National Dance Project Production Grant

NDP Production Grants fund the creation and U.S. touring of 20 new dance projects annually.

NDP Production Grant-supported Nava Dance Theatre | photo by Robbie Sweeney

NDP Production Grants are made to projects led by professional choreographers or companies to support the creation and U.S. touring and/or sharing of a new dance project. 

About the National Dance Project Grant Program

Visit the National Dance Project Program page to learn more about the program and its advisors.


About NDP Production Grants

Production Grants are awarded to 20 dance projects annually through a competitive two-stage application process. Artists/choreographers and/or companies apply to receive a package of support that includes: 

  • $45,000 for the creation of a new dance project 
  • $10,000 in general operating support for the artist/company 
  • $10,000 for production residency and/or community engagement plans 
  • $35,000 to support a U.S.* tour** of the work 

Creation funds and general operating funds are paid directly to the artist/company or their fiscal sponsor to cover expenses related to making the new dance project during the creation period (defined as the period from the receipt of funds to the premiere of the performative work). Works may not premiere before October 1, 2024. 

Production residency and/or community engagement funds are also paid directly to the artist/company or their fiscal sponsor and may only be used to: 

  1. Cover the costs of activities that support the full realization of the new dance project during a residency experience, and/or 
  2. Cover costs related to deepening relationships with existing communities or engaging new communities via activities directly related to the new dance project. 

The $35,000 reserved for each work's U.S. tour is distributed by the artist/company to U.S. based organizations to subsidize a presentation of the NDP-funded project, and must be used during the project’s NDP touring period. 

The NDP sharing period for projects that receive a 2024 Production Grant: 

  • January 1, 2025 – December 31, 2028

* NEFA defines U.S. as all 50 of the United States, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. 

**NEFA acknowledges that the definition of touring continues to change. We remain steadfast in supporting artists/companies in the various ways they choose to share their work. This may be in-person, virtually, or an imaginative combination of both. 


NDP Process Towards Equity

In alignment with NEFA’s EDIA value statement, NDP is committed to disrupting the perpetual exclusion and erasure of artists representing forms, genres, practices, traditions, lineages, experiences, and/or identities through their projects. We value how artists are choosing to advance, enhance, or subvert various forms of dance, contributing to the ever-evolving landscape. 

Throughout NDP’s 25+ years of grant making history, we acknowledge our role in exclusion and are committed to actively seeking pathways to be more inclusive in our practices and mitigate contributions to harm. Some of the ways we have done this include, but are not limited to:  

  • Greater Artist representation on the Production Grant review panel;  
  • Extension of panel review and discussion time for deeper conversations about projects and addressing historic inequities;  
  • Creating space in the application for artists/companies to articulate their definition of success for their project;  
  • Offering panel feedback discussions to all applicants;  
  • Increasing access to the review of applications through an updated portal system and Live Captioning Services during panel meetings;  
  • Including Production Residency and Community Engagement Funds as part of the NDP Production Grant Package for all grantees and removing an additional application process to access these funds originally available for first-time NDP grantees only; and  
  • Increasing the number of Finalists to 40 and respective Finalist awards from $1,000 to $10,000, expanding our reach and direct support to artists and their projects  

As the landscape continues to change, we continue to listen and to deepen and evolve our practices. We remain engaged and responsive to all members of the dance ecology to dynamically impact our field and all its communities on and off stage.   

NEFA Values Statement

NEFA’s values statement regarding Equity, Diversity, Intersectionality, and Accessibility informs all National Dance Project Programs, including the Production Grant selection process:  

“NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunity based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, language, culture, and geography, and strive to counter those inequities in our work.” 

NDP Program Criteria & Grant Panel Review Process

The 12 NDP Advisors use the following criteria to assess and evaluate all NDP Production Grant submission: 

  • Support the creation/development and U.S.* touring/sharing [virtual or in-person] of new dance projects that demonstrate excellence in artists’ practice.   
  • Support new dance projects within a range of cultural and aesthetic diversities that bolsters today’s dance field.   
  • Reflect partnerships with organizations that are essential to the realization of the proposed new dance project. Applications must include at least one U.S.* based partner.  
  • Demonstrate a commitment to an engagement process with/for communities and audiences because of the new dance project’s relevance, originality, and/or timeliness.  
  • Develop a viable plan for touring/sharing the supported dance project in multiple communities in the U.S. and its territories**. (Please contact us if you have questions about what constitutes a tour)  

*NEFA defines U.S. as all 50 of the United States including Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.  

** Due to the impacts of COVID-19, NEFA understands that there are more opportunities and interest in artists/companies to share their work virtually, reaching a global audience. While we support the many ways artists/companies have been able to expand their reach, it is important to note that NDP tour subsidy can only be allocated to U.S. based organizations. 

NDP Production Grant Panel Review Process

As NEFA strives to be more transparent about our grantmaking practices, we invite you to learn more about the NDP Production Grant Panel Review Process. We hope this information supports a deeper understanding of the decision-making process. We pride ourselves in creating a space/facilitating a process that diminishes biases and offers opportunities to learn, grow, appreciate, and better serve artists and the communities they live and work in. 


To be eligible to apply for a Production Grant, applicants must: 

  • Be professional choreographers or companies. Preference is given to U.S.-based dance artists and companies, but artists and companies based outside the U.S. may apply. 
  • Propose a new dance project to be developed and toured/shared. Works may be interdisciplinary and can include creators in other artistic forms. At the time of application, works may be in an early, mid, or late stage of development so long as it does not premiere before October 1, 2024. Artists and companies proposing works that will premiere after fall 2026 may consider applying in March 2025.  
  • Submit or appear in only one application per choreographer or company, including applications for a project that will be created by a guest choreographer on another company. If you are company interested in submitting an application with a guest choreographer, please be in touch with that choreographer to ensure that they themselves will not be applying or that they have not given permission to another company.  
  • Work with a U.S. organizational partner committed to supporting the development and/or presentation of the proposed new work. 
  • Have nonprofit status or a nonprofit fiscal sponsor who will act on their behalf. If you are not a 501 (3) c organization*, then you should list a non-profit organization, with 501 (3) c status, who agrees to be the fiscal sponsor as the ‘Payee‘ in the form, and upload their completed and signed W-9 form**. Please do not ever upload a W-9 form with your personal information. 
  • Fulfill the Requirements & Reports for Grant Recipients (see below), if awarded. 

*Please Note: Companies currently in the process of applying for 501 (c) 3 status or who will be engaging in the process during the application process are eligible to apply. If status is not approved by the final decision date, you may need to work with a fiscal sponsor. Please be in touch with NDP staff with any questions regarding 501 (c) 3 status. 

**A fiscal sponsorship is not required in order to apply; however, grants cannot be made until a fiscal sponsor is in place. Please be in touch with NDP staff with any questions regarding fiscal sponsorship. 

Applicants who are NOT eligible to apply are: 

  • Artists/companies currently in a creation period from an NDP Production Grant or who are currently touring with NDP support through the end of the current calendar year. 
  • Artists/companies who have received Production Grants for two consecutive cycles.* These artists must take two years off after their NDP Grant period ends before applying again. 
  • School, youth, or student companies and groups. 
  • Artists/companies who are planning to self-produce their NDP tour. NDP tour subsidies support up to 50% of the artist fee per engagement and are paid to presenters on a reimbursement basis. Subsidy cannot be paid to the artist/company receiving the NDP Production Grant. 
  • Artists/companies with an overdue grantee report to NEFA; to regain eligibility, outstanding grantee reports must be submitted online to NEFA by the deadline of March 1, 2023. 
  • Artists/companies creating dance works that are specifically made for camera or dance film. 

* A Production Grant cycle includes the creation period and extends through the selected touring period. 



The Production Grant selection process is divided into two rounds: 

Preliminary Round: 

  • Late December 2023: Preview to 2024 NDP Production Grant Narrative Questions available. 
  • Early/Mid-January 2024: Preliminary NDP Production Grant application available. 
  • March 1, 2024, 11:59 PM EST: Preliminary NDP Production Grant application deadline. 
  • Early May 2024: Applicants are notified of preliminary decisions. Finalists are invited to submit a full proposal and are paired with an NDP Advisor who will guide applicants through full proposal development. 
  • Early Fall 2024: Applicants will be notified of the process to receive panel feedback on preliminary application submission via a call with NDP Staff.

Full Proposal Round 

  • Early May 2024: NDP Production Grant request application available. 
  • June 10, 2024, 11:59 PM EST: NDP Production request application deadline. 
  • August 2024: NDP Production Grant applicants notified of final decisions.  
  • September 2024: NEFA announces NDP Production Grant recipients on 
  • Early Fall 2024: Finalists will be notified of the process to receive panel feedback on full proposal submission via a call with NDP Staff.

Full Proposal Process for Finalists

Useful Information to know if your NDP Preliminary proposal moves to the Finalist (Full Proposal) round. 

  • All eligible applicants are notified by email by mid-May if their project has moved forward to the Finalist round. 
  • Finalists are announced publicly on NEFA’s blog in May. 
  • Finalists are paired with a NDP advisor panelist who helps in preparing the full proposal; this assistance may include discussion of the project and new developments, reading narrative answers, budget development, and work sample feedback. Advisors present the full application at the final Proposal meeting in July. NEFA staff is also available and ready to work with you on your proposal development and answer any questions about the form or process. 
  • The full proposal form asks for a minimum of three organizations that are strongly interested or committed to bringing the finished project on tour to their communities. These organizations should agree to be listed as such in the full proposal. NDP does not require signed contracts from organizational partners listed at any time during the application process. 
  • The full proposal form asks for a five (5) minute work sample (Vimeo with downloadable capabilities or Google Drive). This can include up to three selections of at least one minute in length but should not be a promotional video. NDP staff can provide guidance on this. 
  • Work sample submissions cannot exceed five (5) minutes. Submissions over five (5) will be watched to the five (5) minute mark, and not longer. 
  • NDP Production grantees are extended an invitation to participate in a virtual cohort gathering taking place in late 2024 or early 2025. This convening will take place as four separate sections offering professional development and networking opportunities with fellow grantees, experienced NDP Advisors, and other field representatives. 
  • Finalists who do not receive a Production Grant receive an amplified Finalist Award of $10,000 in unrestricted funding as an investment in creative process, growth, and sustainability. 
  • NDP staff is available during the application process to answer your questions, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST Mon-Fri. 

Requirements & Reports for Grant Recipients 

Grant recipients are required to submit grant reports for both the Production Grant, and General Operating Support. The Production Grant is due within 40 days of the performative work’s premiere. The General Operating Support Report is due with two years of the award date. 

  • NDP Tour Plan submitted to NEFA by awarded artist or company’s tour coordinator, by the given deadline. Download Tour/Share Planning Form.* 
  • Completed and submitted online Production Grantee Report (see below). 
  • Copies of program and publicity materials showing required crediting. 
  • Hi-res photos of the work. 
  • A Vimeo or Google Drive Link of the completed work to NEFA  

General Operating Support Fiscal Requirement: 

NEFA does not require applicants to submit financial documentation or information other than a project specific budget. However, grantees will be required to submit one of the following as part of their general operating support final report: 

  • audited financial statement and IRS Form 990 for the two most recently completed fiscal years, 
  • financial data as filed with the Cultural Data Project, or 
  • statements of actual operating income and expenses for the two-year time-period of the grant. 

Click below to log in and begin your grantee report. You may save and return at any time. 


*If you require an alternate format or assistance to access the tour/sharing plan or receipt form, please contact: Jane Preston, Interim Accessibility Coordinator, by email or telephone 617-865-1835. 


Watch the 2024 webinar, above, with captions and ASL interpretation (by Interpreter Now). Read the transcript

Looking for projects eligible for Touring Support?

View our list of projects eligible for touring support. 

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