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)
The Cultural Exchange Fund 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 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: Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
APAP awards its member presenting organizations, agents, managers, producers, individual artists, and to groups of presenting professionals traveling to see the work of artists and companies or to develop and advance projects with foreign artists and their collaborators. All applicants must be active members of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.
New in the fall of 2011, APAP is piloting a category of CEF awards to professional artists who wish to travel abroad to conduct research for a project or presentation that promotes the aims of CEF. APAP will not award funds to student artists, nor to artists who are performing in festivals or touring outside of the United States, nor traveling abroad to meet with international presenters about performance opportunities. CEF also does not fund foreign artists traveling to the U.S.
Artists -- please note: Artists seeking funding for festival performances should visit the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation website to see information on the USArtists International program.
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.
There will be four rounds of funding between June 2011 and December 2012. Each award for travel is handled on a reimbursement basis. Subsidies awarded to individual artists will be awarded directly to the individual applicant. For individuals from presenting organizations, the reimbursement will be made to the organization. For group travel, the reimbursement of awarded funds will be made payable to the lead organization, and that organization will be responsible for distributing award money among travelers in the group. Funds are issued once original copies of all travel and per diem receipts are submitted with a final report within 30 days of travel. If the awardee does not use the funds to travel within four months of the travel subsidy award letter without previously notifying APAP, the awardee must notify Arts Presenters in writing and may forfeit the full amount of the travel subsidy.
Traveling to build global cultural exchanges? Our eligibility requirements have room for all at the Cultural Exchange table! All applicants must be members of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters* and travelers must be one of the following:
• Individuals from presenting organizations who are part of the decision-making process for programming and presentations;
• Independent presenters, managers, agents or producers who are working with a presenter or group of presenters to develop a project or tour with foreign artists and who can demonstrate a mission and history of relationship building, or project development that serves the presenting field, presenting organizations or a particular community;
• Groups of presenters from different presenting organizations who may be collaborating to develop or advance a project or program initiative;
• Individual professional artists
*Note: To meet artist member eligibility requirements, the artist must be an independent Artist member in good standing or hold an active individual associate membership through their agent/manager/agency.
Applicants should describe with as much detail as possible the purpose of their travel in conjunction with future programs or projects that are based upon building relationships or partnerships with international artists and/or presenters. Successful applications must demonstrate that anticipated travel will meet at least two of the following criteria:
• Build the presenter’s schedule and programming season as informed by attendance at live performances by international artists based outside the U.S.
• Increase the presenting professional’s knowledge and understanding of foreign performing artists based outside the U.S., the cultural context for the artists’ work and for the performing arts in places outside of the U.S.
• Create relationships with artists, producers and presenters from around the world to advance the work of the U.S. based presenter(s) and presenting organization(s).
• Increase the relationship building, project development, tours or performances with foreign artists to serve the presenting field, presenting organizations or a particular community in the U.S.
• Advance a project, (non-performance) presentation, and/or the cultural research of a U.S. based artist that will serve the presenting field
The maximum amount awarded per individual organization or artist, inclusive of travel costs and per diem, is $2,000. Group travel subsidies will be awarded only to groups of three or more individuals from different member presenting organizations. The maximum award for a group is $10,000, with no more than $2,000 awarded per organization in the group. All applicants applying for group travel must designate a lead organization. The lead organization must be a presenter or presenting organization. The lead organization will be responsible for submitting the application on behalf of the group and serving as the point of contact for related inquiries reporting and reimbursements of travel funds.
Grant Funding Restrictions
The Association of Performing Arts Presenters will not award travel subsidies to:
• Applicants that are not current members of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters;
• 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.
• Applicants that cannot provide a three-year history of presenting artists and companies or a three-year history of developing global exchange projects, organizing tours and performances with artists outside the U.S.
• Student artists;
• Artists wishing to travel abroad to perform in a festival or tour;
• Incomplete applications;
• Presenters, managers, agents, producers or artists based outside of the U.S.; and
• Board members of applicant organizations.
• 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.
Check back with APAP in July 2013 for news regarding future funding cycles.
How to Apply
- Review the program guidelines;
- Complete the electronic application:
- 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, programs manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-207-3852.