National Dance Project at 25

Renewed Support Critical to Field Recovery and Equity

Image courtesy of Techmoja Dance and Theatre Company, a 2020 NDP Production grant recipient

Ann has long auburn hair. She's a white lady and she wears thick framed eyeglasses. She has gold earrings that dangle and a teal poncho.
Communications Director & Co-Accessibility Coordinator

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announces a $4,062,000 three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the National Dance Project, which supports the creation and touring of new dance works and connects artists, cultural organizations, and audiences across the nation.

NDP is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding for dance makers and presenters. NDP has invested more than $42.5 million in funding to artists and organizations to strengthen partnerships and bring dance into communities across the U.S. To date, NDP has supported the creation of over 709 new choreographic works that have toured to all 50 states and Washington, DC, reaching over 3.3 million audience members.

“For 25 years, the National Dance Project has been one of NEFA’s flagship programs, linking artistic creation with public engagement,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “We are extremely grateful for our longstanding partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a more inclusive and equitable dance field.”

With renewed support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, alongside lead support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, NDP offers equitable opportunities for artists to create and present new dance works. In 2020 NDP increased comprehensive support to grantees by adding funds to each award for a production residency and community engagement process. This increases agency for grantees and supports them to foster genuine partnerships with presenters.

“As we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 and work to address continued racial injustices in our field, NDP will be critical to the recovery of the national dance landscape,” said Indira Goodwine, program director for dance. “As a vital connector between artists, presenters, and communities, NDP believes that our commitment to trust-based practices in grantmaking will support the building of a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable arts ecosystem that values both creativity and accountability. With this renewed funding, we look forward to the ways we can deepen our support for artists/companies more holistically and bolster the collective transformation needed both on and off stage with cultural organizations and communities.”

“NDP is one of Mellon’s longest partnerships, thanks to NEFA’s exemplary management to ensure that dance artists and companies have equitable access to the resources needed to create and tour new works and engage with the communities across the country,” said Mellon Foundation Program Officer Susan Feder. “We are proud to continue support for NDP over the next three years, and to seeing the resultant inspired artmaking once again, as the dance field emerges from the immense challenges that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

NDP also receives lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Boston Foundation and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

About  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. 

About NEFA

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to networks and knowledge-building opportunities; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at




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