In a dress, a woman poses and smiles,
Program Director, Dance

On behalf of the National Dance Project Advisor Cohort, we are pleased to share the 2022 National Dance Project (NDP) Production Grantees.

Established to support the creation and U.S.* touring** of new dance projects, the National Dance Project Production Grant offers a unique funding framework that centers the agency of dance artists and companies to deepen, interrogate, and share their creative process, lineages, and community engagement practices, as well as experiment with new collaborative, operational, and touring models.

All 20 NDP Production Grantees will receive:

  • $45,000 to create a new dance work;
  • $10,000 in unrestricted general operating support;
  • $11,500 to support a Production Residency for Dance and/or additional community engagement work; and
  • $35,000 in tour/share subsidy that goes to U.S.* organizations that bring the new dance work and related engagement activities to their communities.

*NEFA defines U.S. as all 50 of the United States, as well as Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

**Due to the impacts of COVID-19, NEFA continues to embrace an expanded definition of touring to include virtual sharing. We understand that there are new opportunities and interest for artists and companies to share their projects virtually, reaching a more global audience, and have remained flexible to support this kind of expansion.

The National Dance Project Final Grant Review Process

From May 16 to June 15, NDP Production Grant Finalists worked closely with an NDP Advisor to support the development of their full proposal submission. During the initial meeting, NDP Advisors shared feedback from the preliminary application round discussions that would be important for their respective Finalists to consider as they craft their full proposal. This often includes highlighting current strengths of the project, observations, and questions that the NDP Advisors would appreciate be answered for deeper understanding/clarity of the proposed project. In preparation for these meetings, the NDP Team provides the NDP Advisors with tools to support providing feedback in a way that is both comprehensive and encouraging.  Though the NDP Advisors offer availability to Finalists to have several meetings during this time, it is ultimately the choice of the Finalist to determine how many times they would like to meet with their NDP Advisor.

NDP Advisors convened virtually at the end of the July for a week-long grant review process of the submitted NDP Production Grant full proposals. Their discussions centered program criteria as they carefully assessed narrative responses and reviewed work samples that emphasized the Finalists’ choreographic voice. For the NDP Advisors, this part of the process remains the most rigorous both mentally and emotionally as they collectively determine the 20 new dance projects that will receive the full Production Grant. They understand the weight of their decision-making and how it has the power to create multi-layered shifts that promote important dialogue about the (r)evolution of dance as a form and support action for equitable business practices. We commend their hard work and recognize that their inquisitiveness, forward-thinking, and care continues to enhance the program and subsequently create an indelible impression on the larger dance ecology. For a full outline of the grant review process at the finalist stage, please see the 2021 blog post.

In addition to advancing NEFA’s values, this year’s NDP Production Grantees represent an elevation of a next generation of various practices rooted in/addressing themes of social justice, environmental justice, care & wellness, spirituality, and cultural resilience. They are embracing multiple ways to experience dance via story-building and being responsible about the ways they choose to make their projects accessible for and with community. These projects intentionally desire to create a values-shift for the ways presenters engage and support artists, while also offering communities and audiences tools that promote continued exploration and calls for action related to their project’s subject matter. NDP Grantees range in career stage, diversity of form and aesthetics, project scale, operational models, engagement strategies, and geographic reach. 

Some highlights from this year’s grantee pool include:

Ten dancers, in front of a black backdrop, perform in a line.
Hari Krishnan/inDANCE | photo by Gabbie Bhaskar

2022 Production Grants

While we currently can only offer 20 NDP Production Grants, we continue to look for opportunities to deepen and expand our investment in the development of new dance projects across the country. With support from our funders, we are thrilled to extend this kind of support via our amplified Finalist Awards, providing $10,000 to each project that ultimately does not receive an NDP Production Grant. It is our hope that these unrestricted funds are embraced as an affirmation of NEFA’s interest, belief and support of the artistic prowess exhibited through the overall project, including its creative collaborations, partnerships, operational models, and desired impact in communities.

Some highlights from this year’s finalist awardee cohort include:

2022 Production Grant Finalists

  • 1968, Open Dance Project, Houston, TX
  • A Dance Without A Name, Nejla Yatkin, Chicago, IL
  • Arboreal Entanglement, Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, New York, NY
  • Close Animals: Soliloquies on Being, re:FRAME, New Orleans, LA
  • Future Fields, Dance Exchange, Takoma Park, MD
  • Ghosts of Hell Creek, Prehistoric Body Theater, New York, NY/Indonesia
  • Goya, Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca, New York, NY
  • Is It Thursday Yet?, Jenn Freeman, Brooklyn, NY
  • New York Is Burning, Les Ballet Afrik, Brooklyn, NY
  • Norri, DaEun Jung, Los Angeles, CA
  • Once the dust settles, flowers bloom, Olivier Tarpaga, Philadelphia, PA/Burkina Faso
  • SANKEI: a transplanted pilgrimage, KAMBARA+, San Francisco, CA
  • Tell, Circo Zero, San Francisco, CA
  • THE SECRET SHARER, DNAWORKS, Fort Worth, TX
  • The Unarrival Experiments - Unconcealment Ceremonies, Ni'Ja Whitson, Riverside, CA/NY
  • When We were Queens... an interdisciplinary performance by Murielle Elizéon with Shana Tucker, Culture Mill, Saxapahaw, NC

As we continue to be more transparent in our work, it is important to acknowledge that this year’s NDP Finalist Cohort is comprised of 16 new dance projects instead of 20. This is due to the following:

  • Per the 2022 NDP Finalist Announcement, there were two projects that advanced in both the NDP and NTP processes. We have a protocol for this that supports the intersection of dance and theater that we recognize exists and is a way of life in some cultures. During the NDP process, it was decided that these two  projects would remain NDP Finalists. However, they could decide to decline that status to pursue support from NTP, which both projects chose to do.
  • We had one applicant withdraw from consideration, and another applicant whose project was unable to be fully assessed  and evaluated by NDP Advisors due to questions that surfaced and are still being resolved.
  • In all these situations, we are clear that the allotted resources will still be used to support our grantee and finalist projects directly in the most equitable way.

NEFA remains committed to building a nation where artists can flourish and communities celebrate art as essential to a thriving, equitable society. While we recognize that the journey to an NDP Production Grant has sometimes require re-submitting projects over multiple cycles, we work deeply with artists/companies to support them through our process. We look forward to receiving future project applications that continue to reflect the cultural and aesthetics diversities of today’s dance field and remain excited about the future of dance.

Special Thanks

To our NDP Advisors: You did it once again! Thank you for your unwavering commitment to the dance field and for how you collectively embraced this process from a place of learning and deep accountability. It is never an easy journey, but you made it through, and we are proud of what you have accomplished via this portfolio of projects.

To the National Dance Project Team: Cheri and Kristin – There are elements of this work that never get seen or fully understood, yet we still do it together with so much integrity and care. We challenge and learn from each other daily and that is ultimately at the core of what continues to advance this program.

In addition, the National Dance Project Team would like to thank Jane Preston, Deputy Director of Programs and Elizabeth Timmerman, Technology & Data Coordinator, for their continued support and guidance with this year’s process. Your contributions remain invaluable.

Funders

NEFA's 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 Boston Foundation, and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

Questions

NEFA welcomes conversations regarding its grantmaking priorities and process. We support and believe in creating space for dialogues that foster mutual learning and build/strengthen our various roles in the field as allies. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the National Dance Project Team.

In a mall, with pillars and round, backless benches, a woman poses on a bench and two folks in ornate red, yellow, and green costumes twirl.
Parangal Dance Company | photo by Amani Marina
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