Artist Selection

Artist Selection

Nominations are currently closed

Building on the program's success over the past three seasons, Center Stage will invite 5 ensembles to make individual month-long tours during the period of June to December 2018. 


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

Season 4: In July 2017 we expect to announce ensembles touring from Egypt and Ukraine during the 2018-2019 season.

Season 3 (2016-2017):  Algeria, Pakistan, Tanzania

Season 2 (2014):  MoroccoPakistanVietnam 

Season 1 (2012):  Haiti, Indonesia, Pakistan 

Selection Process

New England Foundation for the Arts and Lisa Booth Management administer the selection process. 

Artists are identified during an open nominations period, and through advance trips to each country. 

Nominations may be submitted by presenters, artists and their representatives, U.S. Embassy personnel, regional arts organizations, state arts agencies, and individuals in the U.S. and abroad knowledgeable about performing arts ensembles in the identified countries. Artists interested in participating may submit a nomination on behalf of their own ensemble.

  • All nominations are reviewed by a panel of readers with knowledge of the performing arts and culture in these specific countries.  A list of candidates for consideration is identified by Center Stage’s panel of artistic advisors.
  • A delegation travels to each country to meet with potential ensembles and cultural leaders. Travelers include presenters and artists led by representatives from NEFA and LBMI and facilitated by the U.S. Embassies.  Travelers also conduct workshops, meet with the media, and, in general, seek to learn firsthand about the cultural context of each country.
  • Selections are made by the New England Foundation for the Arts in consultation with Lisa Booth Management, Inc. with final approval from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State or a host Embassy.


Participating performing arts ensembles must:

  • 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.
  • Have previous touring experience but have rarely been seen in the U.S.
  • Have an ability to communicate electronically via email and Skype in English.
  • Have an interest and agree to actively share these experiences through traditional press outreach and social media channels.

Other factors influencing selection include artist availability, artistic discipline (dance, theater, music and multi-media), mix and diversity of programming, and logistical considerations.