Dance/NYC Announces 2021 Dance Advancement Fund Call for Proposals

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dance/NYC Announces 2021 Dance Advancement Fund Call for Proposals


Dance/NYC Announces 2021 Dance Advancement Fund Call for Proposals: Application Deadline October 10

New York, NY - Dance/NYC is pleased to announce the third iteration of the Dance Advancement Fund made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation. The purpose of the funding initiative is to address the inequitable distribution of resources in the dance field and advance its resilience and thriving by supporting dance makers based in the metropolitan NYC area with operating budgets between $10,000 and $500,000 with two-year general operating support awards of $2,500–$15,000 annually, including ongoing professional development from January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2023. 

Dance/NYC remains committed to delivering regranting programs that address disparities in the dance field by continuing to fill gaps in the availability of resources where they are most needed. It believes the dance ecology must itself be just, equitable, and inclusive to meaningfully contribute to social progress and envisions a dance ecology wherein power, funding, opportunities, conduct, and impacts are fair for all artists, cultural workers, and audiences. Dance/NYC's approach cuts across its public programs and all aspects of its operations and is intersectional— building upon multiple issue areas that together create a more just, equitable, and inclusive dance ecology.

The Dance Advancement Fund responds directly to Dance/NYC’s research, 2016 State of NYC Dance and Workforce Demographics (Dance.NYC/StateofDance2016), which underscores that the smallest organizations demonstrate the greatest capacity to adapt and have workforces that better reflect the racial diversity and presence of disabled and immigrant people in New York City's population than the workforces of larger organizations. The research also revealed that dance makers with annual 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. 

In 2020, Dance/NYC's research study, Defining "Small-Budget" Dance Makers in a Changing Dance Ecology (Dance.NYC/SBDMdata2020), further revealed that nearly all "small-budget" dance makers need funding for salaries/wages (95%) and general operations (93%), with more than half (56%) indicating that the salaries/wages category was the most critical funding need. These needs have only deepened over the course of the past year as the sector responds to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as revealed through Dance/NYC's Coronavirus Dance Impact Informational Brief ( which found that individual dance workers and dance making organizations expressed an inability to cover basic needs, including housing, wages, food and rent.

The third iteration of the Dance Advancement Fund, its components, and continued evolution is a reflection of ongoing learning and dialogue with current and past grantees, field partners, Dance/NYC's task forces and committees, and ongoing field research and current events impacting the field. Dance/NYC is also working in collaboration with Ebony Noelle Golden of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC who is an artist, scholar, and culture strategist conjuring at the intersection of vision, justice, and creativity with the NYC performing arts ecosystem for over 15 years. It is also inspired by The International Association of Blacks in Dance Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) | Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance and the leadership of Denise Saunders Thompson.

“Since 2017, our Dance Advancement Fund has always championed a just and equitable dance community,” said Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director, Dance/NYC. “As the arts industry emerges from months of lockdown, we’re excited to support dance makers with their bold new work. We believe the Fund will provide a meaningful foundation for the next generation of dance makers to move into a state of thriving.”

“The Dance Advancement Fund is a tremendously important resource created to address equity for all members of our field. I am honored to be working in accountability with Dance/NYC to support the refinement of the program and its on-going work,” said Ebony Noelle Golden, Founder and CEO, Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC.

Applications are now open for dance making organizations and groups based in the metropolitan NYC area with operating budgets of $10,000-$500,000 to apply for two-year general operating support awards for the period of January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2023. Grants will be awarded to up to fifty (50) dance makers to support their operations and advance their resilience and thriving.

Benefits of the program include general operating support grants of $2,500 to $15,000 per year; personal financial coaching provided in partnership with TrustPlus; professional development support in the form of online webinars and grantee cohort meetings; and goal-directed coaching and consulting provided in partnership with Pentacle, PURPOSE Productions, and Gibney’s Digital Media Initiative in one of the following areas: visioning and strategic planning; fundraising and resource gathering; marketing, storytelling, and communications; fiscal management; general administration and operations; or digital media and technology.

A copy of the applicant’s U.S. IRS Determination Letter, which proves the entity’s 501(c)(3) designation or tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 170(c)(1) is required, or proof of fiscal sponsorship. The program’s goals are artistic, and applicants with a primary focus other than dance making will not be considered. Additional information about eligibility and application requirements are now available on Dance/NYC’s website at Dance.NYC.

The deadline for application submission is October 4, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

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.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation was founded in 1936, and has invested in innovative ideas, visionary individuals, and frontline institutions advancing human dignity around the world across eight decades. We believe in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives. In addressing this reality, we are guided by a vision of social justice—a world in which all individuals, communities, and peoples work toward the protection and full expression of their human rights; are active participants in the decisions that affect them; share equitably in the knowledge, wealth, and resources of society; and are free to achieve their full potential. Across eight decades, our mission has been to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

About the Howard Gilman Foundation

Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City.

About Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC

Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative (BDAC) is a cultural consultancy and performance studio based in the village of Harlem.  Since 2009, the consultancy has fueled systems, strategies, and solutions for justice and organizational wellness for more than 80 organizations nationally.  In 2020, BDAC launched Jupiter Performance Studio, which houses all of the company's creative and arts education endeavors. Jupiter Performance Studio is a hub for the development, exploration, and production of diasporic Black performance traditions. Led by artist, scholar, and organizer Ebony Noelle Golden, BDAC bridges many worlds. Our holistic, results-oriented perspective makes us effective strategists, educators, coaches, and community organizers. We see the organizations we work with as collaborators, not as clients. BDAC is affectionately named after Ebony's mother, Dr. Betty Ann Sims, who is a retired professor, social worker, and youth interventionist. Our work is all about the ensemble approach.

About Gibney's Digital Media Initiative

Gibney's Digital Media Initiative seeks to empower artists to create high quality digital content and integrate technology into their practice. The DMI supports artists by providing trainings, consultations, access to hardware and software, and subsidized filming and editing services.

About Pentacle

Since 1976, Pentacle has been a model in the arts administration field, enabling performing artists to focus on what they do best—create art and engage with audiences. As a responsive and trusted partner, Pentacle collaborates with performing artists to design and provide unique and robust programs of support at critical stages in their careers.

Pentacle's programs include: Fiscal Services, comprised of fiscal administration and sponsorship; Booking, Administrative Support including mentorship, personnel, and performance/showcase opportunities; Education & Outreach programs giving youth the tools they need to grow into the next generation of performing artists, arts administrators, and audiences; and New Initiatives that include partnerships with non-traditional venues for dance and nextSteps our new, capacity-building online administrative support platform.

About PURPOSE Productions

PURPOSE Productions supports artists and organizers in the mothering of PURPOSE-full work that seeks to unify and develop our world community.

Our collective of anti-capitalist freelancers collaborates with individuals and institutions to collaboratively bring visions to fruition through marketing, management, support for families, and more. Named after the Swahili translation of the name Nia, PURPOSE Productions grounds itself in the principles of Kwanzaa, an African American holiday celebrating the fruits of ancestral, communal, and individual labor. Our work is rooted in an Africanist aesthetic and value system, and our community represents diverse cultures, genres, and experiences.

About TrustPlus

A national nonprofit, TrustPlus delivers financial coaching, tools, and products to workers through over 200 employers, benefits providers, fintech and CDFI customers across 40 states, helping clients to manage debt, strengthen credit, and build savings on the path to financial health.


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