Call for Proposals: Exchanging Notes 2024

The Davis Center's Program on Georgian Studies and the Somerville Arts Council call for dancers, choreographers, drummers, and other percussionists to apply to the Exchanging Notes Project. Selected applicants will travel to Tbilisi, Georgia, and the Boston area and receive a stipend of $2,000. Application deadline for Georgian artists has been extended to April 1, 2024.

The Program on Georgian Studies at the Davis Center at Harvard and the Somerville Arts Council are thrilled to continue their successful Exchanging Notes initiative, which began in the spring of 2023. (Read about the 2023 collaborations here.) This project aims to bring together artists and performers from Georgia and the U.S. (Somerville, Massachusetts) to collaborate on an artistic project to bring American culture to Georgia and Georgian culture to America, encouraging understanding and mutual appreciation between the two countries, while creating exciting new works and projects in the process. It is a project that marries cultural exchange with professional development. This year, we will focus on dance/choreography and percussion/drumming.  

Two dancers/choreographers (one from the Republic of Georgia and one from Somerville, Massachusetts) and two drummers/percussionists (one from the Republic of Georgia and one from Somerville, Massachusetts) will be paired to produce a creative piece and final presentation/performance. The final result of these collaborations will be presented before an audience in Somerville.   

Selected local artists must be available to travel to Georgia from June 15-25, meet virtually throughout the summer for a few hours a week as needed, and be available Sept. 15-24, when Georgian artists visit Cambridge/Somerville and final performances and activities take place.

Program Details

Two American artists — one dancer/choreographer and one percussionist/drummer — will travel to Georgia from June 15-25, 2024 (airfare and room and board included). They will meet with their Georgian counterparts, who will introduce them to the artistic world of Tbilisi, the capital, and its surroundings. They will plan a creative project with a performance as the end goal. After absorbing the local Georgian culture of dance and drumming and brainstorming about ideas (which may include some early rehearsals), the American artists will return to the U.S. Over the summer, they will continue collaborating online in various ways with their Georgian counterparts, with project check-ins with the Davis Center and the Somerville Arts Council. 

In September, the two Georgian partners (one dancer/choreographer and one percussionist/drummer) will come to the U.S. for nine days to meet with their American partners once again and continue the collaborative project that began in Tbilisi.  We are looking for a collaborative and innovative performance that shows the beauty and strengths of both cultures. Although not a requirement, we are especially interested in performances that may engage the local communities in Somerville and Cambridge in broader ways. 

Each artist will receive a grant of $2,000, subject to relevant taxation, in addition to airfare, accommodation, and daily expenses for travel, covered by the Program on Georgian Studies and the Somerville Arts Council. Please note that Harvard University and the Somerville Art Council do not sponsor visas; the applicants are responsible for learning about the visa application process if needed. 

We seek artists who work well collaboratively and are eager to create a new body of work. The culminating project might take on many different forms, and we are eager to hear your initial ideas. Please keep in mind that the direction of your work will fully take form in Tbilisi after you meet your partner. Projects are created with equal input from partnering artists. We are open to our selected artists working with additional artists for final presentations; this can be discussed. For example, in 2023, our selected Somerville music applicant included the Somerville High School Choir in the final performance.  

Application Details

Applications for Somerville artists are now closed. However, we are still looking for Georgian artists! Please apply by Monday, April 1, 2024. We will cover the artists’ travel, hotels, and food and offer a stipend for the performers. 

The goal of the project is to promote collaboration between our two communities and to promote the richness of both Georgian and U.S. culture. Exchanging Notes aims to:  

  1. Generate an innovative artistic project to be presented to the Somerville/Cambridge community.  
  2. Encourage connections and collaborations between the artistic communities of Somerville/Cambridge and Tbilisi. 
  3. Promote Georgian and U.S. cultural collaborations in the future. 
  4. Culminate in projects/performances that engage the broader community. 

We will require a biography from the artists (with CV, artistic background, current activity, and work accomplished) and a proposal for the collaborative project. We will select four artists, two from Georgia and two from Somerville. Please use this link to submit your application and provide the following: 

  • CV or resume as a PDF 

  • Work sample/concept 

  • Drummers/percussionists and dancers/choreographers: Please send a link to examples of your work online, or an mp3 file. We encourage you to share portions of several longer works. If you want us to watch specific segments within longer works/video, please specify start and end times. 

  • Project proposal in English as a PDF, including: 

1. Convey your idea for a collaborative project on the theme “Exchange and Collaboration Across Cultures,” with the understanding that the final project will develop once you are partnered with your counterpart. The goal is to consider how art absorbs and blends multiple influences to produce new creative directions. 

2. Convey how your idea might work with various artists in your field. For example, how would your project work if your partner’s work was quite different from yours? Does your concept work between multiple genres? 

3. Give a timeline. How do you envision spending your time with your partner? How will you use the remaining remote time to complete your project? 

3. Convey your experience with artistic collaboration, especially any cross-cultural collaboration, and how you typically get to know someone. 

Decisions will be finalized by the middle of April. 

Selected local artists must be available to travel to Georgia for nine days in mid-/late June and to meet virtually throughout the summer for a few hours a week as needed and must be available during the last week in September when Georgian artists visit Cambridge/ Somerville and final performances and activities take place. Georgian artists must be available to spend time with their counterparts in June and be able to travel to Cambridge/Somerville in late September.  

If you have any questions about the Exchanging Notes initiative or application submission, please get in touch with Laura A. Sargent at or Allison Hart at