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Communications Director

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announced grants of $5,444,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and $225,000 from the Boston Foundation to support dance grantmaking and field-building activities including the National Dance Project and programs to develop dance in the New England region. 

A three-year grant of $5,444,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will support NEFA’s National Dance Project. NEFA’s National Dance Project is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding and field building for dance, enabling both the creation and touring of new works and complementary activities to support the field including convenings, research, and residency support.

A three-year grant of $225,000 from the Boston Foundation will support a Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) in New England. The RDDI provides professional development for dance artists in regions across the U.S. that are under-represented on the national level, and builds upon findings identified by choreographers and dance cultural organizers in New England.
“Over the last two decades, NEFA’s National Dance Project has become a singular, essential component of the nation’s contemporary dance architecture,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “NDP bolsters the careers of individual artists and makes new dance works accessible to communities large and small. We are proud to have been its first funder and excited to renew our partnership with this undeniable pillar of support for the dance ecosystem.”

“Our research and our experience have both highlighted the need to create greater opportunity for talented dancers and choreographers to raise their profiles and build their professional skills,” said Allyson Esposito, Senior Director, Arts and Culture at the Boston Foundation. “This investment in a Regional Dance Development Initiative can open the doors to a new generation to improve equity, opportunity, and understanding between cultures and groups across New England, while increasing access to critical resources for the region’s dance ecosystem.”

“NEFA’s signature commitment to dance has had a sustained impact on the creation and touring of new dance in America. Our partnership with the Doris Duke Foundation is critical to sustaining the core structure of dance-making through the National Dance Project. We are thrilled that the Boston Foundation has joined as a lead funder of a new initiative to advance opportunities for artists in Boston and New England,” said Cathy Edwards, NEFA executive director. 

NEFA announced the hire of incoming Program Director for Dance Indira Goodwine in January 2019; Goodwine will join the organization in March 2019. NEFA founded the National Dance Project (NDP) in 1996 to support the creation and touring of new dance. Now in its 22nd year, NDP operates as a recognized leader providing critical and holistic support to the dance field in the U.S. Over its history, NDP has invested nearly $37 million to support 373 artists and companies and over 800 cultural organizations, helping 689 unique dance works reach more than 3 million audience members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. 

NEFA's National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.

About NEFA
The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in the arts to enrich communities in New England and beyond. NEFA accomplish¬es this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; 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 www.nefa.org.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Arts Program of DDCF focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org

About the Boston Foundation
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, brings people and resources together to solve Boston’s big problems. Established in 1915, it is one of the largest community foundations in the nation—with net assets of $1.3 billion. In 2018, the Foundation and its donors paid $129 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The Foundation works in close partnership with its donors, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. It also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. For more information, visit tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.

Contact: Ann Wicks, 617-951-0010 x534