American Arts Incubator (AAI) is an international creative exchange program developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by ZERO1. The program utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to instigate dialogue, build communities, bolster local economies, and further social innovation.
Inspired by the “business incubator” model made popular by Silicon Valley’s technology and startup companies, American Arts Incubator is a hybrid training lab, production workshop, and tool for public engagement. AAI, at its core, is a cross-cultural exchange of ideas that showcases artists as engaged and innovative partners in addressing social and environmental challenges. The selected U.S. artists team up with youth, women, people with disabilities, and underserved populations, through country-based partnerships, to inspire community engagement through art programs. American Arts Incubator awards small grants to local participant teams to develop public projects addressing the particular social or environmental challenge. In doing so, AAI exchanges seed opportunities for ongoing, community-driven innovation by translating creative practices into projects and programming that can be sustained long after the U.S. artist leaves the overseas location.
American Arts Incubator launched in 2014.
We connect creative explorers in art, science, and technology to provoke new ideas that build engaged and vibrant communities. Founded in 2000, ZERO1 is a Silicon Valley nonprofit arts organization headquartered in San Jose, CA that aims to address and raise awareness about complex social challenges both locally and internationally. At ZERO1 we believe that art, at the frontier of technology, broadens our critical understanding of the world through experimentation, provoking new ideas, and implementing creative strategies. Through a global network of partners, we bridge the academic, corporate, and cultural worlds to foster collaboration and encourage social action.
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional, and sports exchange programs. The Bureau’s exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 320 current or former heads of state and government.