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National Programs Directors

A Message From NEFA's National Programs Directors

Acknowledgment of COVID-19 and Its Impacts on the 2020 NDP & NTP Panel Process

In the wake of a global health pandemic, economic downturn, and continued racial injustice, NEFA recognizes that the arts & culture landscape remains in flux. However, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the humanity of artists and our efforts to be nimble, responsive, and champions for change in our field and beyond.

This year presented unique opportunities for the NDP and NTP application and review processes, especially as we entered the virtual realm for the first-time. NDP & NTP made structural changes to support artists involved in the process. This included providing additional time for finalists to complete and submit full proposals, as well as for this year, providing a one-time $500 stipend to support artists who applied, regardless of their status as a NEFA grantee or not.

With the understanding that applicants submitted preliminary proposals prior to COVID-19, both programs immediately focused on preparing Advisors to assess applications in the integrity in which they were submitted. This would be the foundation for ensuring all future panel meetings stayed rooted in NEFA’s core values, strengthened proposal evaluation practices, promoted program stewardship, and supported forward-thinking for the fields of dance and theater. It was also this deep preparation that supported Advisors desire to increase the number of finalists for NDP and NTP from 36 to 38 and 24 to 28 respectively.

What is NDP and NTP?

  • The National Dance Project (NDP) supports the creation and touring of new dance works and connects artists, cultural organizations, and audiences across the nation.
  • The National Theater Project (NTP) promotes the development of artist-led, ensemble, and devised theater work while extending the reach and life of these projects through touring. 

Last month, NDP and NTP completed their final virtual panel meetings where each set of program Advisors selected the 2020 NDP Production Grantees and 2020 NTP Creation & Touring Grantees.  We are excited about what these NDP and NTP cohorts represent in diversity of form and aesthetic, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, sexual orientation, geography, career-stage, deep community engagement practices, and more. We believe these artists/companies are a testament to NEFA’s values and their respective projects will have positive impacts in, with, and for communities both in-person and virtually.  

2020 NDP Production Grant Recipients

2020 NTP Creation & Touring Grant Recipients

By the Numbers: 2020 NDP & NTP Cohort Highlights

National Dance Project Selected Highlights

  • 1 new state (AZ)
  • 2 returning grantees who received NDP 10+ years ago
  • 3 first time applicants
  • 13 first time NDP Production grantees
  • 70% of the 2020 NDP projects are artistically led by Black, Indigenous, and/or Peoples of Color

National Theater Project Selected Highlights

  • 1 returning grantee
  • 1 new state (AZ)
  • 2 Artist Development grantees
  • 2 grantees who performed at NTP Regional Convenings
  • 3 first time applicants
  • Currently planning to share their work in 21 states (AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, LA, MA, MD, MN, MS, NC, NY, OR, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV) and the District of Columbia

In addition, NDP and NTP recognized that due to COVID-19 they were not going to use funds originally allocated to support in-person convenings and other direct programmatic costs. In alignment with our values, we instead chose to re-purpose those monies to increase support for finalists. In years past, finalists received a $1,000 award in acknowledgment of the time and effort it takes to complete a full proposal. With this shift, NDP was able to amplify our finalist awards from $1,000 to a total of $10,000 to support the continued creation/development of the NDP project as well as their respective sustainability needs during this time. NTP was able to increase the number of Artist Development Awards from four to 18. We are thankful to our funders, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for their support of this responsive shift. NDP & NTP believe the stories/creative ingenuity of these artists, companies, and ensembles are ones to watch for the future.

2020 NDP Finalist Amplified Support 

2020 NTP Artist Development Awardees


What’s Next?

With so much still unforeseen, NDP & NTP recognize that our programs will not only need to be responsive to the times, but also support the systemic change that needs to occur. We are open to what that means for the future structure and process of our programs and will stay abreast of developments in our sector that impact all our grantees – artists, presenters, local and national communities – to ensure equitable transformation. We also understand the importance of how nimble we will need to remain as we make adjustments that support new ways to build sustainable relationships amongst grantees, Advisors, communities, and NEFA.

We look forward to your thoughts; reach out to us - Indira and Quita - with your comments.