International Exchange

Photo: Pendulo Cero Danza Contemporánea performing a site-specific version of Bodies are not Borders in front of the Friendship Park fence

Photo: Pendulo Cero Danza Contemporánea performing a site-specific version of "Bodies are not Borders" in front of the Friendship Park fence

We assert our belief in global humanity and the urgent need to engage across national and tribal borders, with immigrant and refugee communities, and among movements working toward global justice.

NPN supports international engagement in a variety of ways: in our convenings, through the artistic programming of presenters and artists in our network, through professional development opportunities, and within NPN’s cultural policy work.


NPN’s face-to-face gatherings offer opportunities to build human connections, experience creative work together, and learn about diverse communities.

Annual Conference

NPN’s annual conference has long been a gathering place for exchange between colleagues from the U.S. and beyond, a showcase for the international engagement work of our Partner organizations, and an opportunity for artists to share work that is rooted in cultural exchange. Through our partnership with First People’s Fund, NPN welcomes Indigenous artists to attend and present at the Annual Conference.

Visit the 2019 conference site

Mid-Year Meetings

In 2019, NPN hosted its first bi-national Mid-Year Meeting, in San Diego and Tijuana. The meeting explored what “international exchange” means for our Network; engaging with San Diego’s historic Chicano neighborhood, Barrio Logan; and a day of learning with activists, artists, and community leaders in Tijuana.

Read the article

Artistic Programming

NPN supports artists and presenting organizations in their work engaging across cultural and national borders.

Artist Engagement Fund/Mexico

Beginning in 2019, NPN designated additional Artist Engagement Funds to support our Partners’ engagement with artists from Mexico.

Learn more about the program

Creation & Development Fund

Many of the Creation & Development Fund projects share artists’ stories of immigration, border communities, and international exchange.

Latest projects

Professional Development

NPN supports professional and leadership opportunities for Partners, including international travel and exchange by curators and program staff.

Cultural Policy

International engagement is a core tenet of NPN’s cultural policy, including advocating for policies and practices that support international exchange, and participating in movement-building rooted in global justice.

Grantmakers in the Arts

NPN actively brings international engagement and global justice into our participation with Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA). In October 2019, NPN’s President & CEO Caitlin Strokosch organized a conference session “Supporting Artists at the Border: Practicing responsive and responsible philanthropy.”

Read more about the session

EDGE Funders Alliance

As a member of EDGE Funders Alliance, NPN participates in a community of funders engaged in global equity, “to increase resources for systemic alternatives that support justice, equity and the well-being of the planet.”

Learn more about EDGE Funders Alliance

On the Move

NPN partners with On the Move to facilitate cross-border mobility in the arts and culture sector, by supporting On the Move’s Mobility Guide, a toolkit and resource library for artists to find opportunities for international exchange.

Learn more about On the Move

Artists From Abroad

Through our work with the Performing Arts Alliance, NPN engages with the Artists From Abroad resource. Believing that international cultural engagement fuels creativity, supports diplomacy, and enriches artistic offerings in the United States and abroad, Artists from Abroad helps presenters navigate the process of obtaining visas and understanding US tax regulations.

Learn more about this guide

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