April 2021
Sign Up for an ArtsCONNECT Pitch Session
ArtsCONNECT supports projects developed collaboratively by a consortium of three or more presenters within the mid-Atlantic region. Each presenter in a consortium may request funding of up to 50% of the negotiated artist fee for the project, not to exceed $10,000, plus additional support to cover project expenses.

Presenters are invited to participate in virtual pitch sessions to coordinate potential ArtsCONNECT consortia with other presenters in the region. Pitch sessions are open to presenters ONLY

Each pitch will include a five-minute slot to share a project idea by a lead presenter as well as a breakout room to initiate conversation for forming a consortium with other presenters. Sessions are conducted via Zoom.

Presenters are free to join one or several sessions as non-pitching participants. Session agendas and links to RSVP are below.
What should I do before attending a pitch session?
  1. Read the program guidelines 
  2. Participate in the final application webinar (optional): Thursday, April 22, 10-11:30AM ET RSVP

Application deadline: Friday, May 21, 2021

Questions? Contact Haowen Wang, Program Officer, Performing Arts, at haowen@midatlanticarts.org, or 410.539.6656 ext. 110

Image: Ephrat Asherie Dancers and musicians perform at PS21-Odeon with support from the 2020 ArtsCONNECT program. Credit: Deidre Malfatto.
Since 2006, Mid Atlantic Arts has administered the National Finals of Poetry Out Loud, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation. This year, we are going virtual and invite you to join us on May 2 for the 2021 Semifinals!

High school students nationwide participate in Poetry Out Loud during the school year, memorizing and reciting classic and contemporary poetry and participating in local, regional, and state competitions. From the thousands of students who competed in 2020-2021, 55 finalists—one from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa—have advanced to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

On May 2, each region will come together for the National Semifinals. Nine state champions selected as finalists will compete in the National Finals on May 27 which will culminate in the announcement of the 2021 National Champion, who will receive a grand prize of $20,000!
You can catch the Semifinals at https://www.arts.gov or on YouTube Premiere Video at https://youtu.be/1HChCc90-j0.

Come cheer for your state champion on May 2, 2021!

Region One: Begins at 12:00pm ET

Region Two: Begins at 3:00pm ET

Region Three: Begins at 6:00pm ET

*Because of the nature of permission around poem recitations, the Semifinals and National Finals will only be live-streamed. Both the Semifinals and National Finals will feature closed-captioning and screen-within-screen ASL interpretation.
DC, DE, USVI, and WV Presenters -
Join us for our May Special Presenter Initiatives Webinar
Close shot of Linda Oh Aventurine Octet. Linda is center with a standing bass. Behind her, brick club walls and two bright, hanging Edison bulbs to the right.
The Special Presenter Initiatives (SPI) program supports the presentation of professional performing artists in all disciplines at venues, cultural series, and festivals in Delaware, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and West Virginia. 
Nonprofit presenters in DC, DE, and WV can request up to $2,000 of fee subsidy support, and up to $5,000 for presenters in the U.S. Virgin Islands, plus additional support to cover project expenses. Proposed artists can be from anywhere worldwide.
You can learn more about the program and our latest guideline updates at our last SPI webinar of 2021 on Friday, May 14, 2021, 2-3PM ET. (RSVP)

The application deadline for SPI is Friday, May 28, 2021.

Questions? Contact Haowen Wang, Program Officer, Performing Arts, at haowen@midatlanticarts.org

Image: Close shot of Linda Oh Aventurine Octet. DC SPI 2020 engagement with CapitalBop, Inc. Credit: Image still image from NPR Music video.
April is Jazz Appreciation Month!
All April long, musicians, listeners, and advocates are commemorating Jazz Appreciation Month. Although most of celebrations are still taking place virtually, this April’s events
have been filled with a noticeable spark of energy and hope. With more musicians getting vaccinations and jazz venues preparing to turn the lights back on, this April the jazz community has much to celebrate. Mid Atlantic Arts checked in with two of its Jazz Touring Network Members based in the River City (Pittsburgh, PA) to see how they are recognizing Jazz Appreciation month. 

Kente Arts Alliance is a community-based presenting organization founded and led by two of the region’s most passionate jazz advocates, Gail Austin and Mensah Wali. Kente Arts Alliance functions without a brick-and-mortar venue by partnering with local venues (often located in communities outside of the cultural district) to bring performers from the African Diaspora to their committed audience. Kente’s programming has been on pause for most of the pandemic. Kente’s Operations Manager, Suzanne Rideout says "After a year of Covid-19 induced silence, Kente Arts Alliance is excited to celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month with our new Kente At Home Series. Our debut concert is on April 26th and will feature the electrifying saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin. Along with her quartet that includes Zaccai Curtis, Lonnie Plaxico and EJ Strickland, she will perform works from her latest album, "The Coltranes", which pays homage to the music of John and Alice Coltrane." Welcome back, Kente Arts Alliance! To learn more about this concert and Kente At Home, visit Kentearts.org

Across town, MCG Jazz, a fixture in jazz presenting, was able to quickly pivot post-shut down leveraging their state-of-the-art recording set-up and 33-year-old archive. Under the leadership of Marty Ashby and Renee Govanucci, MCG Jazz launched a variety of interactive virtual programs to stay connected with their audience. These initiatives include Ask the Artist, live chats with artists that have recorded or performed at MCG Jazz, a video series, Learning About the Legends that document the lives of Pittsburgh Jazz Legends, Guess the Soloist – a social media trivia project featuring improvised solos recorded at the venue, and Archives Series Concerts, regularly streamed concerts from MCG’s robust archive. In addition, MCG streamed a series of new concerts recorded safety on stage at MCG Jazz and launched the Musicians Performance Fund to support over 50 Pittsburgh musicians during the pandemic. To commemorate Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), MCG Jazz is streaming three concerts, consecutively, from the MCG Jazz archives of performances. The three concerts are Smithsonian Jazz Sextet, Bob James and Howard Paul, and Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra with Hubert Laws. To learn more about MCG Jazz’ schedule of April events or virtual programming, visit
Hope you have a chance to enjoy a local or virtual jazz event this April. Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!    

Photo: Kondrad Paszkudzki Trio featuring Pasquale Grasso on guitar and Dylan Shamat on bass, performs at MCG Jazz for a life streamed concert. Credit: Murphy Moschetta Photo.
Final Reminder: Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award Nomination Deadline May 4!
Time is running out to nominate art leader's for the 2021 Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award! The Alan Cooper Award honors an active arts leader or leaders who: 
  • Have demonstrated visionary leadership;  
  • Whose work has broken down barriers and inequities in order to expand access to the arts;  
  • And whose service and engagement with their community has resulted in meaningful impact.  
Though not necessary for nomination, Mid Atlantic Arts is interested in recognizing an arts leader who has made significant contributions through public-private partnerships or in international cultural exchange. 
Nominations are being accepted through May 4, 2021. Eligible nominees will have demonstrated impactful leadership in the arts within Mid Atlantic Arts’ nine state region of DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, USVI, VA, or WV. For more information please go to https://www.midatlanticarts.org/grants-programs/alan-cooper-leadership-in-the-arts-award/.
For more information, please contact Adam “Bo” Plantz at adamp@midatlanticarts.org or via telephone at 410.539.6656 x102
Opportunity Quick Links
  • The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is inviting artists and artist teams to apply to the MuralsDC program in Washington, DC. Artists will design, create and install aerosol murals on selected sites in Washington, D.C. Awards will range from $2,500 to $20,000. This is a national and international call, and experienced Aerosol artists are encouraged to apply. Deadline: April 23, 2021, 11:59 PM EST.
  • The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region welcomes applications for its Barry Alan Gold Memorial Fund. The fund will consider proposals from organizations within the ten-county Capital Region of New York State that are working to improve access to legal services, healthcare services, childcare/family services, and the arts. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. Pre-application Questionnaire Deadline: May 6, 2021.
  • The Historic Hawai'i Foundation welcomes applications for its Historic Preservation Grants program. Through the program, grants ranging from between $10,000 and $100,000 will be awarded in support of restoration or rehabilitation construction projects that preserve the character-defining features of an historic building or site. Deadline: May 15, 2021.
  • PEN America invites applications for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund. Through the fund, grants will be awarded for the translation of book-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or drama that have not previously appeared in English in print or have appeared only in an outdated or otherwise flawed translation. Works should be translations-in-progress, as the grant aims to provide support for completion. Deadline: June 1, 2021.
  • The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is inviting artists and artist teams to apply to the Public Art Building Communities grant in Washington, DC. The Public Art Building Communities (PABC) grant program supports individual artists and organizations in their effort to design, fabricate and install new temporary or permanent works of public art that connect artists with communities. Deadline: July 16, 2021, 11:59 PM EST.