Dance/NYC Announces Recipients of Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dance/NYC Announces Recipients of Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program


Dance/NYC and its program partners Gibney and Spaceworks are pleased to announce the recipients of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund. The purpose of the residency program is to expand opportunities for dancers with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other disabilities, and to advance accessibility and inclusion within the larger dance, residency, and presenting communities.

The recipients of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program are:

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Residencies (March 15, 2019 to September 15, 2019)

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund Residencies (March 15, 2019 to June 15, 2019)

“The Neilsen Foundation is pleased to support Dance/NYC’s leadership role in championing opportunities for dance artists with SCI,” stated Jane Otto, Program Officer for the Creating Opportunity & Independence portfolio. “The Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program confronts the primary barriers faced by dancers and choreographers with SCI: accessibility and inclusion. In doing so, Dance/NYC is helping to define a new paradigm for dance artistry.”

“Nurturing artists with a variety of bodies and stories can only strengthen the artistry of dance. Dance/NYC understands this, and has long been a champion for increased diversity within NYC’s dance community,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “These new residencies, which received City funding through the CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund, exemplify the importance of providing access in the broadest sense to support disabled artists. This means going beyond physical barrier removal to offer professional development, career support, and a creative community of practice. Congratulations to all of the participants in the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program.”

“With the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency program, Dance/NYC aims to provide an ecosystem of support to disabled dance artists,” said Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director of Dance/NYC, “and in doing so, we will continue to put disability front and center as a positive artistic and generative source.”

Each grantee will receive an honorarium of $5,000, an additional stipend of $1,000 for personal care assistant(s) if needed, up to 60 hours of rehearsal time at one of the partnering dance centers, a ten-class card at Gibney, administrative space, and marketing and convening support.

These five grantees were selected by panel review and were among a competitive pool of self-identified disabled dance makers that submitted applications in response to an open call. Key evaluation criteria included artistic excellence; central roles for dance artists living with spinal cord injury and other disabilities; a commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion; and diversity of participant types and perspectives.

Dance/NYC and its program partners are pleased to announce a second round of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Dance/NYC will award residencies to up to three dance artists with SCI and/or dance ensembles working with artists with SCI, from August to December 2019. The application and additional details will be available on Dance/NYC’s website at Dance.NYC in early May, and the deadline for submission will be June 7, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Inspired by a Craig H. Neilsen Foundation grant to the Vermont Studio Center to establish residencies for visual artists and writers with SCI, Dance/NYC’s new program will advance the cultural ecosystem to expressly and equitably foster opportunities for disabled dance artists. It responds directly to recent research, Performing Disability. Dance. Artistry. (Dance.NYC/PerformingDDA18), which underscores the need and opportunity to engage residency centers in the professional development and training of disabled artists and to provide critical training to presenters, driving mentorship and shared learning among artists and presenters.

About Dance/NYC (Dance.NYC)
Dance/NYC’s mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.

Visit Dance.NYC/DDA for details on Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. initiative.

About Gibney (
Founded in 1991, Gibney is a performing arts and social justice organization. Its mission is to tap into the vast potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation through three interrelated areas of activity - Community Action, Company and Centers. Community Action is a worldwide leader in arts and social action and since 1999 has used dance to give voice to survivors of intimate partner violence through empowering creative workshops. More recently its Hands are for Holding program uses dance as a tool for anti-violence advocacy and to promote healthy and respectful relationships among underserved New York City youth. Gibney Dance Company is a new model that actives dancers as Artistic Associates whose work comprises artistry, advocacy and activism. Gibney Centers provide a powerhouse of cultural support for the performing arts community and the City itself with three remarkable spaces – Gibney Studios at 890 Broadway; Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, and adjacent Next Phase Space at 280 Broadway. The Centers comprise 52,000 square feet and feature 23 studios, 4 performance spaces, a Gallery, Community Action Hub, Learning and Leadership Studio, and Digital Media Lab.

About Spaceworks (
Established in 2011, Spaceworks is a nonprofit organization that builds & operates subsidized creative workspace for New Yorkers. It does this in partnership with artists, cultural workers, and neighborhood residents. Spaceworks currently operates 5 multidisciplinary workspaces in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, with additional projects in pre-development across New York City.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury.

About the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund (
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) inaugural CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund was designed to support new and ongoing programmatic efforts in fiscal year 2019 to engage people with disabilities as artists, cultural workers, and audience members. The program is a result of the development of the City’s cultural plan, CreateNYC. In particular, the plan's first-year priorities, include an expanded diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda that expressly addresses disability and disability artistry, to build greater diversity across the cultural sector.

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