PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA Receives $1.9 Million in Renewed Funding for Engaging Dance Audiences

August 30, 2016

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to renew Engaging Dance Audiences (EDA), the national funding program focused on the implementation, refining, and sharing of dance audience engagement practices. In this fourth round of EDA, Dance/USA will distribute grants to meet two objectives that are designed to refine audience engagement programs. The program will continue to allow those beyond the membership of Dance/USA to apply, including fiscally sponsored artists.

The emphasis in EDA Round Four will be on refining successful engagement programs. Applicants can meet one of two objectives: 1) They can apply to refine an existing engagement program, focusing particularly on the quality of the experience for the participating audience or community, or 2) They can apply to refine programs that have a track record of engaging ALAANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American) audiences, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, communities of faith, or incarcerated people and their families. The panel for EDA Round Four will be charged with curating a portfolio of grantees whose audiences better reflect the changing demographics and issues of the nation. Round Four encourages applicants to move beyond standard engagement formats to pursue programs that are authentic to their mission, vision, or community needs.

“Dance/USA is committed to embedding our core values of equity, inclusion, and diversity throughout all aspects of our organization and services,” said Amy Fitterer, executive director of Dance/USA. “We are dedicated to supporting dance organizations as they implement audience engagement programs that are relevant to our time and to the needs of our communities. We are tremendously grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its support of the Engaging Dance Audiences program.”

“The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is happy to extend its partnership with Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences program,” said Program Director for the Arts, Maurine Knighton. “EDA provides participating organizations the time and support to explore genuine, lasting relationships with audiences and communities. Renewing support for another round of funding is our vote of confidence in the program’s great potential to have significant, positive impact on the dance field, far beyond the life of the grants themselves.”

In order to expand the program’s reach, dance organizations that are not currently Dance/USA members may apply alongside members via a Letter of Inquiry in the fall of 2016, with a number invited to submit full applications. After an application deadline in early 2017, about 20 grants of up to $44,000 will be given to audience engagement projects that take place from the summer of 2017 to the summer of 2018. In an effort to acknowledge the costs of implementing new projects, the grants will be augmented with general operating support equal to 27% of the grant amount.

EDA Round Four guidelines are available on the Dance/USA website here, which also describes technical assistance available to applicants.

The EDA Project Manager is Suzanne Callahan, founder of Callahan Consulting for the Arts, who has managed EDA and other re-granting programs for Dance/USA and other organizations. Along with the Dance/USA staff, EDA’s activities will be supported by a team of culturally diverse advisors and facilitators.

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 theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present, and produce them. For more information, please visit

About Dance/USA
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. We are committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of our programming, services and organization.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of 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. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website,

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