Dance/USA Announces New Fellowships to Artists Program

September 14, 2018

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national association for professional dance, is pleased to announce Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists (DFA), a new, national program to support individual artists, generously funded through a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). 

In this pilot round, direct support will be provided to dance artists who have substantial practice of working through dance to address social change within one or more communities. The program is open to individual artists from all corners of the dance field. Artists do not need to be Dance/USA members to apply. By June of 2019, Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists will award $1,000,000 to dance artists. 

Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists addresses a decades-long issue in the dance field – the importance of supporting the individual artist. DFA will support artists who are creating work that is relevant to current times, and that tells the truths of peoples and issues in our communities and world today. Artists funded must have dedicated their practice to directly and meaningfully addressing the needs of one or more communities. Fellowship funds may be used at the artist’s discretion to support costs related their practice, which may include the creation of work. A peer panel will be charged with constructing a portfolio of Fellows that reflects a range of artists and practices. Consideration will be given to artists who have not received national funding. 

DFA was designed with members of the arts and dance community, and reflects the vision and values in Dance/USA’s new strategic plan. “Launching Fellowships to Artists allows Dance/USA to celebrate the voice and vision of dance artists from across our country whose work has been intentionally addressing social issues,” said Amy Fitterer, executive director of Dance/USA. “We believe in the power of dance to inspire a more just and humane world and are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for their support of this vital program.”

“We are excited about the launch of Dance/USA’s DFA program and its deliberate implementation of lessons garnered from the arts sector, artists and audiences around the country,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at DDCF. “A top priority of the foundation is to support artists with a sense of freedom, creatively and financially, and enable them to connect even more deeply to the communities they care about through the creative process, whether or not that connection produces an end product. We are confident in Dance/USA’s ability to further this work and spur the imaginations of artists and audiences toward new practices, relationships and stories that enrich the country.”

Interested artists will apply via a Letter of Inquiry in the fall of 2018, with a number of artists then invited to submit full applications. After an application deadline in early 2019, up to 30 Fellowships of up to $35,000 will be given to individual artists, between summer of 2019 and summer of 2020. 

Learn about the Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists Guidelines 

Suzanne Callahan, founder of Callahan Consulting for the Arts, has been contracted by Dance/USA to direct the Fellowship to Artists program. Along with the Dance/USA staff, DFA’s activities will be supported by a team of culturally diverse advisors and facilitators, including artists. 

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz, and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present, and produce them. For more information, please visit

About Dance/USA
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive. Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at

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