Dance/NYC is pleased to invite you to apply to the New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program. Administered by Dance/NYC and made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program will award grants to a cohort of facilities providing dance rehearsal space to offer subsidized rates over a 36-month period, January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2021.

The purpose of this funding initiative is to make affordable rehearsal space available to dance makers whose dance work has been publicly presented and are in critical need of space for the creation and development of their work, while also fostering a more inclusive and fair dance field, with a focus on accessibility, geography, and the demographics of artists served. By addressing financial barriers to accessing artistic development space, this program aims to advance artistic development and delivery and contribute to the field’s overall diversity, sustainability, resilience, and health.

Selection Criteria
In line with the proposed outcomes, the primary selection criteria for grantees are:

i) Quality of rehearsal space and service to artists, especially as indicated by these six components captured through site visits completed by Dance/NYC from May to July 2018:

  • Condition of spaces;
  • Staff and support;
  • Space features;
  • User amenities;
  • Accessibility (must be ADA compliant); and
  • Location;

ii) Ability to provide a minimum of 1,000 hours of subsidized rehearsal space annually (3,000, in total), in addition to hours that may already be subsidized by the New York State Council on the Arts or another source (note: this number may be reduced to achieve geographic priorities);

iii) Ability to make peak hours (weekdays, 12:00-8:00 PM) available, comprising the majority of total subsidized hours;

iv) Commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and, ideally, providing subsidized hours to a cohort of dance artists reflecting the demographics of New York City, which is majority (56%) African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA), majority (52%) female and <1% gender non-binary, 37% foreign-born, 10% disabled, 4% LGBTQ+, according to census data (2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates and Gallup, 2012-2014);

v) Commitment to subsidizing rehearsal space for small-budget dance makers with budgets of less than $1 million, who often have a financial need for subsidies;

vi) Diversity of organizational types and perspectives, Dance/NYC will prioritize a grantee pool that is aesthetically diverse and represents all five boroughs; and

vii) Proof of 501(c)3 status.

Dance/NYC anticipates awarding grants to up to 15 rehearsal spaces from a pool of approximately 25 invited applicants. Invitees are invited based on the accessibility, geography, and quality of spaces and service to artists, as evidenced through site visits to a wider pool of 42 facilities. Those site visits revealed that New York City dance makers create work in more than 116 rehearsal studios of disparate physical condition, size, formality, staff/support and rental policy with consistent gaps in physical and geographical accessibility.  For example, just 17 out of 120 spaces are located in the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island, the best quality studios are located in Brooklyn and Manhattan and only one facility in South Brooklyn offers multi-language content to potential renters.

Dance/NYC will prioritize proximity to accessible public transportation and representation from all five boroughs when selecting the grantee cohort. Its goal in seeking geographic diversity is to increase activity in areas that are less saturated and under supported and to connect artists to quality rehearsal spaces where they live. Dance/NYC’s recent State of NYC Dance research shows that while the majority (67%) of nonprofit dance groups studied are based in Manhattan, the majority (63%) of the dance artists and cultural workers live outside of the borough. Dance/NYC will also seek grantees that are committed to demographic diversity among the artists served and to addressing misalignments between the dance workforce and the local population underscored by its recent demographic studies, for example, racial homogeneity in the dance workforce, a general absence of disabled artists, and a dearth of foreign-born artists relative to the population.

Funding amounts will be based on hourly cost calculations from budget information provided by applicants, less the hourly fee paid by dance makers for the use of space. Over the 36-month period, funding will be paid in three installments (14-months, 12-months, and 10-months).

This funding initiative is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It has been developed in close collaboration with the New York State Council on the Arts and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

Required materials include:

Request for proposal release October 5, 2018
Webinars October 12, 2018, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. EST, October 26, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST
Deadline for submission November 5, 2018, 2018 11:59 p.m. EST
Grantees notified Week of December 2, 2018
Contracts due, December 31, 2018
Grant disbursements Week of January 2, 2019 (14 months), Week of March 1, 2020 (12 months), Week of March 1, 2021 (10 months)
Interim reports due January 31, 2020, January 31, 2021
Grantee convening February/March 2021
Final reports due December 31, 2021

Submission details
Dance/NYC is using an online application portal. Complete applications, including supplementary materials, must be submitted online through this application portal no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 5, 2018. Incomplete applications, hard copy submissions, and applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Webinar and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To help prospective applicants prepare for and complete the application process, Dance/NYC will hold optional webinars. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. 

Webinar details:
October 12, 2018, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. EST 

October 26, 2018, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST

If applicants are unable to join our webinars or have further questions, they will be directed to visit a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page at Dance.NYC or download the Webinar Slide Deck, when it becomes available. Applicants may also submit questions not already addressed on the FAQ page by e-mail to

Dance/NYC is committed to accessibility and the inclusion of disabled people in its programs. If you need assistance accessing any part of this application, please contact us at

About 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 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 for details on Dance/NYC research and programming.

This and all products generated by Dance/NYC for the New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program are licensed to the public subject to the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Surrogate by Ashly R.T. Yergens

Sign up for Dance/NYC News