About the Cultural Exchange Fund

The Cultural Exchange Fund (CEF) is a travel grant program supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that assists U.S.-based APAP members in building partnerships and collaborations outside of the U.S. and to experience the work of artists from around the world in its cultural context.

APAPNYC 2016 Showcase Dakha Brakha at Brooklyn Bowl by Adam Kissick/APAP


What you'll find here:

  • How CEF can help APAP members broaden the experiences of performing arts audiences

  • How CEF can expand and deepen your knowledge of artists and cultures

  • Where past CEF grant recipients have traveled and what they have learned

  • When and how you can apply to CEF

About the Fund

The Cultural Exchange Fund operates on three year cycle. Grants of up to $2,000 can be awarded to individuals and up to $10,000 for groups. Below is the application cycle for the current grant period.

Funding Round Deadline Announcement Travel Period
Rolling* 3 weeks prior to travel Ongoing July-August 2017
I. July 31, 2017 August 2017 September-December 2017
II. October 30, 2017 November 2017 January-June 2018
III. April 30, 2018 May 2018 July-December 2018
IV. October 30, 2018 November 2018 January-June 2019
V. April 30, 2019 May 2019 July-December 2019
VI. October 30, 2019 November 2019 January-June 2020

*For those traveling in July and August 2017, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis to allow for ample time to finalize travel itineraries. Applications are due no later than 3 weeks prior to travel dates.

Funding Eligibility

APAP awards U.S.-based presenting organizations, agents, managers, producers, individual artists, and groups of presenting professionals traveling outside of the U.S. to see the work of artists and companies or to develop and advance projects with foreign artists and their collaborators.

APAP strongly encourages, but does not limit travel to the following: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. APAP also highly encourages Group Applications, and provides the Lead Partner Organization (i.e. the APAP member submitting the application on behalf of the group) with extra funds to offset the additional time and investment required to organize the trip.

All applicants must be active members of APAP at the time of submission, and membership must extend at least one month beyond proposed travel dates.

Artist Applications: to meet member eligibility requirements, the artist must be an independent artist member in good standing or hold an Associate membership through their active APAP-member agent/manager/agency.

Group Applications: to meet member eligibility requirements, the Lead Partner Organization submitting the application must be an APAP member (other Travel Partner Organizations do not need to be APAP members).

Application Process

Please review the guidelines and application previews carefully before applying.

Past awardees are required to update their previously completed Digital Diary before applying for a new CEF grant. Instructions on how to update Digital Diaries can be found here.

Opportunities to Engage

Digital Diaries

Read the digital diaries of past CEF awardees to see where they have traveled and how they utilized their funds.

International Cultural Exchange Page

Find additional resources on our International Cultural Exchange​ webpage.

International Festival Guide and Presenting International Artists Report

The International Festival Guide provides a jumping off point to help you to find and explore events around the globe, should you need inspiration for the Cultural Exchange Fund program or are off on your own adventure! Presenting International Artists: A Timely Status Report was created in March 2017 to provide more information on the topic and the experience of past CEF awardees.