Cultural Exchange (Visual Arts)

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of State , Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
CFDA #: 19.414

Purpose of this program:

To help ensure that the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in the United States are represented at international visual and performing arts festivals.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The Fund makes grants to independent curators and nonprofit museums and galleries that have been recommended by a peer committee following a competitive solicitation nationwide from some 400 curators of contemporary art. Curators and artists must be mindful of the diplomatic context under which U.S. exhibitions are presented given their sponsorship by the U.S. Embassy. All exhibitions and accompanying publications should advance mutual understanding and respect between the U.S. and the host country.

Who is eligible to apply...

Applications are accepted from nonprofit museums, galleries, artists cooperatives, or independent curators. Applications are not accepted from commercial galleries. Applicants should not have kinship or close personal ties to proposed artists.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

All applications must include resumes of curators and artists.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Curators wishing to submit a proposal for an international visual arts festivals should contact the project coordinator described in 091 Preapplication Coordination, or request an application from: The Fund for U. S. Artists, Arts International, 251 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010-7302. Telephone: (212) 674-9744, ext. 107. Fax: (212) 674-9092. Website: WWW.IIE.ORG.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Letters are sent periodically to curators describing upcoming festivals for which an official U.S. representation is sought. The event is described, giving parameters of media, scale, format, etc. required by event organizers. The letters also describe the application process, required format, theme, budget and deadlines. After receipt, the proposals are reviewed by the Federal Advisory Committee for International Exhibitions (FACIE), a standing committee of the National Endowment for the Arts consisting of seven curators and directors of contemporary art museums and galleries. The committee recommends the proposal it thinks would best represent the U.S. at a particular event.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Deadlines vary depending on receipt of information from event organizers concerning opening dates and themes. There are normally two deadlines each year, usually in the Spring and Fall.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Six weeks.

Preapplication Coordination

Curators are invited to contact project coordinator Tom Carmichael. Telephone: (202) 619-4809. Fax: (202) 619-6315. Email: TCARMICHAEL@PD.STATE.GOV, to discuss planned project and clarify details of venues, on-site coordination, budget, publication, etc. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.



Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).



Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Proposed artists must be working at a professional level as painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, or working with electronic media, installations or traditional arts.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Each project is budgeted by the Fund at a different level, depending on the scale of the event, expected local costs, etc. These range from $60,000 for the Cuenca (Ecuador) Bienal, to $300,000 for the Venice Biennale.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $200,000; FY 04 $350,000; and FY 05 $0 (program will be discontinued in FY 05).

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

For 2000: Anticipated events include grants to the Saaremaa Bienaal in Riga, Latvia, the Havana Bienal, the Kwangju (Korea) Biennale, and the Sydney Biennale. For 2001: The Fund will support U.S. artists at the Venice Biennale, Cairo Biennial, and the Cuenca (Ecuador) Bienal.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

The Festivals Fund supports a number of official U.S. artists at from three to five international biennials each year. In addition, another three to five self-curated biennials receive grant support.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Eligible proposals are reviewed based on the following criteria: (A) artistic excellence; (B) extent to which proposal represents the vitality and diversity of contemporary U.S. visual arts; (C) suitability of the exhibition for the specific venue; (D) ability of applicant to carry out the proposed exhibition; (E) record of professional activity and achievement by individuals/organizations involved.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance


Formula and Matching Requirements

The Fund is supported by the Department of State and the National Endowment for the Arts -- and two foundations -- the Rockefeller Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. There is no matching requirement. However applications which exceed the amount budgeted for that project by the Fund must describe how additional funds will be raised. The Fund looks for evidence of an institution's commitment in terms of contributed salaries and infrastructure support.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Reports are required from grantees of the Fund within 90 days after artworks have been returned to lenders and bills have been paid.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Subject to audit.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


As prescribed by grant terms.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Public Law 87-256, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Consult websites of Department of State at WWW.USIA.GOV or Arts International at WWW.ARTSINTERNATIONAL.ORG; or write or phone Arts International, 251 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010-7302. Telephone: (212) 674-9744 ext. 107. Fax: (212) 674-9092.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Exhibitions are managed by the Cultural Programs Division, Department of State, Washington, DC 20547. Contact: Tom Carmichael. Telephone: (202) 619-4809.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: