Elizabeth Taylor Warner yesterday announced plans for an International Festival of Mime, to be held here next July.

Warner along with Marcel Marceau, spoke at a press conference at the Madison Hotel.

The Festival, which has received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will run from July 1 through 12 and include performances by six to 12 major mime troupes and 12 to 20 foreign mime companies at various Washington-area theaters and the Wolf Trap Farm Park. There will also be street mime on the Mall and seminars and master classes held by mimes at area colleges and universities.

E. Reid Gilbert, founder and director of the Wisconsin Mime Theater, is the main director of the festival. But local universities, such as American University -- where some of the festival seminars will be held -- are involved in helping set up the festival and raise money for it.

"It is very important to promote the festival here -- I wish it the greatest success," said Maraceau, the reknowned mime who is appearing at the Kennedy Center. "Mime is the essence of theater." Marceau said he will be in Australia when the festival begins.

"If the performing artist does not help the arts, who will?" said Warner. explaining her involvement after the press conference. "Art transcends politics and language. Mime especially transcends language."

Warner, who is general chairman of the festival, will be fund-raising for the event. "I'm giving a cocktail party tonight for lots of organizations and corporations," she said. "I shall bat my eyelashes and hold out my hand."