Artist Selection

One man and two women dance together with their right leg in the air

Artist Selection

New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and Lisa Booth Management, Inc. (LBMI) administer the selection process for Center Stage. 

Four Center Stage alumni groups will make independent month-long tours in the U.S. between June and December 2025: Khumariyaan (Pakistan), Kurbasy (Ukraine), Mohamed Abozekry (Egypt/France), and Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia). 

There are no opportunities to join the program at this time.


  • Demonstrate high artistic quality and accomplishment.
  • Have an interest in engaging with U.S. communities, including youth, through public and in-school performances, workshops, discussions, artist-to-artist exchanges, and social events.
  • Be comprised of two to nine ensemble members (artists and staff) who are citizens and residents of the selected countries, and 21 years or older at the time of a Center Stage tour.
  • Have previous touring experience but have rarely been seen in the U.S.
  • Have an ability to communicate electronically via email and Zoom in English.
  • Have an interest and agree to actively share their experiences through traditional press outreach, social media channels, and other virtual means.
  • Be available to tour in the U.S. for approximately one month during the period of June – December 2025.
  • Center Stage is particularly interested in professional artists creating contemporary work.

Tour Conditions

Center Stage is a cultural exchange program. Performances are part of every tour, but classroom visits, workshops, artist-to-artist exchanges, media events, and other off-stage activities are a priority.

Each ensemble will visit 4 to 7 different communities in the U.S. – from major cities to small towns.

Honoria are paid to each person who travels on tour. Center Stage arranges and pays for travel, lodging, per diem for meals and incidentals, and any required U.S. taxes. Participants travel on J-1 visas, and are provided with emergency medical insurance while in the U.S.


The U.S. Department of State working with NEFA identifies the participating countries/regions. U.S. Embassies may also independently participate.

Season 8 (2025:) Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ukraine

Season 7 (2023): Ethiopia, Philippines, South Africa

Season 6 (2022-23): Argentina, ArmeniaTaiwan

Season 5 (2022): Colombia & Perú

Season 4 (2018): Egypt & Ukraine 

Season 3 (2016-2017):  AlgeriaPakistanTanzania

Season 2 (2014):  MoroccoPakistanVietnam 

Season 1 (2012):  HaitiIndonesia, Pakistan