Each international cultural engagement project or tour has its own funding model. U.S. and foreign government agencies may be involved in a primary role or as a supplement to other forms of sponsorship. Likewise, local host institutions, corporate sponsors, foundations and individual donors may be drawn to support a particular initiative. Browsing through this toolkit, one can find projects with every possible configuration of support (sometimes insufficient…).
In the 1990’s – early 2000’s, the Company was unable to attract significant U.S. Government participation; however, this trend has been reversed in recent years with Embassies and Bureaus of the U.S. Department of State engaging more frequently. Many of the lessons learned along the way are universal and cross-referential. Though it may seem self-evident, it is important to understand the strategies, needs and expectations of each host or sponsor, and to endeavor to fulfill whatever requirements and expectations that come with each gift. Sometimes this may be difficult (ie. corporate sponsors in India often expect to put their advertising banner across the backdrop of the stage – something that is completely normal in the local scene and completely antithetical to Western dance.)
Finesse and politesse and the ability to put yourself in the other’s shoes are indispensable attributes in the negotiations that will inevitably take place, either well in advance, or on the spot.