[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 189 (Thursday, September 30, 1999)]
[Pages 52824-52826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-25334]



Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs; Performing Arts 
Presenters Exchange Program With China

NOTICE: Request for proposals.

SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the United States 
Information Agency's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 
announces an open competition for a Performing Arts Presenters Exchange 
Program with China. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting 
the provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit 
proposals to facilitate international cultural and educational exchange 
through a program that will bring performing arts presenters in China 
and the United States together to exchange strategies for presenting 
artists, discuss arts management techniques and recruit performing 
artists from each other's countries for presentation through this 
exchange. Interested applicants are invited to read the complete 
solicitation package before submitting their proposals. The 
solicitation package consists of the RFP; and Project Objectives, Goals 
and Implementation (POGI) statement; and Proposal Submission 
Instructions (PSI). On October 1, 1999, the U.S. Information Agency, 
including the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will become 
part of the United States Department of State without affecting the 
content of this announcement or the nature of the program described.
    Application Deadline and Reference Number: All proposal materials 
must be received at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 
Grants Office by 5 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Wednesday, October 27, 
1999. Faxed documents will not be accepted, nor will documents 
postmarked on October 27, 1999, but received at a later date. All 
communications concerning this announcement should refer to the title 
and reference number--E/P-00-08. Please see section entitled 

Program Information


    Differences in arts management between the U.S. and China may 
contribute to impediments in artistic exchange between the two 
countries. Cultural perceptions, contractual misunderstandings and 
incompatible management styles have, at times, created barriers to the 
exchange of performing artists between the two countries. The purpose 
of this program is to assist arts presenters in both countries 
understand how the other side operates, with the objective of achieving 
fruitful artistic exchanges. An ideal program should include the 
following three components:
    1. Consultation/assessment visit by American arts presenters to 
China: A team of arts presenters from the U.S. will visit China to meet 
with leading arts presenters, increase their knowledge of performing 
arts presentation in China and assess performance venues.
    2. Workshops in the U.S.: To be conducted for Chinese participants, 
by American experts in performing arts presentation in this country, 
focusing on legal, contractual, marketing, commercial and logistical 
issues involved with presenting American performing artists. Workshops 
should also cover similarities and differences between performing arts 
organizations in the U.S. and China, and an overview of the 
difficulties that American performing artists tend to encounter when 
conducting overseas tours.
    3. An opportunity for leading arts presenters in China to attend 
one of the regional or national conferences for arts presenters in the 
U.S., where participants would have an opportunity to increase their 
understanding of trends in the arts presentation field and to view a 
wide range of American performing artists. At the conclusion of this 
component, the American and Chinese arts presenters will develop 
proposals and time lines to present specific artists in each other's 


Eligible Applicants

    The Office of Citizen Exchanges works with U.S. non-profit 
organizations to develop cooperative international group projects that 
introduce American and foreign participants to each other's cultural 
and artistic life and traditions. For this project, we look forward to 
working with an arts organization that has demonstrated expertise in 
presenting performing artists in the United States, extensive knowledge 
of presenting performing artists abroad, and interest and expertise in 
the performing arts of China.

Project Participants

    The grantee organization will recruit American arts presenters for 
the initial assessment visit and the final phase of the project, which 
will result in a work plan for presenting performing artists from China 
in the U.S. The grantee organization must work with our colleagues at 
the American Embassy in Beijing to recruit appropriate performing arts 
presenters in China to participate this project. The U.S. Embassy in 
Beijing will also review the Chinese participants' final work plans to 
present American artists in China.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to the 
Solicitation Package for further information regarding visas.

Grant Dates

    We anticipate that the grant will begin on our about February 1, 
2000, and end on March 1, 2001. However, a final award cannot be made 
until funds have been appropriated by Congress, and allocated and 
committed through internal Bureau procedures.

Budget Guidelines

    Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than 4 years of 
experience in conducting international exchange programs will be 
limited to $60,000.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. The Award may not exceed $100,000, and the Bureau expects to 
award one grant under the terms of this

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competition. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns 
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may 
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, 
location, or activity to provide clarification. Please note that strong 
preference will be given to proposals with a minimum of 30% cost 
sharing. Strong preference will also be given to proposals with 
administrative costs of no more than 20% of the total amount requested 
from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
    Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    1. International and domestic air fares; visas; transit costs; 
ground transportation costs.
    2. Per Diem. For the activity in the U.S., organizations have the 
option of using a flat $160/day for program participants or the 
published U.S. federal per diem rates for individual American Cities. 
For activities outside the U.S., the published Federal per diem rates 
must be used. Per diem rates may be accessed at http.state.gov/www/
    3. Interpreters. If needed, interpreters for the U.S. program are 
provided by the State Department's Language Services Division. 
Typically, a pair of simultaneous interpreters is provided for every 
four visitors who need interpretation. Bureau grants do not pay for 
foreign interpreters to accompany delegations from their home country. 
Grant proposal budgets should contain a flat $160/day per diem for each 
Department of State interpreter, as well as home-to-program round trip 
air transportation of $400 per interpreter plus any U.S. travel 
expenses during the program.
    4. Book and cultural allowance. Participants are entitled to a one-
time cultural allowance of $150 per person, plus a book allowance of 
    5. Consultants may be used to provide specialized expertise to make 
presentations. Daily honoraria generally do not exceed $250 per day.
    6. Materials development. Proposals may contain costs to purchase, 
develop and translate materials for participants.
    7. All Bureau-funded delegates will be covered under the terms of a 
Bureau-sponsored health insurance policy.
    8. Other costs necessary for the effective administration of the 
program, including salaries and benefits for grant organization 
employees, as stated in the detailed instructions in the application 
package. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/
PE/C/CU, Room 568, United States Department of State, Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20547, telephone: (202) 205-2209, fax: (202) 619-6315 or e-mail 
[email protected]., to request a Solicitation Package. The 
Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard 
guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Cultural Programs 
Officer Jill Johansen Staggs on all other inquires and correspondence.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquires or submitting proposals. Once the RFP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.
    To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire 
Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's website at 
http://e.usia.gov/education/rfps. Please read all information before 
    Deadline for Proposals: All proposal copies must be received at the 
Bureau by 5 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on October 27, 1999. Faxed 
documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents postmarked the 
due date but received on a later date will not be accepted. Each 
applicant must ensure that the proposals are received by the above 
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and 8 copies of the application should be sent 
to: United States Department of State, The Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Ref.: E/P -00-08, Office of Program Management, ECA/
EX/PM, Room 336, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC. 20547.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5'' diskette, 
formatted for DOS. These documents must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. We will transmit 
these files electronically to our State Department colleagues at the 
embassy in Beijing for review, with the goal of reducing the time it 
takes to get posts' comments for the Bureau's grants review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program 
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review 
criteria under the `Support for Diversity' section for specific 
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public 
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and 
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom 
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take appropriate steps to provide 
opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and 
democracy leaders of such countries.'' Proposals should reflect 
advancement of this goal in their program contents, to the full extent 
deemed feasible.

Year 2000 Compliance Requirement (Y2K Requirement)

    The Year 2000 (Y2K) issue is a broad operational and accounting 
problem that could potentially prohibit organizations from processing 
information in accordance with Federal management and program specific 
requirements including data exchange with the Bureau. The inability to 
process information in accordance with Federal requirements could 
result in grantees' being required to return funds that have not been 
accounted for properly.
    The Bureau therefore requires all organizations use Y2K compliant 
systems including hardware, software, and firmware. Systems must 
accurately process data and dates (calculating, comparing and 
sequencing) both before and after the beginning of the year 2000 and 
correctly adjust for leap years.
    Additional information addressing the Y2K issue may be found at the 
General Services Administration's Office of Information Technology 
website at http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov.

Review Process

    The Office of Citizens Exchanges will acknowledge receipt of all 
proposals and will review them for technical eligibility. Proposals 
will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines 
stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals 
will be reviewed by the program office, as well as Department of State 
regional authorities and the embassy overseas. Eligible proposals will 
be forwarded to panels of Bureau

[[Page 52826]]

officers for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the 
Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department of State entities. 
Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the U.S. Department of 
State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final 
technical authority for assistance awards (grants or cooperative 
agreements) resides with the Grants Staff.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. Quality and Clarity of Program Objectives: Proposals should 
exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the 
Bureau's mission. All activities should clearly support the project 
    2. Program Planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda 
and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
above. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will 
meet the program's objectives and plan.
    3. Multiplier Effect/Impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
    4. Cross-Cultural Sensitivity: Proposals should reflect an 
understanding of the complex nature of U.S. Government foreign policy 
with China, strategies to address cross-cultural sensitivities among 
participants and relevant knowledge of the performing arts in China.
    5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. In this project, diversity 
should be especially evident in the selection of American participants 
and workshop presenters, and the performing arts presentations both in 
China and the U.S. to which participants will be exposed.
    6. Institutional Capacity/Record: Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve 
the program or project's goals. Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful exchange programs, including 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting 
requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by the Bureau's 
Grants Staff.
    7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without State Department support) 
ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    8. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives is recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is 
concluded or quarterly, whichever is less frequent.
    9. Cost-Effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components 
of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as 
low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate.
    10. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through 
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 


    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The propose of 
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase 
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the 
people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us 
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural 
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United 
States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of 
friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States 
and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority for the 
program above is provided through legislation.


    The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFP does not constitute an award commitment on 
the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of 
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject 
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.


    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

    Dated: September 23, 1999.
William P. Kiehl,
Acting Deputy Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
[FR Doc. 99-25334 Filed 9-29-99; 8:45 am]