Bands playing maracatu music on stage at Lincoln Center.


Through cooperative initiatives with other funders, the National Endowment for the Arts brings the benefit of international exchange to arts organizations, artists, and audiences nationwide. The Arts Endowment's international activities increase recognition of the excellence of U.S. arts around the world and broaden the scope of experience of American artists, thereby enriching the art they create. Through partnerships with other government agencies and the private sector, the National Endowment for the Arts fosters international creative collaboration by strengthening residency programs of foreign artists in communities across the country. Local citizens as well as the arts community benefit from the lasting international ties that result.


USArtists International -- logo

Performances at art markets abroad provide American artists with opportunities to exchange ideas and practices with their colleagues in other countries, as well as to engage with new and larger audiences. It is our hope that participation of exemplary artists from the United States in international art markets will foster greater appreciation of the excellence, diversity and vitality of the American performing arts.

USArtists International (USAI) is committed to ensuring that the impressive range of the performing arts in the United States is represented abroad, and that American artists can enhance their creative and professional development through participation at these festivals.

Through USAI, administered by our partner Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, grants are available to American dance, music and theater ensembles and solo performers that have been invited to perform at international art markets and for engagements that represent extraordinary career opportunities anywhere in the world outside of the United States.

USAI website

In 2023, the NEA published Crossing Borders through Cultural Exchange: A Review of the USArtists International Program, which summarizes results from the USArtists International Survey Report and presents six case studies of artists who have participated in the program, giving an overview and providing insights of why the program is important and how it helps artists reach new audiences.

Performing Arts Discovery logo

Performing Arts Discovery

WESTAF's Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) provides a platform to connect U.S. artists, producers, and arts organizations with presenters from abroad. In partnership with the Regional Arts Organizations, PAD showcases the work of U.S. performing artists, in each region, for presenters based outside the United States. Given the impact of COVID 19, we have shifted support to production tools for artists to develop professional videos, a platform that allows presenters to access these videos, and the ability to market these videos to a broader audience of presenters around the globe.

Performing Arts Global Exchange

Performing Arts Global Exchange (PAGE) brings exemplary international music, dance, and theater to audiences across the United States. Every year a new region of the world is highlighted. Fee support grants are available to nonprofit presenting venues and units of state, local, or tribal government based anywhere in the U.S. or its territories who book artists from a curated roster. Artists on the roster have not widely toured in the United States and reside in a selected region, with the inaugural year’s roster featuring artists from U.S. neighbors: Canada and Mexico. PAGE is administered by our partner, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

PAGE website

Japan-United States Friendship Commission logo

The United States/Japan Creative Artists Program provides three to five month residencies in Japan for five individual creative artists in any discipline. While in Japan, artists work on an individual project which may include the creation of new work or pursuit of their individual artistic goals. When planning their stay abroad, fellows should consider how exposure to Japan's contemporary or traditional cultures can influence their creative work.

U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellowships