NDP Production Grants provide funding to artists/companies to create new dance works and touring subsidies to the U.S. organizations who bring those works to their communities. 

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 work
  • $10,000 in general operating support for the artist/company
  • $11,500 for production residency and/or community engagement plans
  • up to $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 work during the creation period (defined as the period from the receipt of funds to the premiere of the work). Works may not premiere before October 1, 2021.

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 work 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 work.

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 work, and must be used during the work’s NDP touring period.

The NDP touring period for projects that receive a 2021 Production Grant:

  • January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2025

* 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, however we remain steadfast in supporting artists/companies in however they choose to share their work. This may be via safe in-person gatherings or virtually.  


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 work 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, 2021. Artists and companies proposing works that will premiere after fall 2022 may consider applying in March 2022.
  • Submit or appear in only one application per choreographer or company, including applications for a work that will be created by a guest choreographer on 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, 2021.
  • 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.


Funding Criteria

NEFA’s values statements regarding Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility informs the application of all National Dance Project selection criteria:

“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, nation of origin and geography, and strive to counter those inequities in our work.”

  • Support the creation/development and U.S.* touring/sharing of new dance works that demonstrate excellence in artists’ practice.
  • Support work that contributes to the cultural and aesthetic diversities of today’s dance field.
  • Demonstrate partnerships between the artist/company and organizations that support the development, promotion, engagement, and/or touring of the new work. Applications must include at least one U.S.* based partner.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to an engagement process with/for communities and audiences in relation to the new work’s relevance, originality, and/or timeliness.
  • Develop a viable plan for touring/sharing the supported work to multiple communities in the U.S. and its territories.**

*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.

** 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.


The Production Grant selection process is divided into two rounds:

Preliminary Round:

  • Early/Mid-January: Preliminary NDP Production Grant application available.
  • 11:59 PM EST, March 1, 2021: Preliminary NDP Production Grant application deadline.
  • Late April/Early May: 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.

Full Proposal Round

  • Late April/Early May: NDP Production Grant request application available.
  • June 7, 2021, 11:59 PM EST: NDP Production request application deadline.
  • August: NEFA announces NDP Production Grant recipients.
  • September: NDP Awards publication available.

We look forward to our next preliminary deadline in March 2022.

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 the end of April 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 June. 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 at any time during the application or award 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.
  • First-time Production grantees are invited to participate in a cohort gathering taking place over two days. This meeting will offer professional development and networking opportunities with fellow grantees, experienced NDP Advisors, and other field representatives. The possibility of convening in person in late 2021 or early 2022 is currently being considered. If in-person convening is not possible, the gathering will take place virtually.
  • Finalists who do not receive a Production Grant receive a Finalist Award to acknowledge the time and expenses required to go through the full proposal process.
  • 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 works 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 jpreston@nefa.org or telephone 617-865-1835.


Watch the webinar (above) or read the webinar transcript.

Looking for projects eligible for Touring Support?

View our list of projects eligible for touring support.