Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program


Table of Contents

Dance/NYC is pleased to announce the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program, made possible by the generous support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Dance/NYC will award $700 to 27 individual dance workers with disabilities for their dance and social justice related activities undertaken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice. The purpose of the Fellowship Program is to recognize the critical role that disabled dance workers and arts practitioners play in social justice movements and to ensure that these workers are supported while continuing to place disability front and center as a positive artistic and generative force. Dance/NYC recognizes that, despite the multiple ways disabled communities have been impacted by COVID-19 and ongoing racial violence, disabled dance workers have remained active in serving their communities through online programming, community organizing efforts, and mutual aid, often without compensation or funding. The fellowship program in 2021 provides a recognition of all activities completed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

The Fellowship Program responds directly to Dance/NYC's recent research, Performing Disability. Dance. Artistry. (Dance.NYC/PerformingDDA18) which calls for investment in disabled artists by advancing disability-specific arts funding initiatives. The Coronavirus Dance Impact Informational Brief ( revealed 65% 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. The most recent analysis of Dance/NYC's Coronavirus Dance Impact Survey ( revealed more disabled dance workers need funding for transportation (43% vs 26% for non-disabled dance workers) and personal care (29% vs 22% for non-disabled dance workers). Moreover, disabled dance workers lost 29% of their annual income while US-born dance workers lost 25%.

Fellowship Components
Individual dance workers with disabilities and who received a grant through the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program in 2020 are invited to apply for a $700 award to be used to reimburse expenses incurred for engaging in dance and/or social justice activities from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. In alignment with our values of justice, equity, and inclusion, and in heeding the leadership of Black, Indigenous, and disability justice organizers, Dance/NYC defines dance and/or social justice activities widely to include any of the following activities:

  • Creation and dissemination of online content related to artists' practice or thought leadership (i.e.: classes, performances, instructional videos, blogs, and/or written, verbal, or video content);
  • Organizing, hosting or participating in conversations and/or community events and/or social justice actions with the dance and arts community;
  • Development of new dance works or continued development of repertory work, including but not limited to rehearsals, presentations, performances, or at home training (solo or in a group);
  • Participation in the development, dissemination, planning, or support of relief funds and/or mutual aid efforts in service of disabled dance workers and/or artists;
  • Leading and/or engaging in one-on-one or small group mentorship conversations and learning circles focused on/or working from a framework of dance and social justice;
  • Organizing, facilitating, and/or contracting access services for the dance community or yourself, including but not limited to ASL interpretation, closed captioning, audio description, etc.; and
  • Engaging in or leading curated restorative practices as a form of preservation, healing and resistance.

Disabled dance workers, including those with spinal cord injury and across the broadest spectrum of disability identity, are invited to apply. Dance/NYC will prioritize self-identification. No artist will be required to identify their impairment or provide verification in their application.

Dance/NYC plans to process award funds via direct deposit to ensure grant awards are available as quickly as possible to grantees. If you are unable to receive funds via direct deposit, please contact Dance/NYC at

Eligiblity Requirements
Applicants are eligible to apply if they:

  • Received an award through the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program in 2020;
  • Identify as a disabled dance worker, as defined by the following:
    • dancer, dance performer, choreographer, dance photographer, dance videographer, dance teaching artist, dance writer/critic, dramaturg, dance scholar and/or
    • related artistic and technical personnel such as: technicians (lighting, stage management, production, etc.), dance musicians/accompanists, independent presenters, producers, agents and/or managers, dance theatre personnel (ushers, in-house vendors, etc.), organizers;
  • Are based (reside) in the five boroughs of New York City, including: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island; and
  • Are able to provide the following information to process digital payment:
    • A Tax Identification Number, which can include any of the following: social security number (SSN), employer identification number (EIN), or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN);

Applicants are not eligible to apply if they:

  • Did not receive an award through the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program in 2020;
  • Do not identify as a disabled dance worker;
  • Are based (reside) outside of the five boroughs of New York City; and/or
  • Are an organization [501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored group] of any kind.

Funding Priorities and Review Rubric
Priority in grant selection will be given to applicants who demonstrate to a review panel:

  • Need, defined as the total amount of expenses incurred in the development and execution of dance and/or social justice activities from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021;
  • A commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion:
    • The review panel will consider the role that historically underfunded groups--including African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA), LGBTQ+, women-identifying, gender nonconforming and/or nonbinary, and immigrant artists--play within the applicant pool and wider dance field;
    • Demonstrated actions in alignment with stated values; and
  • Diversity of participant roles and perspectives.

Proposal Specifications
Required materials for Fellowship applicants include:

Check out our application guide here to help you prepare!


Fellowship Period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021
Fellowship Application Opens August 10, 2021
Deadline for submission August 31, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
Application Review September 2021
Participant Notification September 2021


Submission Details
Dance/NYC is using an online application portal Before completing the application form, interested applicants are asked to first complete a series of questions to determine baseline eligibility. If eligible, applicants will be prompted to complete the application.

Complete applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Incomplete applications, hard copy submissions, and applications received after the August 31 deadline wil not be considered.

Accessibility and Questions
Dance/NYC is committed to accessibility and the inclusion of disabled people in its programs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for assistance. If you have questions not already addressed on the FAQ page or need assistance accessing any part of this application, please contact us at Please only send questions to this email account. Questions sent to Dance/NYC staff email accounts directly may be missed and go unanswered. As appropriate, Dance/NYC's responses to questions received will be added to the FAQ page.

Technical Assistance Sessions
Dance/NYC staff is available to support prospective applicants in the completion of their applications via phone (voice-only) dictation or Zoom. Staff cannot provide advice on application content but can assist with the application input process in Submittable. Registration is now open on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can register for one (1) 40-minute session to receive one-on-one support. Please register for only one session. ASL interpretation will be available upon request for those who register at least two business days in advance.

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 allicance 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 the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund
The CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund was launched in 2018 as a pilot initiative designed to support new and ongoing efforts to engage people with disabilities as artists, cultural workers, and audience members. By supporting new and expanded programs in a number of disciplines for a range of different disabilities, the fund builds on recommendations made in the CreateNYC cultural plan released by Mayor de Blasio in July 2017 and reflects the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs' commitment to working with cultural organizations to provide opportunities for all New Yorkers to engage in the arts. Learn more:

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. Learn more:

Harlem Stage E-Moves Presents Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE

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