Dance/NYC Announces Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Dance/NYC Announces Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition


Dance/NYC Announces Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition to Provide Emergency Grants to Individual Dance Makers and Small-Budget Dance Making Organizations Affected by COVID-19 across New York State.

New York, NY - Dance/NYC is pleased to announce its Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition, made possible by the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The purpose of this Fund is to continue Dance/NYC’s existing relief efforts and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individual dance makers and small-budget dance making organizations and groups with budgets between $10,000 and $250,000 based in New York State. The Fund will prioritize individual dance makers and small-budget organizations and groups living outside of the New York City metropolitan area and offer unrestricted relief to those that have incurred financial losses due to the spread of COVID-19 and the social restriction measures implemented to contain the disease.

This Fund is an extension of Dance/NYC’s Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund (, which was created in 2020 to mitigate the growing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on individual freelance dance workers and small-budget organizations based in the metropolitan New York City area and New Jersey between March 2020 and August 2020. The 2020 Fund prioritized supporting communities most impacted by COVID-19 including: African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA), disabled, immigrant, and women-identifying, transgender, gender nonconforming and/or non-binary dance workers, as well as those at high risk including elderly and immunosuppressed dance workers. In total, the 2020 Fund provided 1,082 awards to 734 unique freelance individuals and relief grants to 125 different organizations totaling $1,000,500 across the grant period. 

Similar to the 2020 Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund, the Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition will be disbursed through a two-tier funding model, allowing for the allocation of funds to be responsive to the unique needs of individual dance makers and organizations/groups, whose income is reliant primarily on in-person activities such as performances, classes, live events, and who often have less access to unemployment protection, savings and/or cash reserves, and multiple sources of funding. 

Through the first tier of support (Tier I), selected individual dance makers (choreographers and individual dancers) will receive one-time grant awards of $1,500. Dance/NYC anticipates awarding up to 100 grants through Tier I, totaling $150,000 based on need. The second tier of support (Tier II) will award one-time grants between $2,500-$5,000 to approximately 45-60 dance making organizations and/or fiscally sponsored groups with budgets between $10,000 and $250,000, totaling $238,572.

Individual dance makers and dance making organizations will have the opportunity to apply for funds through an online application form, with criteria specific to each funding tier, allowing Dance/NYC to remain adaptive to the specific needs of each impacted group. 

The application for Tier I for individual dance makers will open on March 30, 2022, and is expected to close on April 20, 2022, though it may close sooner if more than 1500 applications are received prior to this date. The application for Tier II for organizations and groups will open on April 6, 2022 and will close on May 4, 2022. For more information on Tier I and Tier II applications, visit Dance.NYC.

The Fund will prioritize supporting communities most impacted by COVID-19 including: low-income, ALAANA, disabled, immigrant, elderly, immunosuppressed, and women-identifying,  transgender, gender nonconforming and/or non-binary artists; artists that are parents, guardians, or primary care providers; and artists living in zip codes disproportionately affected by COVID-19 deaths and cases. Individuals and organizations headquartered in the metropolitan NYC area are welcome to apply, but priority will be given to individuals and organizations that are based in counties outside of the five boroughs of NYC. Current and past grantee individuals and organizations of Dance/NYC’s regranting programs as well as individuals and organizations who have not previously been funded by Dance/NYC are encouraged to apply. Recipients of NYSCA’s FY21 and FY22 Statewide Community Regrant Partners program, in addition to applicants who were not awarded with a FY22 NYSCA grant, are also invited to apply. Additional information about eligibility and application requirements will be available in the open call for proposals.

“As the performing arts sector faces a multi-year recovery process, arts organizations and artists continually showcase resilience, artistry, and agility,” said Mara Manus, NYSCA Executive Director. “Throughout the pandemic, Dance/NYC has provided the dance community with critical resources, and NYSCA is thrilled to continue our work with them and to expand our investment in the statewide dance ecosystem.”

“Dance/NYC understands the serious impact COVID-19 continues to have on the dance community,” says Executive Director Alejandra Duque Cifuentes. “Our goal is to provide resources to the dance community so they can recover. We are grateful for NYSCA’s partnership, which helps us expand our reach and extend support to dance artists and groups located throughout New York State.”

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. 

Dance/NYC’s Coronavirus Dance Impact Study ( reveals that nearly three-quarters (71%) of organizations and groups are experiencing cash flow issues and/or in a state of financial hardship, with the smallest organizations (budget sizes under $250,000) being the most impacted with budgets contracting by nearly half (48%). With decreased resources, this segment of the sector has greater difficulties accessing relief support, health insurance, and taking advantage of opportunities to facilitate getting back to business as usual. Recent data reveals that the most critical need for organizations is unrestricted general operating support for salaries and wages (87%) with 47% of dance organizations articulating the possibility of permanent closure due to the pandemic. Equally, for individual dance workers, primary financial concerns include covering basic living expenses, like housing (29%) and groceries (45%). Both segments articulated an overwhelming need for rent relief. Furthermore, the crisis seems to be disproportionately impacting dance workers who identify as disabled, ALAANA, immigrant, and genderqueer/nonbinary as well as older dance workers: 21% of ALAANA dance workers were unable to pay rent/mortgage in October 2020 as compared to 15% of White (non-Hispanic) dance workers, and 43% of disabled dance workers have not been able to access all of the medical and mental health resources they need as compared to 41% of non-disabled dance workers.

Visit for details on Dance/NYC’s Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund: New York State Edition and the open call for proposals.



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Media Contact:
Michelle Tabnick


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