Partners & Advisors

Partners & Advisors

U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

This Bureau of the State Department promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international education and exchange programs. Through its Cultural Programs Division, the Bureau supports a variety of cultural exchange programs that support U.S. foreign policy, foster America's artistic excellence, and demonstrate America's respect and appreciation for other cultures and traditions. 

new england foundation for the arts

New England Foundation for the Arts invests in the arts to enrich communities in New England and beyond. NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. Based in Boston, NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. NEFA is the U.S. Department of State’s primary partner for Center Stage.

lisa booth management, inc.

Lisa Booth Management, Inc. (LBMI) realizes contemporary performing arts projects for the widest possible public. A producer, curator, and manager, LBMI’s projects have taken place in more than 400 cities in 55 countries on six continents since 1983. As general manager for Center Stage, LBMI is responsible for tour scheduling, residency planning, promotion, artist care, travel, tax, and visa arrangements, production/backline coordination, tour staffing, and 24/7 oversight.


NEFA and LBMI work closely with an Artist Advisory Committee to recommend artist ensembles from each country. Each committee member is knowledgeable about artists and art forms from multiple countries, and has a strong history of cultural exchange and international programming.

Alicia Adams, Vice President for International Programming
The Kennedy Center - Washington, DC

Arieb Azhar, Musician, Center Stage alumnus, and Executive Director
T2F - Karachi, Pakistan

Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director
Abu Dhabi Arts Center at New York University - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Co-Director, GlobalFest - New York, NY

Robert Browning, Director
Robert Browning Associates - New York, NY

Rachel Cooper, Director, Global Culture & Diplomacy
Asia Society - New York, NY

Asad Jafri, Executive Director
South Asia Institute - Chicago, IL

Marichka Shtyrbulova, Actress, Musician, Center Stage alumna, and member
TseSho band – Kyiv, Ukraine

Maria Tri Sulistyani (Ria), Center Stage alumna, Founder and Director
Papermoon Puppet Theatre – Yogyakarta, Indonesia

nomination reviewers


Anan Ameri
Arab American National Museum – Dearborn, MI

Haniya Aslam
Center Stage alumn, Zeb & Haniya – Pakistan and Canada

Neal Copperman
Globalquerque – Albuquerque, NM

Esty Dinur
University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI

Maura Donohue
Artist – New York, NY

Brahim El Mazned
Artistic Director & Festival Producer – Morocco

Alina Enggist
Trust for Mutual Understanding – New York, NY

David Fraher
Arts Midwest – Minneapolis, MN

Laura Faure
Bates Dance Festival – Lewiston, ME

Kathryn S. Grabowski
Arab American National Museum – Dearborn, MI

Bau Graves
Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL

Chad Herzog
Arizona Arts Live – Phoenix, AZ

Andy Horowitz
Skirball Cultural Center – Los Angeles, CA

Rakae Jamil
Artist/Ethnomusicologist – Chicago, IL

Miles Jay
The Nile Project – California

Barbara Lanciers
Trust for Mutual Understanding – New York, NY

Alison Loerke  
Alia Productions – Seattle, WA

Alfred Madain
The Markaz – San Francisco, CA

Danny Mekonnen
Debo Band – Boston, MA

Tristra Newyear
Rock Paper Scissors – Bloomington, IN

Rob Orchard
ArtsEmerson – Boston, MA

Alexis Ortiz
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – New York, NY

Adam Perry
Arts Midwest – Minneapolis, MN

Ginny Pickett
651 Arts – New York, NY

Zeyba Rahman
Former Independent Producer/Curator & Current Senior Program Officer for the Building Bridges Program at DDFIA

Tamara Turner
Ethnomusicologist – United Kingdom

Dmitri Vietze
Rock Paper Scissors – Bloomington, IN

Marya Wethers
Producing Consultant, International Projects –  New York, NY
Managing Director & Producer, Company Nora Chipaumire

Cathy Zimmerman
MAPP International Productions – New York, NY

U.S. Embassies in Algeria, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania., Ukraine, Vietnam