ArtsLink, the first large-scale program of exchange in the US for artists and arts managers from the former Soviet countries, was begun in 1992, with support from the Soros Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Now called ArtsLink Awards, this program is in its 17th annual cycle of exchanges between arts communities in the US and the 30 countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Since its inception, ArtsLink has made over $4 million in funding available to artists, arts managers and arts organizations through ArtsLink Residencies, Independent Projects awards and ArtsLink Projects awards.
To date, ArtsLink Awards have supported residencies for 419 Fellows from 26 countries in the region at 223 non-profit organizations throughout the US Including the Austin Film Society, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, David Dorfman Dance, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, The Playwrights' Center and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
In addition, ArtsLink Awards have funded 324 US artists and arts organizations to undertake projects in Eastern and Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus and 70 artists and arts organizations from the overseas region to undertake projects in the US. Supported projects have included a film workshop for disadvantaged children in Romania conducted by Austin Film Society education director Christian Raymond and former Fellow Sergiu Lupse; a new multi-media theater piece by La Mama E.T.C. Director Ellen Stewart and puppeteer Theodora Skipitares, along with Albanian musicians, which was presented in Butrini; a tour of performances, workshops and master classes by Yakutian folk musician German Khatylaev in New York and Massachusetts and a teaching residency for American Dance Festival faculty member Ming-Lung Yang at the Dialogue Dance School in Kostroma, Russia.
To showcase the achievements and talents of ArtsLink Awards recipients, CEC ArtsLink organized a major exhibition of artwork and an evening-long festival of performing arts in New York City. FlipSide, held at Artists Space in 2004 – 2005, featured the work of 34 visual artists from across Central Europe and the United States. As a follow-up to FlipSide, CEC ArtsLink and GOH Productions presented FlipFest!, a celebration of diaspora and fusion featuring collaborative, contemporary theater, dance, music, spoken word, and post-genre performance by 40 US and international artists at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in 2008.