Art Works Blog

American Artscape Notable Quotable: Theresa Colvin, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

"I’ve been entrusted to make the world a better place than what I found it—to make experiences and feelings of connectedness. To hopefully give individuals a sense of acceptance, a belief in themselves, and a belief in connectivity with other human beings. Collectively, we can achieve more together than we can by ourselves.” — Theresa Colvin

From the time she was a child, Theresa Colvin has loved the arts and has known there was something special about them beyond the joy of creation or the wonder of watching a performance unfold—even if she did not quite know what that was just yet. She said that the arts “made me feel connected to other people. It also connected me to something outside of myself; to something that's universal.” Now, as executive director of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), she strives to bring this same sense of connection to the region served by the organization, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia. MAAF supports the rich cultural life in the region through programs that are designed to bring the best in touring arts to presenters large and small; provide infrastructure and support in the jazz and folk and traditional arts fields; and give creative artists the time and space they need to create new work. At the same time, MAAF has expanded the geographic reach of its impact through a number of national and international initiatives. For instance, the organization manages USArtists International (USAI), which supports engagements of U.S. performing artists at significant international festivals and arts markets, and the Performing Arts Global Exchange (a new iteration of the Southern Exposure program), which funds tours of international artists in the United States, with both programs receiving support from the Arts Endowment. MAAF also administers the National Finals of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest for high school students, in partnership with the Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation. For the inaugural issue of American Artscape, in her own words, Colvin told us about the unique role played by MAAF and the impact it makes on those it touches. Read the story here.

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