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rlevitow May 16, 2008 No Comments

US State Department’s Arts Cultural Exchange Grant Program

Arts Exchanges on International Issues

Announcement Type: New Grants
Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/CU-08-43
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number:00.000
Key Dates:
Application Deadline: May 22, 2008

For more information: http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/maio22rfgp.htm

Executive Summary: The Cultural Programs Division of the Office of Citizen Exchanges, in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for grants to implement programs that utilize the arts to engage civil society – particularly youth and diverse and underserved populations – and that foster linkages and build partnerships between U.S. and overseas non-profit arts and cultural organizations, and local communities. These international arts exchange projects will encourage democracy building by demonstrating opportunities for freedom of thought and expression and by underscoring the importance of empowerment in an open society. The Bureau anticipates that approximately 1,250,000 will be available to support this competition. ECA/PE/C/CU expects to fund approximately two to four projects under this competition in FY-2008. U.S. public and non-profit arts and cultural organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue code section 26 USC 501 (c) (3) may submit proposals that support the goals of the Arts Exchanges on International Issues Program. As applicable, programs should include two-way exchanges of participants from the U.S. and foreign countries.

Proposed projects should transform institutional and individual understanding of key international, arts and/or cultural issues, foster dialogue, develop professional expertise and develop leadership capacity. Through these people-to-people exchanges, the Bureau seeks to reach out to young people, counter negative perceptions, promote good governance, contribute to conflict prevention and management, and build respect for cultural expression and identity in the world. Projects should be structured to encourage American professionals and their international counterparts in eligible countries to develop a common dialogue for dealing with shared challenges and concerns. The Bureau is especially interested in engaging socially and economically diverse groups that may not have had extensive contact with counterpart institutions in the United States.

Applicants may only submit one proposal under this open competition. An applicant may not include in its project proposal countries not eligible under each specific theme as designated in the RFGP. Proposals that contain countries that are not listed in under each theme in the RFGP will be considered technically ineligible, and will not receive further consideration in the review process.

For this competition, all eligible organizations must demonstrate a minimum of five years' experience successfully conducting international arts exchange programs that involved the exchange of participants.

The Bureau is interested in receiving proposals from organizations with a strong interest, thematic expertise, institutional commitment and a successful track-record in conducting international exchanges. We welcome proposals from organizations that have not previously received ECA funding. Organizations that have the expertise, interest and institutional commitment but lack the required experience of conducting exchanges may wish to consider developing proposals based on consortia type relationships with more experienced, eligible organizations. Please note that for these proposals, the role of each organization must be clearly defined and any sub-granting agreements must be included in the proposal submission.

I. Funding Opportunity Description:
Authority:
Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is "to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries…; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations…and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world." The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.

Purpose: This grant competition is based on the premise that people-to-people exchanges encourage and strengthen understanding of democratic values and nurture the cultural and social growth of societies. Under this premise, the Bureau seeks proposals for projects in which U.S. visual artists and arts educators work with their counterparts overseas to create mutually beneficial and self-sustaining partnerships between cultural organizations and/or professional communities. Proposals that show strong prospects for enhancing existing long term collaborations or establishing new collaborative efforts among participating organizations. Proposals with a finished product will be deemed more competitive under the program planning criterion listed below.

The two project themes for which the Bureau will accept proposals under this competition are as follows: 1) Mixed Visual Artistic Mediums: Cultural Exchange Between American Indigenous and Minority Artists and Indigenous and Afro-Latino Artists from Latin and Central America; and 2) Mixed Visual Artistic Mediums: Cultural Exchange Between American Women Artists and Women Artists from Africa and/or the Middle East.

Under this grant program, U.S. non-profit organizations will conduct projects in cooperation with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cultural Programs Division on the themes listed above, with their counterparts in the world regions described under each project theme. Interested applicants will need to read each of the following theme descriptions below in order to determine the eligible counties of exchange for each theme. No guarantee is made or implied that grants will be awarded in both themes and in all targeted countries.

In addition to describing extensive expertise in the specific thematic area, proposals should reflect a practical understanding of global issues, and demonstrate sensitivity to cultural, political, economic and social differences in the specific world regions in which the exchange project will occur. Special attention should be given to describing the applicant organization's experience with planning and implementing people-to-people international cultural exchange projects. Applicants should outline their project team's capacity for successfully implementing projects of this nature and provide a detailed sample program and time line to illustrate planning capacity and ability to achieve program objectives. Applicants must identify all U.S. and foreign partner organizations and/or venues with whom they are proposing to collaborate, and describe previous cooperative projects in the section on "Institutional Capacity." For this competition, applicants must include in their proposal supporting materials or documentation that demonstrates a minimum of five years experience in conducting international arts exchange programs. Proposals must include references with name and contact information for other assistance awards the applicant has received in the event the Bureau chooses to be in touch directly.

U.S. Embassy Involvement: Before submitting a proposal, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Bureau's Cultural Programs Division in Washington, D.C. – for the themes/regions listed in this solicitation. It is important that the proposal narrative clearly state the applicant's commitment to consult closely with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the relevant country(ies) to develop plans for project implementation and to select project participants. Proposals should also acknowledge U.S. Embassy involvement in the final selection of all participants. Applicants should state their willingness to invite representatives of the Embassy(ies) and/or consulate(s) to participate in program sessions or site visits.

For the 2008 Arts Exchanges on International Issues Program, U.S. non-profit organizations may submit grant proposals for either one of the two project themes and countries of exchange that are listed below. Please note that for additional information about this grant competition, a contact program officer is listed under each of the following two themes:

1. Mixed Visual Artistic Mediums:
Two-way cultural exchange between American indigenous and minority artists and indigenous and Afro-Latino artists from countries in Latin and Central America.
Program Contact: E.J. Montgomery, tel: (202) 203-7520, e-mail: montgomeryEJ@state.gov with copy to: bensonMN@state.gov.

Project Goals:
ECA seeks programs that will bring together emerging foreign and U.S. indigenous and Afro-Latino professional artists to address common issues facing them and express their reactions to these issues through multiple, mixed artistic media. The program should focus on the challenges faced by minorities in the modern world and how minority artists can use art for self-expression and as a way to engage others in the community to address challenges facing minorities. The program should also help the artists develop a deeper understanding of themselves as artists and as opinion shapers and community leaders. Issues to be examined/ explored include : identity, diversity, educational opportunities, role of indigenous and afro-Latino minorities within a multi-ethnic society, minorities as artists, censorship, and artistic/professional development. The program should explore similarities and unique qualities of members of minority populations and focus on how art can be used to promote tolerance and respect for diversity.

Participants:
Participants (foreign and U.S.) should be emerging indigenous and Afro-Latino artists from the U.S. and selected countries in Latin and Central America whose artistic disciplines include photography, painting, mural art, textile & fiber art, or small sculpture. They should have demonstrated a commitment to their profession as well as to positively influencing their communities, particularly other minorities and youth. A diverse mix of participants from a variety of countries in Latin and Central America is desired.

Participant Selection:
Foreign participants will be nominated in two ways: by the Department of State through a call for nominations from U.S. Embassies and posts, and; by the grantee organization, which will utilize its own network of contacts overseas (including museums, minority organizations and artistic associations) and its own resources (such as visiting U.S. artists) to make a concurrent call for nominations. The American participants will be selected via a competitive process that will include an open call for applications in the U.S. All participant applications will be reviewed by a panel organized and convoked by the grantee organization and consisting of artists and art professionals, and an ECA representative as an observer. Procedures for the nomination and for selection of participants and panel members must be detailed in the proposal. ECA will review and approve nominees (foreign and U.S.) prior to and following panel consideration, in consultation with posts.

Eligible Countries:
ECA is particularly interested in projects in the following countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru and Nicaragua.

Successful programs will achieve the following:
— Provide participants with a deeper understanding of issues facing minorities in Latin and Central America and in the U.S. This may include the role and identity of minorities in their particular cultures and how this affects their ability to reach the desired level of professional and personal development. The program should also develop and explore tools that will permit participants to address these issues.

— Provide participants an understanding of how international cultural exchange and networking can positively influence their lives and those of others and provide them the tools to accomplish successful networking.

— Provide participants with an appreciation and a greater understanding and respect for diverse cultures – focusing specifically on U.S. society and culture. Provide them a greater understanding of the similarities, including shared values between the U.S. and the foreign country (ies).

— Enhance participant leadership capacity and their ability to initiate and support follow-on activities in their home countries intended to empower other minorities.

— Provide a platform for cross cultural dialogue and develop enduring professional ties between U.S. and foreign artists.

Successful applicants must fully demonstrate a capacity to achieve the following:

(1) Work jointly with foreign and U.S. partners and/or contacts to design, develop, and execute a multi-lingual, multi-regional, international program of exchanges, professional development, artistic enrichment and cross-cultural dialogue that achieves the goals described above.

(2) Identify, screen, recruit and select approximately 10 to 16 indigenous and Afro-Latino artists from specified countries in Latin and Central America (at least 2 participants from each country) and between 5 – 8 artists from the U.S. fitting the above description.

(3) Provide a sound infrastructure for coordination and implementation of the entire program. This refers to both substantive and administrative components of the program, including but not limited to: fellowship and workshops content and organization, travel, housing, orientation, visa applications, and language interpretation. Successful applicants will also have U.S. and/or Latin and Central America partners able and willing to provide cost-sharing (including in-kind) in order to cover program costs.

(4) Design, build and implement intensive one to two-week visual arts programs in the foreign countries and three to four-week visual arts programs in the U.S. that will achieve program objectives.

(5) Develop enhancement activities and opportunities that reinforce program goals after the participants return to their home countries. Follow-on components could be public presentations by program participants.

Possible Program Model:
1. In the first phase of the program selected American visual artists will travel to Latin and Central America for a one to two week program to meet with counterparts and to conduct workshops with young emerging artists in the selected countries. The program should include visits to local universities and visual arts or other cultural partner institutions as well as events that engage broader audiences of minorities and youth from diverse and underserved populations. Through this interaction, the U.S. grantee will identify artists from the region as possible candidates for the U.S.-based program. Concurrently, overseas posts will also be making nominations. Final selection of foreign participants will then be made as described above.

2. In phase two of the program, the selected foreign artists will travel to the U.S. to participate in a three-to-four week collaborative visual arts program with their American counterparts. The program should provide an overview of the role of minorities in the selected participant countries and the U.S. and the visual art techniques and traditions used by them to express identity. It should provide an opportunity for analysis, exploration and dialogue. It should include workshops and master classes that explore the role of art in self-expression and identity, underscore the importance of education for minorities, and inform about the resources available to artists. Participants should also have the opportunity to visit places of cultural interest in the visual arts field where they can interact with other artists. Through visits to community centers and other social venues, they should also have been provided an opportunity to engage broader audiences from diverse and underserved populations.

3. In phase three of the program, grantee organizes a public exhibition of the collaborative work or individual pieces produced by the participants during their fellowship that reflect themes about minorities and identity explored through the fellowship.

4. In phase four, the foreign participants return to their countries. Follow-on components to the program could be a virtual exhibit on the website of the work done by the artists during their fellowship and the opportunity to continue to network with other artist participants and engage the local communities.

5. This model cycle would be repeated, with the expectation that the grantee will seek to involve first cycle participants in some elements of the second year's program.

2. Mixed Visual Artistic Media:
Two- way cultural exchange between American Women artists and Women artists from countries in the Middle East and/or Africa.

Program Contact: E.J. Montgomery, tel: (202) 203-7520, e-mail: montgomeryEJ@state.gov with copy to bensonMN@state.gov.

Project Goals:
ECA seeks programs that will bring together emerging foreign and U.S. professional women artists to address common issues facing women as expressed through multiple, mixed artistic media. The program should focus on the challenges faced by women in the modern world and how female artists can use art for self-expression and as a way to engage others in the community to address challenges facing them. The program should also help the artists develop a deeper understanding of themselves as artists and as opinion shapers and community leaders. Issues to be examined/ explored include : identity, censorship, equal rights, educational opportunities, violence against women, the roles of women in society, women as artists, and artistic/professional development. The program should focus on how art can promote tolerance and respect for women.

Participants:
Participants should be emerging women artists from the U.S. and selected countries in the Middle East and/or Africa whose artistic disciplines include photography, painting, mural art, textile and fiber art, or small sculpture. They should have demonstrated a commitment to their profession as well as to positively influencing their communities, particularly other women and youth. A diverse mix of participants from a variety of countries in the Middle East and/or Africa regions is suggested.

Participant Selection:
Foreign participants will be nominated in two ways: by ECA through a call for nominations from U.S. Embassies and posts, and; by the grantee organization, which will utilize its own network of contacts overseas (including museums, minority organizations and artistic associations) and its own resources (such as visiting U.S. artists) to make a concurrent call for nominations. The American participants will be selected via a competitive process that includes an open call for applications in the U.S. All participant applications will be reviewed by a panel organized and convoked by the grantee organization and consisting of artists and art professionals, and an ECA representative as an observer. Procedures for the nomination and for selection of participants and panel members must be detailed in the proposal. ECA will review and approve nominees (foreign and U.S.) prior to and following panel consideration in consultation with posts.

Eligible Countries
ECA seeks projects in the Middle East and/or Africa.

Successful programs will achieve the following:
— Provide participants a deeper understanding of issues facing women in the Middle East and/or Africa and in the U.S. This may include the role and identity of women in their particular cultures and how this affects their ability to reach the desired level of professional and personal development. The program should also develop and explore tools that will permit participants to address these issues.

— Provide participants an understanding of how international cultural exchange and networking can positively influence their lives and those of others and provide them the tools to accomplish successful networking.

— Provide participants with an appreciation and a greater understanding and respect for diverse cultures – focusing specifically on U.S. society and culture. Provide them a greater understanding of the similarities, including shared values between the U.S. and the foreign country(ies).

— Enhance participant leadership capacity and their ability to initiate and support follow-on activities in their home countries intended to empower other women.

— Provide a platform for cross cultural dialogue and for developing enduring professional ties between U.S. and foreign artists.

Successful applicants must fully demonstrate a capacity to achieve the following:

(1) Work jointly with foreign and U.S. partners and contacts to design, develop, and execute a multi-lingual, multi-regional, international program of exchanges, professional development, artistic enrichment and cross-cultural dialogue that achieves the goals described above.

(2) Identify, screen, recruit and select approximately 10 to 16 women throughout countries in the Middle East and/or Africa (at least 2 participants from each country) and between 5 – 8 artists from the U.S. fitting the above description.

(3) Provide a sound infrastructure for coordination and implementation of the entire program. This refers to both substantive and administrative components of the program, including but not limited to: fellowship and workshop content and organization, travel, housing, orientation, visa applications, and language interpretation. Successful applicants will also have partners in the U.S. and/or Middle East and Africa that are able and willing to provide cost-sharing (including in-kind) in order to cover program costs.

(4) Design, build and implement intensive one to two-week visual arts programs in the foreign countries and three to four-week visual arts programs in the U.S. that will achieve program objectives.

(5) Develop enhancement activities and opportunities that reinforce program goals after the participants return to their home countries. Follow-on components could be public presentations by program participants.

Possible Program Model:
1. In the first phase of the program selected American visual artists will travel to the Middle East and/or Africa for a one to two week program to meet with counterparts and to conduct workshops with young emerging artists in the selected countries. The program should include visits to local universities and visual arts partner institutions as well as events that engage broader audiences of women and youth from diverse and underserved populations. At this time the U.S. grantee and the Middle Eastern and African partners will identify women from the region to participate in the U.S. based program. Concurrently, overseas posts will also be making nominations. Final selection of foreign participants will then be made as described above.

2. In phase two of the program, the selected foreign artists will travel to the U.S. for a three-to-four week program to participate in collaborative visual arts project with their American counterparts. The program should provide an overview of the role of women in the selected participant countries and the U.S. and the visual art techniques and traditions used by them to express identity. It should provide an opportunity for analysis, exploration and dialogue. It should include workshops and master classes that explore the role of art in self- expression and identity, underscore the importance of education for women and inform about the resources available to artists. Participants should also have the opportunity to visit places of cultural interest in the visual arts field where they can interact with other artists. Through visits to community centers and other social venues, they should also have been provided an opportunity to engage broader audiences from diverse and underserved populations.

3. In phase three of the program, the grantee organizes a public program to include an exhibition of the collaborative work or individual pieces produced by the participants during their fellowship that reflect themes about women and their identity explored through the fellowship.

4. In phase four the foreign participants return to their countries. Follow-on components to the program could be a virtual exhibit on the website of the work done by the women during their fellowship and the opportunity to continue to network with other artist participants and engage the local communities.

5. This model cycle would be repeated, with the expectation that the grantee will seek to involve first cycle participants in some elements of the second year's program.

II. Award Information:
Type of Award: Grant Agreement
Fiscal Year Funds: FY-2008
Approximate Total Funding: $1,250,000
Approximate Number of Awards: 2-4 awards
Approximate Average Award: $450,000
Floor of Award Range: $200,000
Ceiling of Award Range: $600,000
Anticipated Award Date: August 15, 2008
Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 30, 2010 Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA's intent to renew this grant for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

 

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