National Dance Project

NDP Touring Award recipient Dallas Black Dance Theatre | Photo: Marketa Ebert

The National Dance Project supports the creation and touring of new dance works and connects artists, cultural organizations, and audiences across the nation.

More about National Dance Project

During its 20+ year history, NDP has distributed more than $34 million in funding primarily to support the creation and touring of dance works, as well as other initiatives, including production residenciesinternational exchange, and regionally focused professional development for dance artists. Launched in 1996, NDP is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding for dance.

More background information.


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

Rob Bailis
Associate Director, Cal Performances
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

Bebe Miller
Artistic Director
Bebe Miller Company
Columbus, OH

Ann Brusky
Senior Manager of Public Programs
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Sheboygan, WI

Robert Moses
Artistic Director
Robert Moses KIN
San Francisco, CA
Madison Cario
Office of the Arts,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

Pranita Nayar
Executive Artistic Director
Mandala South Asian Performing arts

Chicago, IL

Amy Cassello
Associate Producer, Next Wave Festival
BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Brooklyn, NY

Renae Williams Niles
Chief Operating Officer
University of Southern California,
Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Los Angeles, CA

Shane Fernando
Director, Wilson Center,
Cape Fear Community College
Programming Consultant,
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Wilmington, NC

Michael Sakamoto
Assistant Professor
Department of Dance, University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Dayna Hanson, Choreographer
Co-Director, Dayna Hanson Company/Base
Seattle, WA

David R. White
Artistic Director and Executive Producer
The Yard
West Tisbury, MA

International Exchange

NDP’s International Partnerships create opportunities for artists, presenters, and communities to engage with artists and audiences from other countries, explore commonalities and differences, and experience diverse cultural perspectives.

To date, NDP has developed partnerships with the U.K., The Netherlands, Australia, France, and Mexico. Currently, NDP supports international exchange primarily through the French U.S. Exchange in Dance (FUSED) program.


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. 


Sara C. Nash | Program Director, Dance | 617.951.0010 x512

Cheri Opperman | Grants Coordinator, National Dance Project | 617.951.0010 x524

Kristin Gregory | Program Coordinator, National Dance Project | 617.951.0010 x521




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