2021 National Dance Project Advisors

Indira is a Black woman in a bright blue blouse. She poses in front of city buildings.
Senior Program Director, Dance

Launched in 1996, NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP) provides funding for the creation and U.S. touring of new dance works and field building for dance. The NDP Production Grant annually offers 20 artists/companies a distinct package of support that uplifts their artistic endeavors from ideation to implementation and beyond. 

While much remains unforeseen in the arts and culture landscape, NEFA believes in the vitality of our field and supporting artists' ability to thrive. We recognize that the combination of multiple pandemics (COVID-19, racial injustice, and economic downturn) continues to impact how artists create and choose to share their work. Thus, we are committed to staying nimble and responsive in our various levels of support. We value the creative ingenuity of artists during this time and the unique experiences they still desire to share with communities and audiences, including experimenting with new virtual creative processes, establishing safe gathering spaces to experience art, and exploring new partnership possibilities with an expanded reach. We also understand that though some artists have flourished amid current challenges, there are artists and communities who continue to be disproportionately impacted due to the lack of financial, technological, and health care resources which pre-date the pandemic, particularly those who are and/or meet at the intersections of Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Color, Disabled, Trans, Queer, and Gender Nonconforming.  As NEFA navigates the role(s) we must play in this ever-changing environment, we also continue to assess how we can better embody our values through our grantmaking, service, and leadership.

NDP is guided by a rotating group of 12 Advisors who are leaders in the dance field. They serve as the grant review panel for our two-part application process and have the sole responsibility of selecting the 20 artists/companies who will receive NDP funding. They seek to select projects that represent the breadth and depth of our field and align with NEFA’s values. In addition, NDP Advisors serve as a policy and accountability council for NDP’s overall process, helping to advance the equitable transformation we seek to deepen via programmatic enhancements and our commitment to promoting and enacting systemic change. As leaders in their home communities, NDP Advisors also serve as ambassadors for the program, informing local artists of this national opportunity.  

Though we acknowledge that 12 individuals cannot amply account for the richness of diversity within our field and country, we remain committed to uplifting new voices and perspectives each year as part of our process. This year’s NDP Advisors include artists, presenters, administrators, independent arts consultants, curators, educators, and social justice practitioners. They represent various communities and life experiences that will support the assessment, evaluation, and discussion of applications during the virtual panel meetings. As decision makers, NDP Advisors understand the impacts of equitably distributing resources and intentionally prioritize countering against structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunity based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, culture, language, age, and geography. The process is never easy, so we appreciate the commitment, time, and partnership of all our NDP Advisors in advance.

In 2021, NDP is excited to welcome seven new Advisors: 

  • Michele Kumi Baer – Race Forward & Cultural New Deal
    Land of the Tongva, Chumash, and Kizh Peoples (Los Angeles, CA)  
  • Kristen Brogdon – Director of Programming, University of Minnesota - Northrop  
    Land of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Peoples (Minneapolis, MN)   
  • Jennifer Calienes – Interim Director, Wesleyan Center for the Arts  
    Land of the Quinnipiac, Wappinger, and Wangunks Peoples (Middletown, CT) 
  • Germaine Ingram – Dance/Vocal Improviser, Choreographer, Cultural Strategist, Writer  
    Land of Lenni-Lenape People (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • Patrick Makuakāne – Kumu Hula & Director, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu  
    Land of the Ramaytush, Ohlone, and Muwekma Peoples (San Francisco, CA) 
  • Ali Rosa-Salas – Director of Programming, 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 Smith – Founder and Artistic Director Emerita of AXIS Dance Company  
    Land of the Ohlone, Muwekma, and Chochenyo Peoples (Oakland, CA) 

We are grateful for the continued service of our five returning Advisors: 

  • Eric Fliss – Managing Director, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center  
    Land of the Seminole, Taino, and Tequesta Peoples (Miami, FL) 
  • Ebony Noelle Golden – Artist, Founder & CEO, Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative  
    Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY) 
  • Shira Greenberg – Founder & Artistic Director, Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts  
    Land of the Pueblos People (Albuquerque, NM) 
  • Rosemary Johnson – Executive Director, Alabama Dance Council  
    Land of the Shawandasse Tula and Mvskoke Peoples (Birmingham, AL) 
  • Aaron Mattocks - Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater  
    Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY)  

Lastly, we extend a special thank you to our outgoing Advisors for their steadfast commitment and support:  

  • Christy Bolingbroke – Executive/Artistic Director, National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron – NCCAkron 
    Land of the Kaskaskia and Erie Peoples (Akron, OH) 
  • Shane Fernando – Executive & Artistic Director, Wilson Center, Cape Fear Community College; Programming Consultant, Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts  
    Land of the Lumbee People (Wilmington, NC) 
  • Anna Glass – Executive Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem 
    Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY)  
  • Aimée M. Pertin – Executive & Artistic Director, Portland Ovations  
    Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Aucocisco, and Abenaki Peoples (Portland, ME) 
  • Reuben Roqueñi (Yaqui/Mayo/Chicanx) – Director of National Artist Fellowships, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation  
    Land of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Cowlitz, and Clackamas Peoples (Portland, OR) 
  • David Roussève – Choreographer, Writer, Director, Filmmaker 
    Land of the Tongva, Chumash, and Kizh Peoples (Los Angeles, CA)   
  • Shay Wafer – Executive Director, WACO Theater Center  
    Land of the Tongva, Chumash, and Kizh Peoples (Los Angeles, CA) 

Please Note: Native Land Acknowledgement listing provided by native-land.ca. The website strives to represent nations and Indigenous people on their own terms and recognizes that the map is a work-in-progress that relies on contributions from the community to fix any errors. 

If you are interested in being considered as a potential NDP Advisor, please fill out NEFA’s initial interest survey. While completion of the survey does not guarantee an invitation to serve as an Advisor, it is important for us to note your interest. Selection of NDP Advisors considers geography, gender, disability, cultural and racial equity, and includes new and established leaders in the field. 

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