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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 7360]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: American Music Abroad

Announcement Type:New Cooperative Agreement.

Funding Opportunity Number:ECA/PE/C/CU-11-09.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number:19.415.

Key Dates:

Application Deadline:April 29, 2011.

Executive Summary:The Cultural Programs Division in the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to administer the American Music Abroad program. The program will consist of approximately ten tours for a select number of professional American artists in a wide range of uniquely American musical genres. The program is designed to broadly represent the excellence and diversity of traditional American music. Some examples of American music genres include, but are not be limited to, contemporary urban music, hip hop, rock and roll, jazz and American roots music genres like country and western, bluegrass, zydeco, Cajun, and folk. The musicians selected for this program must demonstrate high artistic ability, evidence a strong commitment to education and exchange activities, and reflect the diversity of America and American music. They must be conversant with the broader aspects of contemporary American society and culture. International tours will include workshops, master classes, and outreach activities, in addition to performances.

U.S. public and non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals that support the goals of the American Music Abroad program: to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, and cross-cultural awareness. The tours accomplish this by providing an opportunity for international audiences to experience American musical life, highlighting the contemporary music scene as well as our country's cultural history, and allowing American performers to learn about life and culture in the foreign host countries.

The Bureau is particularly interested in proposals for the administration of tours by American musicians representing diverse American music genres to countries with significant underserved populations that may not otherwise have access to American art forms, and countries with significant youth populations. The Bureau is also interested in proposals for projects that reach indigenous populations. No guarantee is made or implied that a grant will be awarded for tours to any particular region or that tours will be organized to any particular region.

To be eligible for this competition, all organizations must demonstrate a minimum of five years' experience successfully conducting international performing arts exchange programs inthe music field. The organization must have experience administering programs in multiple musical genres.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Authority:Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is "to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world." The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.

Purpose:The Bureau seeks proposals to engage people and audiences overseas that do not normally have access to American cultural performances or American artists by presenting at least ten tours of musical groups representing a wide range of American musical genres.

Specific terms for the selection of the musical groups will be developed in collaboration with ECA, and subject to ECA approval. Significantly, proposals should describe application and selection plans that seek to represent the broadest possible diversity of American musical genres. In general, of the 10 selected American Music Abroad musical groups, no more than two groups may be repeat or alumni groups that have participated in past American Music Abroad programs and no single group may participate in the program more than twice. Performances are only one aspect of an exchange program focusing on people-to-people interactions. American Music Abroad musicians will be expected to conduct or participate in master classes, lectures, workshops with people from varied age groups and musical backgrounds, impromptu musical sessions, radio and TV appearances, and other activities with local cultural institutions, musicians, media and students. Therefore it is important that the proposal include plans for identifying groups who can conduct exchange activities as well as perform.

Participating musicians must be U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old; demonstrate the highest artistic, performance and teaching abilities; be dedicated to interactive educational activities targeting various age-groups and musical abilities; have a strong interest in intercultural exchange; be conversant with broader aspects of contemporary American society and culture; be adaptable to rigorous touring through regions of the world where travel and performance situations may be difficult; and represent the diversity of America and American Music.

The search, adjudication and selection process of the musicians must consist of an open call to U.S. musicians with clear and transparent selection criteria and mechanism approved by ECA, geared to final competitive selection by an independent panel that includes an ECA representative and culminating in a diverse cadre of musicians.

Auditions should be held in two cities (one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast) and selected in consultation with ECA. A panel of judges should be assembled in consultation with ECA. Any pre-screening of applicant musicians prior to the auditions (such as blind musical screenings) must be agreed to in consultation with ECA.

The selected musicians (approximately 10 ensembles of varying size, possibly including trios, quartets, and quintets) must represent the diversity of America and American music and be able to use musical expression to convey to international audiences and workshop participants ideas about American culture, history and society. ECA will provide additional guidance during selection process to ensure that the diversity of American music is properly represented. For example, at least five musical genres are represented among the final 10 groups, with no more than 2 groups from each genre. Successful applicants will have a clearly developed strategy for attracting applications nationwide to encourage regional and musical diversity from musicians representing urban, rock, jazz and American roots music styles.

To ensure that the program continues to recruit new diversity and talent, American Music Abroad musicians may only participate in the program twice, and only 2 of the final 10 groups may be American Music Abroad alumni groups. Performances are only one aspect of an exchange program focusing on people-to-people interactions. American Music Abroad participants will be expected to conduct or participate in master classes, lectures, workshops, impromptu jam sessions, radio and TV appearances, and other activities with local cultural institutions, musicians, media and students.

Applicants should describe their project team's capacity for successfully planning recruitment and selection and provide a detailed sample program to illustrate planning capacity and ability to achieve program objectives.

Proposals should reflect a practical understanding of global issues, and demonstrate sensitivity to cultural, political, economic and social differences in regions where tour groups may perform. Special attention should be given to describing the applicant organization's experience with planning and implementing complex and unpredictable logistical undertakings overseas. Applicants should describe their project team's capacity for successfully planning projects of this nature and provide a detailed sample program (to include itineraries) to illustrate planning capacity and ability to achieve program objectives.

Applicants must identify all U.S. partner organizations and venues with whom they are proposing to collaborate and describe previous cooperative projects in the section on "Institutional Capacity." Applicants must include in their proposal supporting materials or documentation that demonstrates a minimum of five years experience in conducting global exchanges in the music field. The organization must also demonstrate it has experience dealing with multiple musical genres.

The successful applicant will incorporate social media and innovative technologies into a well-developed public relations and outreach strategy. Proposals must include specific information regarding online educational materials to supplement the international tour activities. Proposals must include references with name and contact information for other assistance awards the applicant has received so the Bureau may contact them directly.

Requirements of the Award Recipient:ECA intends to give one assistance award to a qualified institution or organization to administer the American Music Abroad program globally. Activities funded through this cooperative agreement support the organization and implementation of approximately ten (10) international tours, and must include, but are not limited to:

1. Designing, organizing, and implementing a transparent, open, national competition process to select approximately ten (10) U.S. musical groups. Musical genres should be representative of the diversity of U.S. society and culture and should include,among others, American roots, hip-hop, rock and roll, and jazz.

2. Programming musical, educational, and media tour activities in consultation with U.S. embassies and ECA. For each overseas location, the award recipient will be required to coordinate closely with staff at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad to help advance their public diplomacy objectives, as well as find and secure appropriate venues for performances and workshops and manage a broad range of logistics issues.

3. Assisting musicians with passport, visa, immunizations, and other pre-tour preparations.

4. Making all international travel arrangements and coordinating with posts on all in-country overseas travel;

5. Making all financial and administrative arrangements with the musicians.

6. Organizing orientation sessions and pre-travel briefings that provide participants with media training, cultural briefings about the countries on the tour, and specific information regarding the context for their mission as cultural ambassadors.

7. Scheduling a pre-tour briefing session for each ensemble with State Department regional experts and ECA program officers in attendance. This event should be scheduled in coordination with a Washington, DC, public performance.

8. Scheduling an associated event as part of the annual American Music Abroad program.

9. Scheduling public performance dates in Washington, DC, for each ensemble. Applicants may schedule public performances in the audition city as well.

10. Developing outreach to international and U.S. media as part of a comprehensive media and public relations strategy developed by the awardee in consultation with and approved by ECA. The successful applicant will incorporate social media and innovative technologies into their outreach strategy.

11. Producing press and educational materials appropriate for foreign audiences who may not be familiar with the U.S. and/or American music (including, as needed, translation of materials). The successful applicant will include an online education component to enhance international touring activities.

12. Shipping performance and education materials.

13. Regularly providing ongoing and detailed information to the Program Office regarding tour schedules, venues and program activities, performance and workshop results, tour highlights, and media coverage.

14. Assisting ensembles and U.S. embassies with follow-on program development.

15. Evaluating program activities.

16. Reporting on tour activities, including audience and participant numbers and outreach efforts, to ECA.

Applicants must have experience in global exchange planning and implementation, and should address the above elements in the proposal. The grantee must be highly responsive and able to work in close consultation with ECA and the Public Affairs Sections of the participating U.S. embassies.

ECA Responsibilities:In a cooperative agreement, ECA/PE/C/CU is substantially involved in program activities above and beyond routine monitoring. ECA/PE/C/CU activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows:

1. Approval of audition cities, recruitment and selection process, and judges and judging criteria;

2. Participation in the selection of musicians, orientation and debriefing activities;

3. Identification of four to six countries for each tour. Countries will be those of importance to the Department of State's public diplomacy mission to build mutual understanding in the following world regions: Middle East, East Asia and the Pacific, Africa, South and Central Asia, Europe and/or South/Central America;

4. Arrangement of participation by Department of State officers in pre-tour briefings and any debriefings that might take place;

5. Approval of media and public relations strategies and arrangements for a showcase event;

6. Approval of all tour arrangements, including daily program schedules.

II. Award Information

Type of Award:Cooperative Agreement. ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under number I above.

Fiscal Year Funds:FY-2011.

Approximate Total Funding:$1,500,000.

Approximate Number of Awards:1.

Approximate Average Award:$1,500,000.

Ceiling of Award Range:$1,500,000.

Anticipated Award Date:June 1, 2011, Pending availability of funds.

Anticipated Project Completion Date:February 28, 2013.

Additional Information:Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA's intent to renew this cooperative agreement for two additional fiscal years before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible applicants:Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds:There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23--Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's contribution will be reduced in like proportion.

III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements:

(a) Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates making one award, in an amount up to $1,500,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

(b) Technical Eligibility: All proposals must comply with the following:

(1) Full adherence to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package;

(2) Proposal submission deadline date;

(3) Non-profit organization status; and

(4) For purposes of this competition, at least five years of demonstrated experience in programming globally inthe music field, or your proposal will be declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process.Please seeIII.3.b.4 below regarding the eligibility requirements of additional experience from prospective applicants.

IV. Application and Submission Information
Dated: March 2, 2011. Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Department of State.