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Billy Hart Named 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO Honoree

Jazz drummer and educator Billy Hart has been named the 2023 recipient of the Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO! Mr. Hart will be celebrated on Thursday, November 2, 2023 during a special event at the Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia.

Born in Washington, DC, William “Billy” Hart is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.

Early on Mr. Hart performed with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn, and was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964–1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966–1968). He moved to New York in 1968, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland.

Mr. Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1969–1973), and played with McCoy Tyner (1973–1974), Stan Getz (1974–1977), and Quest (1980s), in addition to extensive freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972’s On the Corner).

Mr. Hart works steadily and teaches widely. Since the early 1990s, he has spent considerable time at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and Western Michigan University. He also conducts private lessons through The New School and New York University. Mr. Hart often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium.

Currently, he leads the Billy Hart Quartet with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street, which has released two albums on ECM Records.

A program of Mid Atlantic Arts, the Living Legacy Jazz Award honors living jazz master artists residing in the mid-Atlantic region who have kept the spirit and tradition of this evolving art form alive, maintaining the vitality of jazz for future generations through advocacy, mentorship, and the transmission of artistic skill and cultural knowledge. In addition to the celebration event, the Award comes with a cash honorarium of $10,000.

Image: Billy Hart. Credit: Desmond White.

Jazz Touring Network Accepting

Membership Applications

The Jazz Touring Network (JTN) is looking for new members! The JTN is a group of presenting organizations committed to expanding the presentation of jazz in the mid-Atlantic region and offers support for professional development, building partnerships, and working together to curate tours that reflect the richness of the field of jazz.

Membership applications from presenters in the mid-Atlantic region with little or no experience presenting jazz as well as experienced jazz presenters looking for ways to strengthen their programming are encouraged. New members are selected through a competitive application review process. Priority will be given to organizations located outside of large metropolitan areas that work with communities underserved by the arts. Once selected, membership in the program is ongoing, contingent upon meeting annual participation requirements. The application deadline is Thursday, August 31, 2023.

Learn more and apply here!

Questions about the JTN should be directed to Ernest Stuart, Program Director, Jazz,

USArtists International Application Open

Color photo of a person silhouetted in white smoke on a stage bathed in blue light.

The USArtists International® (USAI) application is now open and updated guidelines are available. There are two deadlines for the FY24 program: September 29, 2023 and March 27, 2024.

If you have an eligible international engagement happening between January 15, 2024 and June 30, 2025, you can apply at the September 29 deadline. Read the program guidelines to confirm eligibility before applying.

Learn More and Apply!

USArtists International® supports in-person performances by U.S. artists at engagements at international festivals and global presenting arts marketplaces outside of the United States. Performing abroad can lead to artistic growth and can expand an artist's career by providing connections with presenters, curators, and fellow artists. Grants of up to $15,000 toward eligible expenses are available across all performing arts practices and disciplines.

Image: Tzveta Kassabova (Demeter) and Shekinah Brown (Persephone) on stage during PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATERs USAI engagement at European Capital of Culture in Greece in July 2023. Credit: Ioannis Kouskoutis.

Welcome New Board Members!

At our June 2023 annual board meeting, Mid Atlantic Arts elected four new board members and elected its 2023-2024 officers. Please join us in welcoming:

Lora Bottinelli (MD) is the Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Prior to joining NCTA, Lora served as the Executive Director of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl from 2006-2018. As folklorist there, Bottinelli established the Lower Shore Traditions Folklife Program and co-directed the American Folklife Center Field School in Crisfield, MD.

Color headshot of Lora Bottinelli.

Val Gay (PA) is a Certified Financial Planner, non-profit administrator, recording and performing artist and thought leader. She is deputy director and chief experience officer for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, where she oversees public programming, community engagement and family programming and the combined front line and security team.

Color headshot of Val Gay.

John McEwan (NJ) serves as the Executive Director of New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a service organization for the state and region’s 42 professional theatres. Under John’s leadership the Alliance completed a successful endowment campaign, and has lead several initiatives benefiting the state’s entire arts sector including The Creating Change Network.

Color headshot of John McEwen.

Carlos Ruiz Cortés (PR) has served as the Executive Director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) since 2017. He was elected by unanimous decision of the ICP Board of Directors to implement and oversee public policy execution regarding arts, culture, and heritage. He oversees over two-hundred employees and contractors, over thirty-five historic buildings, two sub-corporations, and two theaters.

Color headshot of Carlos Ruiz Cortes.

Additionally, Mid Atlantic Arts elected the following officers for the fiscal year 2024: Romona Riscoe Benson (PA), Chair; Donna Walker-Kuhne (NY), Vice Chair; James Lemons (NY), Treasurer; and Margaret G. Vanderhye (VA), Secretary.

We look forward to welcoming our four new members in-person at our fall board meeting in Philadelphia.

Careers In the Arts Toolkit for People

with Disabilities Now Available

In recognition of the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the culmination of ongoing work to increase accessibility in the arts, the NEA is pleased to announce, in partnership with Art Beyond Sight, the Careers in the Arts Toolkit for People with Disabilities. The Careers in the Arts Toolkit is an online resource promoting equity, access, and inclusion for people with disabilities seeking careers in the arts with tailored sections to support artists with disabilities in their career path and those who play a significant role in offering opportunities for training and employment. 

What you will find in this toolkit:

  • Resources for Artists, Cultural Workers, and Youth with Disabilities. This section features tips on pursuing careers in the arts, best practices for obtaining the supports people with disabilities need to succeed on the job, and background on types of arts careers.
  • Resources for Arts Employers. This section explains the benefits of disability inclusion in the arts, ways for arts leaders to ensure their institution is disability inclusive, and how to take proactive steps to hire, present, cast, and advance people with disabilities in arts workplaces.  
  • Resources for Arts Educators. This section explores how arts educators can prepare students with disabilities for careers in the arts, and best practices for fostering disability inclusion within their educational institutions.
  • Resources for Arts Grantmakers. This section will help grantmakers understand their role in practicing equitable philanthropy that is inclusive of people with disabilities.
  • Artist Profiles – Stories of success in obtaining a career in the arts by disabled artists and arts administrators across artistic disciplines and geography.

Special Presenter Initiatives

Supporting 31 Engagements in 2023-2024

Color photo of four musicians shot for promotional purposes.

Congratulations to the DC, DE, PR, USVI, and WV grantees receiving over $102,000 in support through the 2023-2024 Special Presenter Initiatives program.

The Special Presenter Initiatives program provides funding to small and mid-size presenting organizations in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, and the Native nations that share this geography. The program supports presenting projects with professional touring artists and ensembles from anywhere worldwide. The supported projects include public performances as well as community engagement activities that enhance the performance experience and offer meaningful exchanges between touring artists and a presenter’s community.

The artistic engagements proposed by applicant presenters are diverse in performance genre and artist identity. Find out more about the grantees and engagements here.

The Special Presenter Initiatives are a partnership with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Delaware Division of the ArtsThe Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP), the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, and the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History.

Image: The Arden Club, DE will be presenting Lankum from Ireland with support from the Special Presenter Initiatives. Credit: Courtesy of the artist.

APAP Up NEXT Discovery Session

Happening at the APAP|NYC 2024 conference, the UP NEXT! Artist Discovery Session will highlight new projects from artists or companies from the U.S. and abroad. All are encouraged to apply

Eligible projects are:


  • US tour-ready for the 2024-25 presenting season (typically Sept-June), AND 
  • Have not premiered yet or premiered no earlier than July 2023, AND
  • Pitch must focus on one specific project/program. It cannot cover an agency’s roster or multiple program options.

Artists, producers, agents and managers are invited to apply by Monday, August 28 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). While APAP membership is not required to apply, if selected, participant must become an APAP member. Read the full guidelines here.

For questions, contact

Leeann Wallett Joins Mid Atlantic as

Program Director, Creativity in Community

Color headshot of Leeann Wallett.

Leeann Wallett has joined Mid Atlantic as Program Director, Creativity in Community. This new position will be responsible for overseeing and developing new initiatives that center creativity, justice, and community building.

Prior to joining Mid Atlantic, Leeann was with the Delaware Division of the Arts where her roles included Program Officer, Community Engagement and Program Officer, Communications and Marketing. Leeann received her M.M., International Arts Management from Southern Methodist University. 

Leeann can be reached at

Opportunity Quick Links

Color photo of dancers and drummers dressed in bright traditional Japanese clothing twirling umbrellas and playing drums on a stage.
  • The Joyce Foundation invites applications for the 2024 Joyce Awards, the only regional program dedicated to supporting new commissions by artists of color in major Great Lakes cities. Joyce Awards applications may be submitted by artists living and practicing anywhere in the world if they are proposing a collaboration with an art or community organization located in the metropolitan areas of one of six Great Lakes cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, or Minneapolis-St. Paul. Registration Deadline: September 6, 2023.
  • Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts invites applications for the Princeton Arts Fellowships. Through the program, fellowships are awarded to early-career artists whose achievements have demonstrated extraordinary promise in an area of artistic practice and teaching and who would find it beneficial to spend two years teaching and working in an artistically vibrant university community. The Center us accepting submissions for the 2023 application cycle for creative writing, theater, and visual arts programs. Deadline: September 12, 2023.
  • The College Art Association invites applications for the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant. Grants will be awarded in support of book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of American art that are under contract for publication. For this grant program, “American art” is defined as art created in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Publishers, not authors, must make applications. Commercial, university, and museum presses are all eligible to apply but must be CAA members. Deadline: September 15, 2023.
  • The Les Paul Foundation invites applications for grants to support programs and projects that encourage innovation in music production and/or performance and innovative STEM or STEAM programs for students and others in challenging situations. All applicants must describe how Les Paul’s story will be shared. Applicants must be tax-exempt as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Deadline: September 15, 2023.
  • The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) invites applications for multiple fully-funded VCCA residencies at Mt. San Angelo. Fellowships under consideration to occur between May 1, 2024, and August 31, 2024, include: 50th Anniversary Fellowships for Artists of Color, Christina Chiu AAPI Writers Fellowship, SSG & AC Edwards Fellowship, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation Fellowship in Photography, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Fellowship, Richard S. and Julia Louise Reynolds Poetry Fellowship, and the Anne Spencer Fellowship. Deadline: September 15, 2023.

Image: The Folk and Traditional Arts Community Projects program supported The Festival of Japan: Drums + Dance at the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY. Credit: Hideki Aono.

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