
-Artists/ensembles are required to pay any type of fee in order to participate beyond application or registration fees of USD $250.00.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants wishing to learn more about the USArtists International program are invited to attend the following webinars:

March 6, 2018 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET: USArtists International: Am I eligible?

USArtists International: Am I eligible? provides program information for solo artists and performing arts ensembles considering an application to the USArtists International grant program. The webinar highlights updates to the program guidelines. Get a clear idea about who and what type of projects USArtists International funds. New applicants, previous applicants, grantees and others interested in learning more about updates to the USAI program can benefit from this webinar. View the recording of the November 3rd webinar here:

March 20, 2018 2:00 – 3:15 PM ET: USArtists International: Tips and Pointers for Applicants

This webinar is for artists planning to apply for USArtists International. The webinar reviews the online application, the panel process, and provides helpful tips to applicants interested in strengthening their applications and avoid common mistakes. View the recording of the August 22nd webinar here:

Pre-Application Information:

Grants will seldom cover the applicant's eligible expenses in their entirety.

Applications must be submitted on or before the published deadlines at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

The Certification Sheet is e-mailed to applicants upon submission of the online application. It must be signed by the authorizing official of the artist/ensemble, if a 501(c)(3) organization. If using a fiscal sponsor, both the artist/ensemble and the authorizing official of the fiscal sponsor must sign the same Certification Sheet where indicated. The Certification Sheet must be submitted no later than one week after the application deadline for which you have submitted an application.

The application deadlines for USArtists International (USAI) 2018 grant rounds are:

-September 7, 2017 for projects taking place between December 15, 2017 and December 14, 2018. Certification Sheets due by September 14, 2017. Applicants will be notified of grant status by November 30, 2017.

-December 1, 2017 for projects taking place between March 15, 2018 and March 14, 2019. Certification Sheets and letters of invitation due by December 8, 2017. Applicants will be notified of grant status by March 1, 2018.

-April 5, 2018 for projects taking place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Certification Sheets and letters of invitation due by April 12, 2018. Applicants will be notified of grant status by June 21, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To access the USAI online application system, visit:

Email Certification Sheets to with the subject line: {Insert Applicant Name Here} USAI Certification Sheet, or {Insert Applicant Name Here} USAI Letter of Invitation.

You may also fax the materials to (410) 837-5517, Attn: USArtists International

For more information:
Robyn Busch, Program Officer, International

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)