National Dance Project

The National Dance Project (NDP) supports the creation and U.S. touring of new dance projects and connects artists, cultural organizations, and audiences across the nation.

NDP supported Music From The Sole | photo by Sally Cohn 

About National Dance Project

Now in its third decade, National Dance Project is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding and field building for dance. NDP has invested more than $38.5 million in funding primarily to support the creation and touring of new dance works, as well as other initiatives, including production residencies and regionally focused professional development for dance artists.


NEFA's National Dance Project is guided by a rotating group of advisors who are leaders in the dance field, including dance artists, presenters and administrators. NDP advisors serve as the grant review and selection panel for NDP support, and work with applicants as they prepare their final proposals. In addition, NDP advisors serve as a policy council and are ambassadors for the program in their communities. Selection of NDP advisors takes into account geography, gender, cultural and racial equity, and includes new and established leaders in the field.

How to Become a Program Advisor

NDP Production Grant Panel Review Process

Black and white photo of Jerron as he crouches against a cracked brick wall, both arms laying to his side.

Jerron Herman

(Jerr-on Her-man)
An African American woman with brown skin, long straight black hair, smiling, holding my arm, wearing a pink dress with black lace on the shoulders.

Marisa Hollingsworth

Germaine smiles and wears a light pink headwrap.

Germaine Ingram

A black and white photo of a white man of mixed Euro-heritage, beard, bald head, and glasses. He is wearing a black shirt, and he is touching his chin with a big smile.

Ben Johnson

(Ben John-son)
Lori has shoulder length blonde hair and wears a black sweater. She poses by some trees.

Lori N. Jones

(Lor-ri Jones)
Color photograph of a white woman, early 40s, with short curly red hair, tortoiseshell glasses, and orange necklace. Pictured from chest up, standing with folded arms inside a denim jacket, against a blurry background of green foliage.

Megan Kiskaddon

(Meg-an Kis-kad-din)
Tariq is a Black man in a white sleeveless shirt. He has a sleeve of tattoos and torn black jeans. He poses in front of a purple velvet fabric.

Tariq Darrell O'Meally

(Ta-reek O Meal-ee)
Heena is a brown woman with jaw-length wavy black hair. She wears a whtie tank top in front of a colorful mural.

Heena Patel

(He-na Pa-tell)
Michael is a middle-aged white man with grey hair wearing a blue blazer and open white collared shirt standing in front of a wall of white jasmine.

Michael Reed

(MY-kuhl r-EE-d)
African woman with locked hair wearing a blue dress and black pearl necklace.

Māhealani Uchiyama

(Mah-hay-yah-lah-knee  Ooch-chee-yah-mah)
Tamara is a Black woman in a red beret.  She wears big hoop earrings and poses in front of bright red painted bricks.

Tamara "Fákémi" Williams

(Tam-ah-ra Will-e-ams)
A cis woman who is half Japanese and half white. She has a grey bob and is wearing a multi-colored dress.

Daria Yudacufski

(Dah-ree-uh You-duh-kuf-skee)


For 30 years, a series of programs at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) supported dance creation and touring in the U.S. As a result of the "culture wars" of the early 90's, congressional cuts to these programs left a void in financial support for dance that threatened the future of dance touring and - ultimately - dance as an art form.

In immediate response to the changes, NEFA created a regional program in 1995 to support dance touring in New England called the New England Dance Project. The goal of this program was to develop audiences for dance in New England communities by supporting the touring of dance artists and companies to the region. But it soon became clear that this program needed the support of a national effort.

NEFA began conversations with peers and advisors in the dance field to discuss the development of a national program. Dance/USA, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and many other peers participated in the design of the National Dance Project (NDP). As designed, NDP's purpose would be to link the creation and touring of new work by building upon artist/presenter partnerships.

This approach - linking all aspects of producing a dance work - was created to ensure that a diversity of projects would realize their potential. Linking the support for creation and touring of work not only assists in meeting artists' and presenters' objectives, but also fosters the working relationships between the two.

NEFA launched NDP in March 1996 with a two-year leadership grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Mellon Foundation provided support with a three-year grant for dance touring in New England, which was later renewed for another three years. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided funds for touring activity in the first two years. The Philip Morris Companies, Inc. provided support for touring from 1997-2002, and the Doris Duke Foundation has granted generous support for production and touring activity since 1999.  View NDP's current funders below. 


The National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

logo in black stacked text for the Doris Duke Foundation
Mellon Foundation logo, a black free-form letter M on the left side of black Mellon Foundation text

The Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation

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