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.

Kristen has blonde hair that frames her face and she wears a black blazer.

Kristen Brogdon

Director of Programming
Northrop, University of Minnesota
Land of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Peoples (Minneapolis, MN)
Jennifer, in medium framed, dark glasses, smirks and crosses her arms.

Jennifer Calienes

Interim Director
Wesleyan University Center for the Arts
Land of the Quinnipiac, Wappinger, and Wangunks Peoples (Middletown, CT)
A man with long curly hair and sporting a black suit jacket smiles.

Eric Fliss

Managing Director
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Land of the Seminole, Taino, and Tequesta Peoples (Miami, FL)
A woman with her eyes closed and right fingers on her jawline.

Ebony Noelle Golden

Artist, Founder, CEO
Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative
Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY)
A woman with long curly hair smiles; she is wearing a gray sweater and a chocker necklace.

Shira Greenberg

Founder & Artistic Director
Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts
Land of the Pueblos People (Albuquerque, NM)
Germaine smiles and wears a light pink headwrap.

Germaine Ingram

Dance/Vocal Improviser, Choreographer, Cultural Strategist, Writer
Land of Lenni-Lenape People (Philadelphia, PA)
Outside, Michele has short hair and wears a black dress with a deep v-neck.

Michele Kumi Baer

She/Her/Hers and They/Them
Cultural New Deal
Kumi Cultural
Tovaangar, Land of the Tongva People (Los Angeles, CA)
Patrick smiles; he wears a Haku lei and leis around his neck.

Patrick Makuakāne

Choreographer, Dancer, Director
Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu
Land of the Ramaytush, Ohlone, and Muwekma Peoples (San Francisco, CA)
Tariq is a Black man with a mustache and a short hair cut. He wears a teal tank top in front of a black backdrop.

Tariq Darrell O'Meally

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Dance Place Artist-In-Residence
BlackLight Summit Creator/Curator/Lead Producer
Land of the Piscataway peoples (College Park, MD)
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

Cultural Strategist, Creative Producer, CEO
MELA Arts Connect
Land of the Tsalaguwetiyi and S’atsoyaha (Asheville, NC)
Ali leans on her crossed legs and smiles. She has short, dark hair,

Ali Rosa-Salas

Artistic Director
Abrons Arts Center
Associate Curator
Jacob's Pillow
Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY) | Land of the Mohican People (Becket, MA)
Judith wears a cowboy hat as a monarch butterfly rests on her nose.

Judith Smith

AXIS Dance Company
Land of the Ohlone, Muwekma, and Chochenyo Peoples (Oakland, 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 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
Mellon Foundation logo, a black free-form letter M on the left side of black Mellon Foundation text
Barr Foundation logo

The Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation