National Dance Project Welcomes Two New Advisors

(from left to right: Tariq Darrell O'Meally (photo by Mark Williams Hoelscher) and Heena Patel (photo by Ekta Kumbhani)

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

NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP) provides funding for the creation and U.S. touring of new dance projects and field building for dance. The NDP Production Grant offers a unique package of support to 20 new dance projects annually that elevates process, performance, and community connection.  

Each year, NDP is guided by a rotating group of Advisors who are solely responsible for selecting the 20 new dance projects that will receive NDP Production Grant support. The 12 NDP Advisors serve terms of one to three years and operate as the grant review panel for the two-part application process, as well as a policy and accountability council for various aspects of the program and its processes (Preliminary Application Review Process and NDP Final Review Process). The group’s curation is rooted in amplifying diverse perspectives and experiences throughout the field of dance and across the country that also bolsters shared knowledge building and essential discourse.  

In addition, it is important to understand that NDP Advisors continue to evaluate all applications in the integrity in which they are written despite us all continuing to navigate the impacts and unknowns of COVID-19. The effects on the livelihoods of artists and the U.S. touring landscape are still present and remain at the forefront for NDP Advisors. They recognize the administrative and creative labor within each application and continue to be inspired by the ingenuity of artists establishing new models for creation, access, and operations. 

Within NDP’s grant making history, we acknowledge our role in exclusion and are actively seeking pathways to be more inclusive in our practices and mitigate contributions to harm. In alignment with NEFA’s values, NDP is committed to disrupting the perpetual exclusion and erasure of artists representing forms, genres, practices, traditions, lineages, experiences, and/or identities through their projects. We value how artists are choosing to advance, enhance, or subvert various forms of dance, contributing to the ever-evolving landscape. As part of their collective decision-making, NDP Advisors also uphold these values in their best efforts to equitably distribute resources and consciously address structural and fieldwide inequities.  

With a steady increase in the number and strength of NDP application submissions, the NDP Advisors charge to review, assess, and purposefully steward funds becomes enhanced. We recognize that the path to ultimately determining NDP grantees and finalists comes with great responsibility that is often met with moments of excitement and tension along the way. Nonetheless, the NDP Advisors continue to meet this challenge with grit and grace. Thus, NDP would like to express gratitude in advance for their trust, hard work, forward-thinking, and overall service to the field. 

In 2022, NDP is excited to welcome two new Advisors: 

  • Tariq Darrell O’Meally (He/Him/His) 
    The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dance Place Artist-In-Residence, BlackLight Summit Creator/Curator/Lead Producer  
    Land of the Piscataway People (College Park, MD) 
  • Heena Patel (She/Her/Hers) 
    Cultural Strategist, Creative Producer, CEO MELA Arts Connect 
    Land of the Tsalaguwetiyi and S’atsoyaha (Asheville, NC) 

We are grateful for the continued service of 10 returning NDP Advisors: 

  • Kristen Brogdon (She/Her/Hers) 
    Director of Programming, University of Minnesota - Northrop 
    Land of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Peoples (Minneapolis, MN)   
  • Jennifer Calienes (She/Her/Hers) 
    Interim Director, Wesleyan Center for the Arts  
    Land of the Quinnipiac, Wappinger, and Wangunks Peoples (Middletown, CT) 
  • Eric Fliss (He/Him/His) 
    Managing Director, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center  
    Land of the Seminole, Taino, and Tequesta Peoples (Miami, FL) 
  • Ebony Noelle Golden (She/Her/Hers) 
    Artist, Founder & CEO, Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative  
    Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY) 
  • Shira Greenberg (She/Her/Hers) 
    Founder & Artistic Director, Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts  
    Land of the Pueblos People (Albuquerque, NM) 
  • Germaine Ingram (She/Her/Hers) 
    Dance/Vocal Improviser, Choreographer, Cultural Strategist, Writer 
    Land of Lenni-Lenape People (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • Michele Kumi Baer (She/Her/Hers and They/Them) 
    Cultural New Deal and Kumi Cultural 
    Land of the Tongva People (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • Patrick Makuakāne (He/Him/His) 
    Choreographer, Dancer, Director, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu  
    Land of the Ramaytush, Ohlone, and Muwekma Peoples (San Francisco, CA) 
  • Ali Rosa-Salas (She/Her/Hers) 
    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 Smith (She/Her/Hers) 
    Founder, AXIS Dance Company  
    Land of the Ohlone, Muwekma, and Chochenyo Peoples (Oakland, CA) 

Lastly, we extend a special thank you to our outgoing Advisors whose contributions to the program have been invaluable:  

  • Rosemary Johnson (She/Her/Hers) 
    Executive Director, Alabama Dance Council  
    Land of the Shawandasse Tula and Mvskoke Peoples (Birmingham, AL) 
  • Aaron Mattocks (He/Him/His) 
    Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater  
    Land of the Munsee Lenape People (New York, NY)  

Please Note: Native Land Acknowledgements have been provided by Advisors based on their location. Additional support has been provided by 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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