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American Music Abroad (AMA)

Opportunity for USA Musical Ensembles
to Participate in an International Tour

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Voices and U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

Deadline Date:

01/19/20 11:59 PM PST


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Opportunity for USA musical ensembles to participate in a 20-day international tour. Selected ensembles will have the opportunity to present their work to international audiences during public concerts, demonstrations, lectures, workshops, media interviews, jam sessions, and interactive performances with local musicians. Program activities will focus on younger and underserved audiences in approximately 30-45 countries in Africa, Asia and Oceania, Eastern Europe, Central and South America and the Middle East.

American Music Abroad is a partnership between American Voices and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The mission of the American Music Abroad program is to facilitate cultural exchange via musical performance and educational outreach. The ensembles selected will conduct regional cultural exchange tours in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and the Middle East for approximately one month. As part of the program activities, selected ensembles will perform high-profile public concerts, engage in intensive collaborations with local musicians, lead jam sessions, appear in the media and offer educational activities such as workshops, music business training for aspiring musicians and motivational and education programs for under-served youth.

Prior to the respective tours, each ensemble will participate in the American Music Abroad@Home program in Washington, D.C., which includes a concert or education program in a local school or community center and an orientation at the U.S. Department of State. All events nationally and internationally may be recorded, posted on social media and broadcast non-commercially.

The diversity of traditional American genres we are seeking, includes, but is not limited to Contemporary Urban, hip hop, rock & roll, indie, R&B, jazz, blues, Broadway Musical Theater and American roots music genres like country, gospel, soul, Bluegrass, Zydeco, Cajun, Afro-Caribbean, Tejano, Southwestern American Conjunto, Native-American and Folk. Bands combining or crossing-over genres will be considered.

Successful applicant bands are required to demonstrate artistic integrity, musical ability and knowledge of the role their genre has played in American history and culture. In addition, bands must demonstrate knowledge of innovative Music Business strategies and a strong commitment to community and education programming.

Selection Criteria: 

  • High artistic standards.
  • Demonstrated communication skills and the ability to communicate with diverse groups of vastly different age ranges, educational backgrounds, language abilities, and levels of exposure to American culture and music.
  • Creative presentation of genre and education materials.
  • Demonstrated commitment to educational and community activities.
  • Knowledge of and experience in Music Business.
  • Experience and/or potential to thrive as cultural diplomats.
  • Ability to perform consistently and effectively in difficult touring schedules, climates and travel conditions.
  • Ability to obtain passport, visa, immunization and complete other preparations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177382

Number of Grants:

From the 35 to 45 finalist bands, approximately 12 bands will be selected for the American Music Abroad 2020-2021 tour season. In addition, two alternate bands will be chosen in the event that one of the finalist bands is unable to tour.

Estimated Size of Grant:

There is a $300 honorarium per tour day, per musician. Most tours will last for approximately 20 days making compensation per musician approximately $6,000. Additionally, each musician will receive in advance of the tour a sum to cover a daily per diem for meals and incidentals as well as lodging based on State Department guidelines specific to each city.

Term of Contract:

Tours will take place from September 2020 through May 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Application Criteria:
- Each musician must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and either hold or be able to obtain a valid U.S. passport. Please note we cannot make any exceptions.
- Applying bands must be either trios, quartets or quintets (3-5 people).
- No musical group or individual musician may participate in the American Music Abroad program more than 3 times in the last 5 years.
- Applicants must be amenable to rigorous traveling and performance conditions, as touring regions and itineraries may be challenging.
- In addition to concerts and media appearances, the selected bands will present educational activities that include, but are not limited to: workshops, classes and community outreach activities.

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline and Deadlines:
- November 1, 2019: Applications open for the 2020 – 2021 Touring Season
- 11:59 PM PST on January 19, 2020: All completed applications and supplementary materials must be submitted.
- Late January/Early February 2020: AMA announces finalists selected for live auditions.
- March 23-28, 2020: Live auditions are held in New York and San Francisco. American Voices will work with ensembles to schedule live auditions dates and locations (audition location is at American Voices’ discretion).
- April 2020: Final ensembles are selected and notified.

Timelines and Deadlines:

Application Criteria:

Live Audition Information:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Office Phone: +1 314 732 1323
Skype: AmericanMusicAbroad

American Voices
3547 Olive St, Suite 280
St Louis, MO 63103

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming