PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA Receives a Second Round of Funding from MetLife Foundation to Support New Stages for Dance

February 4, 2013

Contact: Laura Henning
Phone: 202.833.1717

Program will provide theater rental subsidies to dance artists and companies in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco

Washington, DC — Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional, not-for-profit dance, has received a grant from the MetLife Foundation to support a second round of New Stages for Dance (NSD) in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

The program provides theater rental subsidies for dance artists in these three communities, allowing them to increase their visibility and audience-building capacity by performing in a venue that would typically be beyond their financial means.

Dance/USA, which believes that home season support for dance artists and companies is critical to their ability to increase their visibility and build audiences, will serve as the national coordinator for this two-year, $150,000 award.

To administer this grant, Dance/USA will again partner with its branch office Dance/USA Philadelphia, as well as two member service organizations — Audience Architects in Chicago and Dancers’ Group in San Francisco. The program will take place from November 2012 to November 2014.

“New Stages for Dance has allowed artists and companies in all three cities to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ to a new level by giving them entrée to a larger venue for the first time. NSD also enabled the participants to have longer home performances and helped them gain recognition in their home communities,” notes Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer. “We are so pleased that the MetLife Foundation recognizes the immense benefits of NSD and will continue its generous funding of the program, enabling more artists to participate.”

“MetLife Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with Dance/USA on this innovative project that will help advance dance in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. New Stages for Dance increases the chances for audiences to experience dance and connect with their local dance professionals on a more frequent basis. This is good for both the art and the local community,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation.

NSD was successfully piloted from 2010-2012 with 24 awards made to artists and dance companies in the three participating cities. NSD supported the first round of theater subsidies in Chicago and San Francisco and the third year of the program in Philadelphia.

“Survey data for NSD showed that the initiative was successful in attracting new audiences for the participating artists and companies. NSD also proved effective in bringing new audiences into the participating venues,” said Fitterer.

In Chicago, Audience Architects awarded eight theater rental subsidies to non-profit artists and companies from the five-county Chicago region, including Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and Inaside Chicago DanceLucky Plush ProductionsThodos Dance Chicago and Luna Negra Dance TheaterMolly Shanahan/Mad ShakThe Space/Movement ProjectSynapse Arts Collective and Erica MottWinifred Haun & DancersJessica Miller Tomlinson and Jacqueline StewartMordine & Company Dance Theater and Natya Dance Theatre, and DanceWorks Chicago and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. The artists and companies presented work between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012 in the following venues: The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago/MCA Stage, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, and Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

In Philadelphia, support from the MetLife Foundation funded the third round of New Stages for Dance. Launched as the Theater Rental Subsidy program in 2008, NSD-Philadelphia was also supported by the William Penn Foundation. Philadelphia awardees included: Dance FusionSharp Dance CompanySubcirclePasiόn y ArteKoresh Dance CompanyIndigenous Pitch Dance CollectiveAnne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers CompanyGroup Motion Multi Media Dance TheatreFigments, Inc.Melanie Stewart Dance Theateranonymous bodiesPeregrine Arts Inc.Philadelphia Dance Projects, and Bowerbird Dance Performance Series. Performances were held at Mandell Theater, Drexel University, Jeanne Ruddy Performance Garage, Christ Church Neighborhood House, Suzanne Roberts Theater, Painted Bride Art Center.

In San Francisco, Dancers Group awarded eight grants supported by the New Stages for Dance Initiative: Dance BrigadeFunsch Dance ExperienceSins InvalidDuniya Dance and Drum CompanyZero PerformanceJesse Hewit/Strong Behavior and Laura Arrington, and Nina Haft & Company and Facing East Dance & Music. All supported performances took place in one of four partner venues — Dance Mission, ODC Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Z Space — between January 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012.

Details about how dance artists and companies may apply for NSD Round Two funding in each community will be forthcoming from the respective service organizations.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Our commitment to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide is reflected in our dedication to empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA serves a diverse national membership of over 525 dance groups working in the genres of aerial, ballet, contemporary, culturally-specific, hip-hop, ice, international, jazz, liturgical, single-choreographer, and tap, dance presenters, dance service organizations, dance agents, dance educators, independent dancers, freelance choreographers, students of arts administration and/or dance and business in service to dance, and individuals related to the field. Learn more about Dance/USA and our branch offices by visiting our website,

Audience Architects’ mission is to build new and broader audiences for Chicago area dance organizations by providing community-wide audience development initiatives for dance performances and instruction, professional development opportunities, and direct service to the field. Audience Architects was formed in 2006 to operate, a comprehensive website that serves as an audience development tool to drive ticket sales and build awareness for dance in Chicago. has proven to be of great value to the public and not-for-profit dance organizations alike, providing free visibility to 200 companies, venues, and presenters, and amassing a subscriber database of 11,000 dance devotees. In 2008, Audience Architects expanded its services in various ways, including hosting Chicago dance community convenings and professional development events, and representing Chicago dance companies at the Arts Midwest and Association of Performing Arts Presenters conferences, providing an affordable alternative to dance companies who can not afford to attend booking conferences or who do not have the in-house expertise to book tours on their own.

Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance. Founded in 1982, we serve San Francisco Bay Area artists, the dance community and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process. As the primary dance service organization for the second largest dance community in the country, Dancers’ Group’s many programs help artists produce work, build audiences, and connect with their peers and the community.

Founded in 2007 as a branch of Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, Dance/USA Philadelphia (Dance/UP) helps those who make dance. Dance/UP provides a wide range of services and resources to professional artists, dance makers, and presenters including advocacy, marketing, professional development, rental subsidies and collaborative opportunities. Dance/UP strives to maintain a high level of responsiveness to the changing needs of artists and companies working across all dance styles and budget sizes.

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