(BOSTON – February 4, 2009) New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announced today that it has received awards totaling $1,825,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the National Dance Project (NDP) and the Center for Creative Research (CCR).

Said NEFA executive director Rebecca Blunk, “We are truly grateful for the Mellon Foundation's continued partnership. Their recognition of these projects and their potential for supporting some of the most important dance artists of our time is an extraordinary boost. This new funding will enable NEFA to expand its grantmaking in dance by more than 35% over the next two years – which means we can support the work of more choreographers and more of the organizations that make dance accessible to our communities.”

National Dance Project
Deemed the "fairy godmother of dance" by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, NDP uses funding and information-sharing to provide a support system for the living, evolving discipline of dance. NDP's grantmaking supports the creation and touring of regionally and nationally significant dance work whether in modern, ballet, and jazz, or culturally-specific and ethnic dance forms. Often projects combine genres or are interdisciplinary in nature. Since its inception in 1996, National Dance Project has awarded over $15.5 million of funding for projects that have reached over 2.4 million audience members in all 50 states. Additional support for NEFA's National Dance Project is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation.

Center for Creative Research
Envisioned as an innovative partnership between NDP and institutions of higher education, CCR places established choreographers in residence at a university or college as members of a research-oriented academic community. Through CCR, artists conduct choreographic research working with faculty and students, bringing benefits to both the artist and institution and encouraging nontraditional, cross-department collaboration. Partner sites have included Wesleyan University, University of Maryland, Dartmouth College, and the University of Minnesota.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Foundation’s Performing Arts Program currently provides multi-year grants on an invitation-only basis to leading orchestras, theater companies, opera companies, modern dance companies, and dance-specific presenters based in the United States. Although the Foundation does not confine its support to large organizations with national visibility, it does seek to support institutions that contribute to the preservation and development of their art form, provide creative leadership in solving problems or addressing issues unique to the field, and which present the highest level of institutional performance. Grants are awarded on the basis of artistic merit and leadership in the field, and concentrate on achieving long-term results. In conjunction with regular program grants, the Foundation also makes a limited number of grants to research and service organizations that are doing work closely related to program goals. For more information about the foundation, please visit its web site at www.mellon.org.

About New England Foundation for the Arts
NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, makes vital connections between artists and communities, and builds the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region’s creative sector. NEFA is a 501 (c) 3 that operates with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, and from corporations, foundations and individuals.

NEFA administers nine grantmaking programs that support the performing arts, public art, and Native American artists. NEFA also leads projects and initiatives that range from the analysis of the impact of the creative economy to the creation of online tools which link and advance the regional, national, and international cultural community. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call [617] 951-0010.