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
  • 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 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 September of the award year).

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 2020 Production Grant:

  • January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2023

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


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 work to be developed and toured. Works may be interdisciplinary and can include creators in other artistic forms. Works may be in an early stage of development at the time of application as well as in mid or later stages of development so long as they will not premiere before September 2020. Artists and companies proposing works that will premiere after fall 2022 may consider applying in March 2021.
  • 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 that 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:

* 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.”

  1. Support the creation/development and U.S.* touring of new dance works that demonstrate excellence in artists’ practice.
  2. Support work that contributes to the cultural and aesthetic diversities of today’s dance field.
  3. 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.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to an engagement process with/for communities and audiences in relation to the new work’s relevance, originality, and/or timeliness.
  5. Develop a viable plan for touring 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 Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.


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 2, 2020: 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 (Extended deadline):

  • Late April/Early May: NDP Production Grant request application available.
  • July 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST: NDP Production request application deadline.
  • July: NEFA announces NDP Production Grant recipients.
  • September: NDP Awards publication available.

The 2021 preliminary deadline will be March 1, 2021. The 2021 full proposal deadline will be June 1, 2021.

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-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.
  • First-time Production grantees are invited to participate in a cohort gathering taking place over two days. The 2020 gathering will take place in Birmingham, AL, dates TBD. This meeting will offer professional development and networking opportunities.
  • Finalists who do not receive a Production Grant receive a $1,000 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. 
  • NEFA does not require applicants to submit financial documentation or information other than a project specific budget. 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.

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 2 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 Plan 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.
  • DVD of the completed work mailed to NEFA c/o NDP. 

General Operating Support Report Requirement:

  • ONE of the following: audited financial statement and IRS Form 990 for the two most recently completed fiscal year; 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.


Have questions about your application or the process? Watch the informational webinar, below, or contact our dance department.

Looking for projects eligible for Touring Support?

View our list of projects eligible for touring support.