American Arts Incubator: Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to be a U.S. citizen?

Yes, you must be a U.S. citizen to participate in the program. Proof of citizenship is required.

Do I need to be living in the U.S. to participate in the program?

For travel costs related to artist orientation and overseas programming, the program covers only flights originating in the United States. If an applicant is a U.S. citizen that resides outside the country and is willing to cover additional flight costs, we will consider the application.

Is there an application fee?

There is no fee to apply.

Which countries can I travel to with AAI 2020?

The countries selected for AAI 2020 will be announced in early 2019 before finalists are invited to submit a full application.

When would I be going abroad?

Exchange trips for the 2020 cycle will take place between February and May 2020. Exact dates will be determined in consultation with the U.S. Embassy and the host partner organization in each country.

Do I get to choose which country I travel to?

Applicant preferences are considered when possible, but may not be reflected in final country assignments. Applicants have the opportunity to rank their preferences as well as identify any countries they do not wish to travel to. Once selections are made, artists are notified of their country assignments and invited to participate. They may accept or reject the invitation.

Can I apply as an artist group?

Applications from artist groups will not be accepted. Only one artist will be selected for each country. 

How many artists will be selected?

Six artists will be selected for the American Arts Incubator 2020 cohort. 

I'm a musician that uses digital technology, should I apply?

This is primarily a visual arts exchange, so musicians are not the right fit for this program. However, we encourage you to take a look at other creative exchange programs with the U.S. Department of State that you may be eligible for.

Can I bring my partner and/or family members on the exchange?

There are no restrictions against a partner and/or family members accompanying an artist on their exchange. However, the program does not provide additional funds to cover any expenses related to their travel or accommodations, and they cannot play a direct role in exchange activities. They would be traveling as an individual with no official ties to American Arts Incubator, ZERO1, or the U.S. State Department.

Can I choose the social or environmental challenge to be addressed in this program?

Once artists are selected for each country, the challenge to be addressed is discussed collaboratively amongst the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the overseas U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and ZERO1, with the artist’s interests taken into account. However, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will make the final decision based on their diplomatic priorities.

Past community issues addressed by the program include: youth empowerment, women’s empowerment, LGBTQ equality, environmental health, and economic justice. Please keep in mind that the goal of the program is to facilitate real, arts-based social impacts. Artists are challenged to investigate how dialogue related to a specific community issue can be fostered through digital and/or new media art projects.

I have an existing project that I would like to present abroad. Does this fit within American Arts Incubator?

A significant part of the Incubator program includes developing and leading workshops, as well as facilitating community-driven public projects which address the social or environmental challenge in the selected country. While it is acceptable to base your project on existing work or research, it should fit into the challenge and focus of your chosen country. We will not fund the transportation of existing work overseas.

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