Dance/NYC Announces 25 Inaugural Dance Advancement Fund Grantees

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dance/NYC Announces 25 Inaugural Dance Advancement Fund Grantees



Dance/NYC is pleased to announce recipients of the 25 inaugural recipients of the Dance Advancement Fund. The purpose of the Fund, made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation, is to address the inequitable distribution of resources in the dance field by supporting dance makers and companies with budgets of less than $1 million.

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, says: "Dance can inspire a more just and beautiful world, and we are proud to join Dance/NYC in amplifying the artistry of diverse dance makers across New York City.” 

“Dance/NYC thanks the Ford Foundation for its commitment to supporting the art form of dance and recognizing the central role that creativity and free expression play in shaping a just society,” offers Elissa D. Hecker, Chair of Dance/NYC’s Board of Directors.

Lane Harwell, Executive Director of Dance/NYC, says: “Through its strategic support of small budget dance makers, the Dance Advancement Fund will advance artistic development and delivery and contribute to the field’s overall diversity, sustainability, resilience, and health.”

The grantees are:

Each grantee will receive two-year general support awards of $5,000–$15,000 annually, from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2019, based on organizational budget size, as well as pro bono marketing support and convening opportunities.

The 25 grantees include representatives from five counties in the metropolitan New York City area: Kings (5), The Bronx (2), New York (13), Queens (4), and Westchester (1). Grantees are majority African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA)–led (18 of 25) and majority female-led (21 of 25), and include one (1) integrated dance company performing work made by and with disabled artists. There are six fiscally sponsored dance projects among the grantees.

These grantees were selected by a review panel and were among a competitive pool of approximately 150 metropolitan New York City area dance groups who submitted applications in response to an open call. Key evaluation criteria included: artistic excellence and clear artistic vision; a well-articulated narrative for how the funds will help advance the organization; a commitment to the values of equity and inclusion; demonstrated organizational and financial health, regardless of budget size; and a commitment to paying artists; and a diversity of organizational types and perspectives.

The Fund leverages Dance/NYC’s capacity as a regrantor and responds directly to the organization’s ongoing field research. Dance/NYC’s recent State of NYC Dance and Workforce Demographics (2016) shows dance makers with budgets of less than $1 million comprise the lion’s share (84%) of total groups but have access to only 10% of the total revenue. Over a six-year period studied, revenue decreased for this segment as a whole, and the smallest dance groups, those with budgets of less than $100,000, were particularly hard-hit, losing 32% in total funding and 38% in foundation support. Notably, the smallest organizations demonstrate the greatest capacity to adapt and have workforces that better reflect the racial diversity and presence of disabled people in New York City’s population than the workforces of larger organizations.

To learn more about the Dance Advancement Fund, visit Dance.NYC.

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