Sixth Season Of Center Stage To Include Performing Artists From Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan

Nov 12, 2020

Sixth Season Of Center Stage To Include Performing Artists From Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan

Kelsey Colcord Spitalny

Program Coordinator, Center Stage

Cultural Diplomacy Program Opens Call for Artists Due December 13, 2020

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is pleased to announce the sixth season of Center Stage with a call for nominations of performing arts ensembles from Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan. Through a merit-based selection process, seven ensembles total will be invited to tour the U.S. from July 2022 to May 2023.

Center Stage is a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Center Stage creates opportunities for exchange among artists, presenters, and the public, creating alliances for exploration – and mutual understanding. Since 2012, 29 performing arts ensembles from nine nations –-  Algeria, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Vietnam –- have visited 100 different communities in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Five ensembles from Colombia and Perú will tour the U.S. during the 2021-22 presenting season. As hosted by colleges and universities, festivals, music clubs, and cultural centers, tours travel to large cities and small towns, and feature a range of activities from performances, workshops, and discussions, to artist-to-artist exchanges, masterclasses, and community gatherings.

Nominations of professional performing arts ensembles may be submitted by anyone, including presenters, artists and their representatives, U.S. Embassy personnel, regional arts organizations, state arts agencies, international institutions, and individuals in the U.S. and abroad knowledgeable about performing arts in the identified countries/regions. Artists interested in participating may submit a nomination on behalf of their own ensemble. Multiple nominations for ensembles are accepted.


Nominations are due on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at midnight EDT.

Selection Criteria

  • 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/regions, 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 July 2022 – May 2023.
  • Center Stage is particularly interested in professional artists creating contemporary work.

“Center Stage welcomes important new voices into our national cultural dialogue, enlarging our world, and sharing diverse, global perspectives directly with communities in the U.S., and with fans and allies abroad,” said Adrienne Petrillo, Senior Program Director at NEFA. “We look forward to engaging with artists from Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan during our next season.”

Center Stage is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government. It is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc. 

The selection of seven groups from among the three participating countries/regions will take into consideration diversity and mix of art forms, and logistical considerations.

All nominations will be reviewed by Center Stage staff, U.S. Embassy personnel, and a panel of artistic advisors with knowledge of the performing arts and culture in these specific countries/regions.

All nominees will be notified of their status by email in February 2021.

Finalists will be asked to participate in zoom meetings with Center Stage staff and reviewers in March-April 2021.

Following approval by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, invitations to selected ensembles will be issued in May 2021.

About the 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. 

About 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 500 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.

About NEFA

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. 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. Learn more at