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What a journey it has been!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As of June 30, 2017 MAPP International Productions, one of the leading producers and promoters of socially conscious performing arts, is closing its doors. 

What a journey it has been! 

Who knew that in 1994 when Ann Rosenthal launched Multi-Arts Projects & Productions, an arts management company that provided producing and support services to performing artists, she was laying the groundwork for MAPP International Productions (MAPP), one of the key not-for-profit players on the arts and performance landscape. Early on Cathy Zimmerman joined Ann and together they created a groundbreaking producing and touring organization that set the standard for deep care, lifelong career development, and fan-base building for some of the most renowned performing artists in the United States and abroad. When Ann stepped down as Executive Director in 2014, we welcomed Brian Tate, who led MAPP until 2016.  

It has been MAPP's mission to establish environments for artists to create work and tackle the critical cultural, social, and international issues of our time. MAPP's work disrupted the typical short-term, transactional producing model and replaced it with a system of support for an artist's entire ecosystem of creativity. MAPP helped artists cultivate relationships with audiences and communities to explore and illuminate provocative social issues and create conversations around those ideas. 

Over the past 23 years, MAPP has made a large footprint in the cultural space. We are proud of what MAPP has accomplished:

  • Produced 57 new multidisciplinary performing arts works with more than 400 artists from New York City, the U.S., and around the world
  • Produced over 70 national tours, bringing those works to the public in 42 U.S. states and 16 countries; in the process increasing national exposure for artists who were little known outside of their home communities
  • Introduced audiences in New York City and across the U.S. to artists from 25 Asian, African, European, and Caribbean countries
  • Devised new formats for local public engagement and supported presenters nationwide in replicating those activities for their communities
  • Co-founded and managed five programs for international exchange 
  • Raised and managed over $8 Million for artists' projects
  • Published "Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited" (2013); "Building Enduring Partnerships: A Report to the Field" (2011); and "The America Project: A Teaching Method for Collaboration, Creativity & Citizenship" (2009) and produced the film "finding the 51st (dream) state" (2009)

By staying directly connected to the pulse of contemporary performing artists, MAPP was always in the vanguard. In doing so, MAPP helped create an environment where other organizations could join the roster of those providing direct resources for artists. MAPP's significance to the field is clear and well-documented. 

And changes in the arts ecosystem and growth of the cultural landscape over the past 20 years were met with changes within MAPP as well. Even as MAPP grew in importance and renown, the underlying business model to support our work proved less and less sustainable in the face of broader economic shifts, requiring a structural overhaul to continue MAPP's work. So we had to contemplate: "Do we stay or do we step aside to create space for the next generation of cultural practitioners to take the baton that we've held for so long?" 

Our response to these questions was clouded by a range of emotions: fear, ambivalence, and self-doubt. And, we asked: "What is the impact of our actions on those we employ, serve, and endear, and with whom we partner?" We know this because as the board of MAPP International Productions we had to confront this precise question in the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017.  

Whether or not to continue seemed to us the key question.  We engaged our community of artists, funders, allies, and cultural administrators to help us answer it. In the end, we decided that, given the challenges of our business model and the difficulties in funding our operations, now is the time to close the organization gracefully. We recognize the tremendous loss to the field that comes with closing an organization that is a significant partner and resource to artists. 

It is a bittersweet moment for all of who have called MAPP home. We are grateful to all of our partners and allies from over the years. We could not have done this without the devotion and trust of MAPP's incredible roster of artists (recent and past), funders, board, staff, and supporters.

And so we bid you a fond farewell. It has been an amazing journey that was only possible together. Ours was a collective enterprise that yielded such remarkable results. We are thrilled to let you know that MAPP's legacy is being preserved in perpetuity. The MAPP archives will be held by New York University's Fales Library and Special Collections on Washington Square. We will be in good company there. 

Thank you for being a part of this journey. 


Warm wishes to you,

Board of Directors, MAPP International Productions 

Paul A. Cillo
David Gibson
Candace Jackson
Lisa Yancey