International Collaboration in the Arts Project
The International Collaboration in the Arts project is an ethnographic documentation effort that NEFA managed in close partnership with the Ford Foundation. With a team of ethnographers, NEFA documented the activities of seven sites -- five regional programs and two national regrant programs -- engaged in supporting international artistic collaboration, with the aim of building knowledge in this area. These seven sites, together with NEFA and the Ford Foundation, compose the Working Group for the International Collaboration in the Arts project.
In addition to producing two comprehensive reports documenting the phases of the International Collaboration in the Arts project, NEFA managed four national convenings for the project that resulted in a series of working papers issued to the performing arts field. Arts International published and distributed all documents related to the project.
The Working Group on International Collaboration in the Arts is a consortium of organizations dedicated to building transnational, intercultural collaborative practice in the arts. Through their participation in the project, these organizations have worked to develop new models for building sustained collaborative work by artists in the United States, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
The Ford Foundation has provided funding to support the programs of the working group through its multiyear initiative "Internationalizing New Works in the Performing Arts," which has the goal of strengthening U.S.-based collaborations that bring leading artists from Africa, Asia and Latin America together as partners with U.S. artists in the creation of new multidisciplinary work in the performing arts.
Arts International participated in the ICA Working Group though its Inroads initiative. The Inroads grant program provided funding to U.S. performing arts organizations to bring artists from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to the U.S. to explore possible collaborative projects with U.S. artists.
Meet The Composer works to increase opportunities for composers by fostering the creation, performance, dissemination, and appreciation of their music. Among its other activities, it supports collaborations between U.S.-based composers and artists of all disciplines living in and outside of the U.S. Meet The Composer’s International Creative Collaborations initiative commissioned new works resulting from multidisciplinary collaborations between U.S.-based composers, choreographers and dramatists, and creative artists, based in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, including non-U.S. composers. Commissions supported through the third round of ICC funding are currently in development.
Africa Exchange, an international program of 651 ARTS, was created as a formal, sustained approach to facilitating collaborations between performing artists from Africa and the United States. The program is designed to preserve, transmit and nurture African cultural forms within US communities, create links between African and U.S.-based artists, explore new artistic forms and mutual influences among cultures, and encourage the creation of new, collaborative work. Africa Exchange supports African artists to travel to the US and engage with their U.S.-based counterparts in residency programs, workshops, and concentrated creative time to explore each other's ideas and inspirations.
The Miami-Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus Cultural Affairs Department has presented a series of intercultural performances including artists of the Caribbean and Latin America through its Cultura del Lobo performance series. It has also commissioned several performance works through the Center for Cultural Collaborations International in collaboration with other South Florida cultural organizations, including the Miami/Haiti project, a collaboration between U.S. choreographer Ralph Lemon, Haitian musician Zao, and several Miami-based musicians, and Los Balseros, a full-length operatic work developed in collaboration between U.S. composer Robert Ashley and Cuban American playwright Marie Irene Fornes.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) was founded in 1980 as a non-profit, multi-disciplinary organization whose mission is to preserve, promote and develop the arts and culture of the Chicano/Latino/Native American peoples. The GCAC manages and provides artistic development for six component programs of the Center, including Dance, Literature, Media Arts, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts and Xicano Music. GCAC is involved in the ICA consortium through its Gateways Program, a performing arts commissioning program intended to bring together artists from the United States and Mexico to create new, multidisciplinary works in the performing arts that take their inspiration from the interplay between contemporary Chicano and Mexican cultures.
UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance is dedicated to supporting research, creative experimentation, critical inquiry and aesthetic production of the performing arts. The Center’s Asia
Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) program is an international artists and writers residency program that promotes cross-cultural and interdisciplinary understanding; develops rigorous strategies for art-making reflecting the nuances of cultural differences; and fosters new ways to experiment, collaborate, and interpret artistic expression.
Northwest Asian American Theatre (NWAAT) Out of a vision to celebrate and explore the multi-cultural voices of Asians in America, Northwest Asian American Theatre is dedicated to discovering, creating, developing and promoting exceptional Asian Pacific Islander (API) American and International works, emphasizing the original and innovative. NWAAT has participated in the ICA Working Group through its International Artists Program a residency based program which produces cross cultural, multi disciplinary collaborations between artists from Asia and API American artists from Seattle in an effort to elicit dialogue and creative expression about the Asian diaspora.
NEFA managed the innovative ethnographic research project undertaken by the International Collaboration in the Arts Working Group members to document best practices and build knowledge for the field in this area.
Reports & Working Papers
Arts International published and distributed all reports and working papers related to the International Collaboration in the Arts project.
The Ford Foundation has a documentary video about the International Collaboration in the Arts Project called Amplifying New Voices. To obtain a copy or view the video go to the Ford Foundation's Grantcraft website.
A transcript of the above-mentioned video that tells the story of the International Collaboration in the Arts Project is available in pdf format. International Collaboration in the Arts Transcript [pdf 56k]
Generous funding for the International Collaboration in the Arts project was provided by the Ford Foundation through its multi-year initiative Internationalizing New Works in the Performing Arts.