Round Three Frequently Asked Questions

Questions added recently are flagged as "New." Check back  over the coming weeks.     

About EDA Round Three Overall

How does EDA define “audience?" Does it have to be a paying audience in a theater? Audience refers to any person who attends or otherwise experiences dance.  EDA supports high quality engagement experiences for audiences, which could take place in a range of locations, for cost or for free. 

How does EDA define “engagement”?

EDA has developed a definition of audience engagement, which we feel still works for the dance field. Briefly, engagement: implies that relationships with audiences are two-way and participatory; may be tied to specific performances or occur independently; plans that a knowledgeable audience will lead to better sales or donations; and involves risk, investment and innovation.

Are past grantees eligible? Those who were funded in both rounds of EDA are not eligible. Those funded in either round may apply.

Do Round Three projects need to relate to findings and projects from prior rounds of EDA?  No.  The intent of Round Three is for applicants to refine their own existing program rather than to require them to create something entirely new.  While applicants could certainly draw from previous EDA programs and content, they are not required to do so. 

Must applicants need to apply to sustain or refine an existing program?  Or could an organization apply for a new program?  Organizations can apply for programs that have shown either success or strong potential of engaging audiences.  An entirely new program would not be competitive.

What is meant by the words “sustained” and “refined” in the EDA guidelines? The goal for Round Three is to avoid requiring organizations to create brand new programs in audience engagement, and instead invest in programs that are working successfully or have strong potential at engaging dance audiences.  Some of these programs may not have been funded by EDA in the past or may not be known to the national dance field. Applicants are encouraged to consider strategies for making their programs even better.

Will priority be given to large organizations?  No.  All organizations with budgets of $150,000 and above are eligible.

Can only dance companies apply?  No.  Dance organizations of all types can apply as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements. 

New: Can eligible projects involve pre-professionals or only professional dancers and organizations? EDA grants will go to professional organizations. However, the audiences that are served through EDA projects may include pre-professionals, dance novices, and/or people who choose not to dance themselves.  

Must a project involve an artist and/or performance?  It is anticipated that most projects will involve live performance or audience involvement of some type, but it is not mandatory.

Can a project involve new artistic work?  Yes, but unless there is a strong audience engagement theme, it is unlikely that such projects would be competitive. Refer to the EDA Round Three Overview page for guidance on funding priorities.

Can I apply for a project that has reached a specific audience other than those listed in the Guidelines?  It is unlikely that such projects would be competitive.   

Does budget size influence grant amount?  Somewhat.  The panel will be scrutinizing project budgets carefully and taking into account the organization’s capacity, as indicated in part by its budget size.  Since EDA offers project funding, the intent is for the project scope—and thus the grant size—to match the organization’s capacity to administer it.  That said, organizations should apply for the amount of funding that is necessary to complete their project well. 

New: I see that there are two funding objectives. What is meant by the first one, or  "Focusing on Audience Experiences?” When it is most effective audience engagement usually goes beyond passive observation alone.  In line with that assumption, applicants are encouraged to articulate the ways in which they want their audiences to interact,  be influenced or even be changed by their engagement programs.  For example, among the many options are engagement projects that build  audiences' knowledge or understanding of dance, or that  change audiences' attitudes about or awareness of dance. 

About the Letter of Inquiry

Can you submit more than one Letter of Inquiry? No. Select the project that you feel is most competitive, given the goals of Round Three of EDA.

Do you have to be a Dance/USA Member by the LOI deadline?  No. All organizations must apply at the Letter of Inquiry deadline of 5:30 pm Eastern time, November 21, 2014.  If selected, all grantees must remain or become members for the grant period of Summer 2015-Summer 2016.   Some financial assistance will be available to cover dues for new members in part or in full. The intent is for financial circumstances to not be a barrier to participation in EDA.

I have never applied for this type of funding before.  Is help available?  Yes! EDA is co-managed with Callahan Consulting for the Arts. The EDA project manager is there to assist applicants until the deadline.  Contact EDA staff by phone at 202-955-8325 or email at

I have heard that extensive information is available from Round One and Round Two of EDA.  Where do I find it? Please see the EDA Resource Library, which provides content generated by both rounds of grantees as they completed audience engagement projects. You may find ideas there for how to refine or enhance your own programs.  But your project does not need to be based on prior EDA projects.

About Eligibility, Budget, the Full Application and Review Process

Note: additional questions will be added when the Application Package is published.

Are companies automatically members through their agents if the agents are members? No.

Will the full applications be reviewed by the same panel that reviews the Letters of Inquiry?  Yes.

Must applicants apply for the same project as proposed in their Letter of Inquiry Submission?  Yes.  The invitation to apply is based on the project submitted in the LOI.

Why the short turnaround time from the LOI phase to the full application? Dance/USA was recently awarded funding for Round Three of EDA.  In order to distribute these resources to the field in time for the June 2015 project start date, applications must be reviewed by early 2015.

How should we determine our EDA request amount and how will grant amounts be decided?  Applicants are advised to submit budgets that are as realistic as possible. Ideally, costs should be based on actual project-related expenses. It is understood that, if invited to apply, applicants would do more detailed research on costs.

Do we need to have our matching funding in place by the January deadline?  No.  But your budget should give reasonable projections of funding sources and amounts based on applications submitted or funds that can be allocated internally.

Should the Total Project Cost cover only the engagement components of a project or can it include other costs, such as artist fees or residency elements? Residency or other costs can be included if integral to the EDA project.  However, applicants should delineate their engagement costs within their project budgets. 

At the full application phase, will there be a requirement to match project funding with other support?  Yes, but the matching requirement is flexible.  Applicants must provide 25% in matching funds but all or part of it could be in-kind contributions. 

For Funded Organizations

How many meetings will be required? How many days out of the office can I expect?  For the two required in-person meetings, grantees should plan for a total of about four (4) full days of meetings, in addition to travel time and some preparation. Meetings will take place at two points during the project period, at locations and times that coincide with Dance/USA Conferences. The first meeting will be June 16-18, 2015, in Miami, and it is mandatory that at least one person from each funded project attend each meeting.  Dance/USA will cover travel costs separately from the grant funds for up to two people per grantee. More people from each project are welcome to participate (provided they cover their own travel).  Additional time is required for reporting on and administering the grant; see the EDA Round Three Grantee Tentative Timeline for further information.

Will Round Three grantees have to attend the Dance/USA conference in June 2016?  Yes. The conference will take place immediately following the EDA Wrap-up meeting, in the same city and location.  Grantees are required to attend at least one day of the conference to share information about their projects. Travel will be paid. 

Will grantees conduct a site visit as a part of their project? Grantees will have the option of visiting another EDA grantee to observe their engagement activities.  Travel costs will be paid for this purpose, in addition to the grant. EDA is designed to embed learning and new practice in audience engagement within Dance/USA’s member organizations. The Learning Community strives to embed this learning and build collegial relationships among grantees’ staff. During Round Two, most of the grantees benefited from this travel and exchange. Dance/USA believes that the building of solid relationships among its members is an important step toward strengthening the field’s practice in audience engagement—one that will last far beyond the time period of the grant itself.  

What are the requirements for my organization if funded? Requirements are listed on the EDA Round Three Grantee Tentative Timeline.

Return to EDA Round Three Overview and Guidelines