Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Arts Fellows in the Spotlight

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Arts Fellows in the Spotlight

Article excerpt

When future historians write the history of the Summit of the Americas with regard to politics and economics, they'll have to analyze the lively arts too. The Fellowships of the Americas grants, inaugurated at the Summit by James D. Wolfensohn, chairman emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is already emerging as one of the brightest, most exciting initiatives in inter-American cultural cooperation.

As a direct result of the fellowships, young artists from throughout the Americas began appearing on stages across the United States this summer. With venues ranging from Colorado's Aspen Music Festival to New York's Jacob's Pillow dance series, Utah's Sundance Film Festival, and Washington, D.C.'s GALA Hispanic Theatre, performances are attracting large audiences and helping the program fulfill its goal of launching the international careers of some of the most promising new talents in the Americas.

The fellowships, which are open to citizens of all the nations that participated in the Summit, provide US$25,000 grants to established young performing artists. Grant winners from outside the United States may use the money for everything from financing continuing education to underwriting the costs of, traveling to the U.S. to work with professional performing arts organizations. Mexico's CEMEX, the Enron Corporation, and the New York investment banking firm of James D. Wolfensohn, Incorporated, provided the money to make the grants a reality.

"As the national center for the performing arts, the Kennedy Center has a responsibility to foster international cultural exchange and to encourage and support young artists," Wolfensohn said in announcing the grants. "The guidance may well be even more valuable than the cash value of the award itself."

Theater director Antonio Araujo is representative of the outstanding professional connections the grant winners have already established. …

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