Partners & Advisors

A group of performers holding puppets stand on stage, one person is waving a Ukrainian flag

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
Islamabad & 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

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

Center Stage nominations are reviewed by colleagues in the arts field, including artists, managers, agents, presenters, Center Stage Advisors, and U.S. embassies in participating countries. Past reviewers have included representatives from Globalquerque, REDCAT, Moss Arts Center at Virgina Tech, Creative Alliance, and many more.