DDA Artist Residency

Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency

Program Overview

Table of Contents

Program Overview and Goals

Made possible by the generous support of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the purpose of the 2021-2022 residency program is to expand opportunities for dancers with disabilities, including spinal cord injury (SCI) and other impairments, and to advance accessibility and equity for disabled dance artists within the larger dance, residency, and presenting communities. Dance/NYC will award residencies to up to ten (10) disabled dance artists and/or integrated dance companies.

The Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program was established in 2019 and responds directly to Dance/NYC’s 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.

As of 2019, the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program has provided residencies to 8 unique disabled dance artists and integrated dance companies. As Dance/NYC moves into the second iteration of the program, it will provide residencies to up to 10 disabled dance artists and/or integrated dance companies led by people with disabilities with the goals to:

  • Address the long-term impacts of systems of oppression as manifested through white supremacy, ableism, capitalism, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Advance accessibility and equity for disabled dance artists by continuing to fill gaps in the availability of resources where they are most needed; and
  • Address the critical need for residency and presenting opportunities and professional development and training for disabled dance artists.

Legacy, Evolution, and Administration of the Program

Dance/NYC 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.  It seeks to advance policies, investments, programs, mindsets, and actions that remove and prevent inequities that exist along the continuum of lives in dance, from the public-school classroom to the stage. 

Dance/NYC’s approach cuts across its public programs—advocacy and research; leadership training, networking and convening; technology and visibility; and regranting—and all aspects of its operations. Its approach is intersectional, building upon multiple issue areas that together create a more just, equitable, and inclusive dance ecology. Dance/NYC’s approach is also grounded in collaboration. It recognizes generations of people and organizations working to advance justice, equity, and inclusion in the arts and culture and strives to contribute to their efforts. It has established formal partnerships with colleague arts service organizations.

The second iteration of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, its components, and continued evolution is a reflection of ongoing learning, dialogue, and feedback from past Disability. Dance. Artistry. grantees and applicants, Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Task Force, field partners, Dance/NYC’s ongoing research, other respected colleagues in Dance/NYC’s community of accountability, and the current events impacting the field. 

In alignment with these stated values of justice, equity, and inclusion, Dance/NYC will lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Program to ensure the following:

  • Program priorities are met;
  • Applicant pool is diverse across race/ethnicity, disability identity, gender identity, sexual identity, and immigration;
  • Applicants receive clear information regarding the eligibility and application process;  
  • Applicants have the opportunity to receive support in completing their application;
  • The application process and the dissemination of information regarding the application is led by and in conversation with community partners, organizers, and members of the field; 
  • The application process creates opportunities for more meaningful engagement with disabled dance artists; 
  • As many barriers to participation as possible are removed; and
  • Grantees are placed with a residency space partner who is versed, trained, and mangerially and structurally equipped to support disabled dance workers and minimize the potential harm they may experience as a result of ableism in dance. 

These goals were met by:

  • Hiring of consultant Laurel Lawson of Rose Tree Productions to advise the team at Dance/NYC, provide support in programmatic design, and to create and steward the mentorship aspect of the program. Lawson is a choreographer and artist-engineer who has expertise in disability arts, access, mentorship programming, and facilitation;
  • Working with Gibney, a known residency and artistic development space, whose management and infrastructure have a track record of working with and in support of disabled dance makers;
  • Providing training on working with and supporting disabled dance makers to all program providers, including but not limited to Dance/NYC staff, Gibney staff, and program mentors;
  • Streamlining application announcements, eligibility and ineligibility criteria, and application questions and materials;
  • Only including questions in the application that are absolutely necessary to meet funding priorities and that are conscientious of the time and resource investment required of applicants;
  • Offering multiple points of contact for applicants to receive support, including one-on-one support sessions, Frequently Asked Questions, and email support; and
  • Working in collaboration with borough arts councils and hiring local community organizers and former grantees to spread the word about the Program.

The second iteration of the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program is led by the following Dance/NYC and Gibney staff:

  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director, Dance/NYC
  • Kirsten Reynolds, Grantmaking Manager, Dance/NYC
  • Caridad Kinsella, Grantmaking Assistant, Dance/NYC
  • Russell Lilie, Operations Manager, Gibney


Call for proposals release August 19, 2021

Virtual Technical Assistance Hours


Additional sessions may be made available at a later date


20-minute sessions

40-minute session

Deadline for submission Sunday, October 31, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST
Panel review November 2021
Participant notification November 2021
Grantee announcement December 2021

Grantee Orientation Webinar* &
Opening Cohort Meeting*

Week of December 6, 2021
Residency Period* December 13, 2021 to February 26, 2022
Closing Cohort Meeting* Week of February 28, 2022
Deadline for submission of Final Report March 11, 2022

*Required for all award recipients

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.

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

About Gibney - www.gibneydance.org

Founded by Gina Gibney in 1991, Gibney is a New York City-based performing arts and social justice organization that taps into the vast potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation. Gibney deploys resources through three strategic and interwoven program areas: Gibney Center, a meeting ground for New York City’s artistic community comprising 23 studios and 5 performance spaces that provide critical space for training, rehearsal, professional development, performances, and convenings; Gibney Community, programs that use movement to help address a range of social issues with a focus on gender-based violence and its prevention; and Gibney Company, a creation-based repertory company commissioning work from both internationally renowned and emerging choreographers. Gibney supports movement-based artists in every aspect of their creative development: classes, residencies, low-cost rental space, entrepreneurial training and incubation, presentation opportunities, commissioning, and operating a professional dance company.

About Rose Tree Productions - www.rosetree.org

Founded in 2019 by Laurel Lawson, Rose Tree Productions is a transdisciplinary arts organization which innovates in dance and technology with nuanced disability-borne understanding of multiplex experience.  Rose Tree’s mission is to create and produce art which is technically excellent, impactful to socio-emotional and community experience, and to advance the field through creativity, technology, innovation, and education for the equity and benefit of disabled peoples, artists, and the public.  Program design and consulting for equitable access for artists and to the arts is a core component of Rose Tree’s work in support of disabled artists and the field.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation - www.chnfoundation.org

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is the largest private funder of spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation, clinical training, and programmatic support in the United States and Canada. The Foundation partners with scientific, charitable and educational organizations conducting spinal cord injury research, training in spinal cord medicine, and supports grassroots organizations providing services to assist individuals affected by spinal cord injury. Drawing ongoing inspiration from its founder, the Foundation is dedicated to a future where individuals with spinal cord injuries live full and productive lives as active participants in their communities.

About the Ford Foundation - www.fordfoundation.org

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 Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation - www.sdrubin.org

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation was founded in 1995, and is primarily committed to providing grants and programmatic support for: access to art for a broad audience, art in the service of social justice, art in the service of social change and discourse, and under-recognized artistic practice. The Foundation supports arts and cultural organizations through grants to catalyze collective action, promote equality, contribute to advocacy and policy change, and develop capacity for greater civic engagement. The Foundation is also interested in supporting organizations outside of the arts whose programs seek to engage communities through cultural activities. Now in its sixth and final cycle, the art and social justice grant program awarded twenty-seven New York–based cultural organizations for their artistic activism and engagement with social justice.

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