Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences Awards Nearly $1 Million to 20 Members

Grants Provide Project and General Operating Funds

Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce that 20 of its member organizations have been awarded $948,000 in funding in Round Two of Engaging Dance Audiences (EDA), the first national funding program for audience engagement practices focused specifically on the art form of dance. EDA was made possible through the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). The selected organizations were chosen from 57 applications through a rigorous review by a national peer panel.

Grantees include: Audience Architects, Chicago, IL; AXIS Dance Company, Oakland, CA; BalletX, Philadelphia, PA; Bandaloop, San Francisco, CA; DANCECleveland, Cleveland, OH; Gina Gibney Dance, Inc., New York, NY; Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, Los Angeles, CA; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc., Becket, MA; Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc., New York, NY; Misnomer Dance Theater, Brooklyn, NY; Moving Arts Projects (aka The Dance Enthusiast), New York, NY; Pacific Northwest Ballet Association, Seattle, WA; Pentacle, New York, NY; Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, Philadelphia, PA; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; Stephen Petronio Company, New York, NY; STREB Inc., Brooklyn, NY; University Musical Society, Ann Arbor, MI; Vermont Performance Lab, Guilford , VT; and Wesleyan University, Center for the Arts, Middletown, CT. Read more about the grantees and their projects here.

“Dance/USA is honored to have been given the opportunity to disseminate learning about audience engagement extensively throughout the dance field, and now to directly support twenty of our members in enhancing these practices with their own knowledge and insight,” said Amy Fitterer, executive director of Dance/USA. “We expect the nature of exchange among our members to be meaningful and long-lasting, contributing to a growing body of knowledge and expertise in audience engagement.” To augment project support totaling $700,000, a core operating support grant is being provided to each recipient of project funding for Engaging Dance Audiences. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is offering this additional, generous funding of $248,000 to provide greater stability to participating arts organizations and may be used for whatever purposes best support them.

“We are once again delighted to support this roster of grantees and Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences, which is helping dance artists explore promising approaches for engaging their audiences and communities in new and deeper ways,” said Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “The first round of Engaging Dance Audiences was an inspiring success, supporting exemplary projects and generating important research for the entire field. The structure of this second round — asking grantees to build on the models created in Round One — will help the dance field move forward as a whole and enhance the impact of what has been learned to date. We are especially pleased to be able to continue offering general operating funds to their project grants as both a recognition of their importance in the arts community and away of promoting their longer term financial health.”

Building on Round One of EDA in which Dance/USA member grantees analyzed and explored dancegoing activities and methods of engaging dance audiences, Round Two will focus on sharing the results from Round One and implementing what was learned. Grantees’ projects will reach scores of dance companies. Projects, collectively, will involve dance luminaries and experts; form dance ambassador and affinity groups; target specific groups such as young people in long-term strategies; test new sites for performances; and explore two-way engagement online. The panel that selected these projects included artists in ballet and contemporary dance, presenters, administrators, and consultants in technology and audience development.

Engaging Dance Audiences is a $1.748 million program conceived of in 2008 by Dance/USA in collaboration with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to significantly increase the dance field’s capacity to engage audiences by researching, implementing and documenting effective and forwardthinking practices, and sharing them with the field. The EDA project manager and facilitator is Suzanne Callahan, founder of Callahan Consulting for the Arts, who managed Round One of EDA as well as other re-granting programs for Dance/USA. Rory MacPherson, principal at Trudel | MacPherson and formerly of the Wallace Foundation, will serve as co-facilitator. For more information about EDA, visit the EDA portion of the Dance/USA website.

About Dance/USA
Dance/USA’s mission is to support and advance professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of dance artists, administrators, and organizations. By providing national leadership and services, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and distribution, education, and dissemination of information. As a national membership-based organization, Dance/USA provides programs to its core constituency of dance groups working in the genres of aerial, ballet, contemporary, culturally-specific, hip-hop, ice, international, jazz, liturgical, modern, single-choreographer, and tap. Dance/USA also serves other members of the broader dance ecosystem including dance presenters, dance service organizations, dance agents, dance educators, independent dancers, and freelance choreographers. Member companies have operating budgets ranging from under $50,000 to over $50 million. Dance/USA focuses its work in three areas of core services for its members and implements a variety of special initiaties designed to advance the field. All members benefit from the core services of Leadership & Learning, Research & Information, and Advocacy & Visibility.

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 the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.


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