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. Learn more about how to become a program advisor.

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Christy Bolingbroke

Founding Executive/Artistic Director
National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron - NCCAkron
Akron, OH
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Shane Fernando

Executive & Artistic Director
Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College
Programming Consultant
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Wilmington, NC
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Eric Fliss

Managing Director
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Miami, FL
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Anna Glass

Executive Director
Dance Theatre of Harlem
New York, NY
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Ebony Noelle Golden

Artist, Founder, CEO
Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative
New York, NY
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Shira Greenberg

Founder & Artistic Director
Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts
Albuquerque, NM
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Rosemary Johnson

Executive Director
Alabama Dance Council
Birmingham, AL
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Aaron Mattocks

Director of Programming
The Joyce Theater
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Aimée Petrin

Executive & Artistic Director
Portland Ovations
Portland, ME
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Reuben Roqueñi (Yaqui/Mayo/Chicanx)

Director of National Artist Fellowships
Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
Portland, OR
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David Roussève

Choreographer, Writer, Director, Filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA
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Shay Wafer

Executive Director
WACO Theater Center
Los Angeles, CA


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 Andrew W. 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 Charitable 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 Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

Doris Duke logo
Barr Foundation logo

The Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation