A white woman with medium length straight blonde hair wearing a v-neck red top and subtle jewelry.
Program Manager, Dance

This webinar is for choreographers and/or dance companies interested in applying for the 2021 National Dance Project (NDP) Production Grant. For more information about the grant opportunity (including eligibility, funding criteria, and more) visit the grant page. Apply by 11:59 PM ET, March 1, 2021.

Read the Transcript

Welcome, everyone. And thank you for joining us today for this webinar on the National Dance Project Production Grant. At the New England Foundation for the Arts, we believe that one of the roles of the Arts is to make the invisible visible.

We also believe that it is not the responsibility of those who have been made invisible to remind us that they are still here. Therefore, as committed allies and as artists, the New England Foundation for the Arts wishes to acknowledge that the many grounds on which we are joining you from today are the traditional lands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Naumkeag, and Mohican peoples.

We also recognize the many traditional lands, which all of you are joining us from across the country. We honor their ancestors' past, present, and future and recognize their continued existence and contribution to our society. We also acknowledge those of you and those of you whose ancestors did not come to this land by choice and those who did.

Since our activities are shared digitally to the internet, let us also take a moment to consider the legacy of colonization embedded within the technology, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day. We are using equipment and high-speed internet not available in many indigenous communities. Even the technologies that are central to much of the art we make leave significant carbon footprints contributing to change in climate that disproportionately affect indigenous peoples worldwide.

I invite you to join us in acknowledging all of this as well as our shared responsibility to make good of this time and for each of us to consider our roles in reconciliation, decolonization, and allyship. We will now pause for a moment of silence to honor and to reflect on the deep history of this land and its peoples.

Hello, again, and thank you for joining us for today's webinar. While our cameras will be off throughout this informational webinar, we are sharing an image of who we are and will acknowledge how we identify at this time.

My name is Indira Goodwine. And I am the program director for dance at NEFA. My pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am a brown-skinned, Black woman who, in this image, has long, black braids, and is wearing a coral dress with a necklace that has white triangles on it.

Hello, my name is Cheri Opperman. And I'm grants manager for dance here at NEFA. My pronouns are she, her, and hers. I'm a white woman who, in this image, has short, dark hair, dark glasses. I am wearing a red-collared shirt and red earrings.

Hello, my name is Kristin Gregory. And I am the program manager for dance at NEFA. My pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am a white woman. And in this image, I have dyed, blonde hair just below my shoulders. And I am wearing a magenta v-neck shirt with a gold necklace and a singular white stone.

For today's webinar, we will provide important information related to the NDP Production Grant, inclusive of information about NEFA and NDP; NDP's package of support; touring, and/or sharing; grant eligibility and funding criteria; application access and process; application narrative questions; work sample submissions; and important dates.

This webinar is being recorded and will be made publicly available for future reference. The recorded informational portion of this webinar will include closed-captioning. As a reminder, everything that is shared today can also be found on NEFA's website at www.nefa.org.

The New England Foundation for the Arts was founded in 1976 as one of six regional arts organizations established with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to strengthen regional arts opportunities. Today, NEFA's programs are regional, national, and international in scope and support artists and communities through grants and other opportunities in dance, music, theater, and public art.

Our vision states that NEFA contributes to a nation where artists flourish and communities celebrate art as essential to a thriving, equitable society. And we strive to reach this vision via our mission to invest in artists and communities and foster equitable access to the Arts enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.

Each program and project that is brought to life at NEFA is created with the underlying goal of building a stronger and more dynamic infrastructure for the Arts. We achieve these goals by leaning on our core values and continuously deepening our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, language, culture, age, genre, and geography and strive to counter those inequities in our work.

NEFA does not do anything alone. And we are grateful to the support of the field and our lead funders for this program-- the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. With their steadfast commitment, we are able to support artists, presenting organizations, and the communities they engage with in exciting and impactful ways.

NDP is now 25 years old. It was launched in 1996 to support the creation and touring of new dance work through grant-making and other activities including residences and regional dance development initiatives.

Today, we'll be talking about our major grant program, the Production Grant, which awards 20 dance projects annually through a competitive two-stage application process. These comprehensive grants are made to professional choreographers or companies to support the creation and US touring of a new dance work.

The package of support-- this comprehensive package of support includes a Production Grant, which provides a package of support-- $45,000 to artist's/companies towards all costs associated with making the new work, 10,000 to artist's/companies for general operating support with the deep thanks to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for this funding, which is totally unrestricted. For instance, general operating support can be used for rent, insurance, retirement, computers, cameras or other equipment, tour coordinator, or administrative support. You can put it towards the project-- anything.

Additionally, there-- there's 11,500 for Production residency and/or community engagement plans. These can cover the costs of activities that support the full realization of the new dance work during a residency experience and/or costs related to deepening relationships with existing communities or engaging new communities via activities directly related to the new work.

Production creation funds, general operating support, and Production residency community engagement funds are paid directly to the artist's/company or their fiscal sponsor. Works may not premiere before October 1, 2021.

The 35,000 reserved for each work's US tour-- and this money is distributed by the artist's/company to US-based organizations to subsidize a presentation of the NDP-funded work and must be used during the work's NDP touring period. Tour funds are allocated by the artist or tour coordinator and distributed directly to the presenter through the NDP presentation grant process. Tour coordinators may be an agent, a manager, or the artist themselves.

NEFA recognizes that the combination of multiple pandemics, COVID-19, racial injustice, and the economic downturn continues to impact the ways that artists create and intend to share their work. We value your creative ingenuity during this time and the artistic experiences you still desire to share with communities and audiences, whether in-person, virtually, or some imaginative combination of both.

NEFA understands that there are more opportunities and interests in artists and companies to share their work virtually reaching a more global audience. While we support the many ways artists and companies have been able to expand their reach, it is important to note that NDP tour subsidy can only be allocated to US-based organizations.

This does not prevent an artist or company from securing opportunities outside of the US. We want to see that as well. However, we must be clear about how tour subsidies can be allocated and distributed at this time.

If you or your company are selected as an NDP Production Grantee this summer, the window of time you will have to create, tour, and/or share your work is January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2025. Projects that are not completed and have not allocated their touring subsidy in this time period should be in conversation with NEFA staff. Please note, touring funds can be used for the premiere of the NDP supported work.

To be eligible to apply for a National Dance Project Production Grant, applicants must be able to meet the following criteria at the time of application. These eligibility requirements are also always available online at nefa.org-- that's n-e-f-a dot o-r-g.

Applicants must be professional choreographers or a company. Preference is given to US-based dance artists and companies, though artists and companies based outside the US may apply. We do accept applications from international artists and companies. However, we would like to note that preference is given to US-based Dance artists and companies. Because we acknowledge that countries outside of the US have different and/or more robust funding opportunities for artists.

Applicants must propose a new dance work to be developed and toured or shared. Work may be interdisciplinary and can include creators and other artistic forms. Works can be in an early-stage of development at the time of application as well as in mid-stage or later-stages of development as long as those new works are not set to premiere before October of 2021.

Applicants must submit or appear in only one application per choreographer or company, including applications for a work that will be created by a guest choreographer on another company. Applicants including a work that will be created by a guest choreographer on another company, are considered to be part of the one-application per choreographer or company.

So please be in touch if you are working with a choreographer to make sure that they are not intending to apply for their own work. Applicants must work with a US-based organizational partner committed to supporting the development and/or presentation of the proposed new work.

We will go into further detail about what an organizational partner looks like and can provide to a project on a later slide. Applicants must have non-profit status or a nonprofit fiscal sponsor who will act on their behalf. If you do not have non-profit status at the time of application, you are welcome to work with a fiscal sponsor. You do not have to have your fiscal sponsor confirmed at the time of application. But in order to receive payments, you will need to have one. And finally, applicants must fulfill the requirements and reports for grant recipients if awarded.

Applicants who are not eligible to apply-- at this time, we are not able to accept applications within the following categories. artist's/companies currently in a creation period from an NDP Production Grant or who are currently touring with NDP support through the end of the current calendar year, which is 2021.

NEFA programs that you might be part of would include the New England States Touring Programs. If you have questions about your NEFA application status, please reach out to us directly. Artists and companies who have received Production Grants for two consecutive cycles are not eligible. These artists must take two years off after their NDP grant period ends before applying again.

Again, if you are not sure about your current status in an NDP grant cycle, please reach out to us directly. And we can talk about this with you.

School, youth, or student companies and groups are not eligible to apply. We are not able to support projects that are working primarily with youth. So folks who are under the legal age of 18 or projects that are working primarily with students-- this includes college students who might be the main performers in the work.

Artists who are involved in the creation, presentation, performance of the work should be professional. Generally, that would equate to being paid. There's some nuance within that. But these are works for professional choreographers and dancers that are eligible.

Artists and companies who are planning to self-produce their NDP tour-- NDP tour subsidies support up to 50% of the artist's fee for engagement and are paid to the presenters on a reimbursement basis. Subsidies cannot be paid to the artist's/company receiving the NDP Production Grant.

So, therefore, a self-produced presentation would not be eligible. Because a presenter would not be paying the artist's fee for that engagement and would not be able to receive subsidy. You can have self-produced engagements on the tour of the work. But NDP subsidies cannot be used to support those engagements.

Artist's/companies with an overdue grantee report to NEFA-- to regain eligibility outstanding grantee reports must be submitted online through our grant portal to NEFA before the deadline of March 1, 2021. If you have an outstanding grantee report, our database system will not allow you to submit a new application until those reports have been submitted and approved.

All grant applications are evaluated based on the following criteria across both application rounds. Again, and NDP is a two-round application process. This criteria is used throughout both rounds.

It is popular belief and opinion, perhaps that myself, Indira, or Cheri are involved in the decision-making process. And that is not the case. The 20 NDP grantees are selected by a rotating group of advisors who are leaders in the dance field.

These folks include dance artists, presenters, and administrators. And they evaluate each application individually based on the following criteria. NDP Production Grant applications support the creation/development, and US-touring/sharing of new dance works that demonstrate excellence in artist's practice; support work that contributes to the cultural and aesthetic diversities of today's dance field; demonstrate partnerships between the artist/company and organizations that support the development, promotion, engagement, and/or touring/sharing of the new work.

Applications must include at least one US-based partner; demonstrate a commitment to an engagement process with/for communities and audiences in relation to the new works relevance, originality, and/or timeliness; and, finally, develop a viable plan for touring/sharing the supported work to multiple communities in the US and its territories.

We also want to acknowledge the virtual space that we currently have found ourselves in recently more and more and what that means for the touring subsidies. Again, you are welcome to share your NDP-supported work internationally. We encourage it. But please keep in mind that we are not able to financially support engagement that take place internationally even if they are virtual.

NDP believes strongly in artist/organization alliances to strengthen the development of new work and to connect communities to dance. As part of your application, you will need to identify organizational partners that will support you in reaching the goals of your project, which can range from ideation to community engagement to how you will tour and/or share your work.

While projects may have more than one partner, you must list one on the application form but can and should include information about additional partners in the narrative section. The National Dance Project defines organizational partners as US, non-profit organizations who have working relationships with dance artists or companies and are committed to providing support for the creation and/or the touring/sharing of the proposed new work. The organizational partner is not required to present the finished work at any time, although many do.

In the creation process, an organization may provide a variety of resources, including but not limited to residency space; audiences for work-in-progress showings; administrative guidance or support; access to communities who will be involved in the research, creation, and/or presentation of the new work; mentorship research assistants, and leveraging of additional funds for the project.

And during the touring of the proposed new work, support may take the form of presentation, mentorship, and tour-planning assistance. The partner does not have to be a presenter. Additionally, the applicants should demonstrate what the partner is doing for you and in the creation or touring of the new work, not what you are doing for that organization.

This next segment of the webinar will take you through how to access the online grant application portal and questions. At any time, you can view the narrative questions that you will be asked during the application process online on the Production Grants page on nefa.org by clicking the blue hyperlink in the gray square on the right-hand side of the screen that says Preview Application Questions.

To access the application for the first time, you will want to select the Apply Now button in the same gray box. And this will take you to a brand-new blank application form. If you have already started an application, please do not select this button again as it will bring you to another brand-new blank application form.

If you have already begun entering information, you will want to click the Resume My Application button located just below. And that will bring you back to the portal in a way that you can navigate to the application form that you have already started filling out. I would like to let you know that we have recently transitioned to a new grant portal.

So those of you who may not have applied for a few years, or if it is your first time applying, will have to create a new account. I will walk you through that now. But you can also find additional information about our new online grant system. It is a searchable article in our blog, which is located under the News dropdown on our website.

This is what the new portal login page will look like. You'll have to create a new Username. It cannot be an email, unfortunately. But I would recommend that you use the first portion of your email before the at symbol as your Username as that's something that's easy to remember.

We can always look up your Username for you if you do forget. But it's harder for us to reset your password for you. So if you do have trouble accessing an account that you have already created, I do recommend using the Can't Access Your Account link on the bottom of the screen. And that will take you through the steps to reset your password.

And if you are applying for the first time in this portal, you'll want to use the New User to set up an account. Once you have set up an account in the new portal, this is what the Dashboard will look like.

So if you already started an inquiry application and saved it, to return to it, once again, you'll use the Return to Your Grant Application button-- not the Apply Now button. Again, you only click that one one time. So that will bring you to the login screen. And then you'll log in. And it will bring you to this front page Dashboard.

And you won't immediately see your application there. Instead, you're going to have to navigate in the left-hand side of the portal. You'll see a blue box that says Request Inquiry and Report.

And it will be open to the Request section. You'll need to click on the Inquiry section. And that will bring you to the application that you have already started. From there, you can open it and continue working.

You do not need to fill in all of the information at one time. You're welcome to open a new form, look at it, save some information, and come back to it. We do recommend that you work on your narrative questions and other information offline, if you will, instead of trying to edit from the portal.

It's not the most visually friendly way to edit things. So we recommend working maybe from a Word document so that you're able to save your changes. And as you're entering information into the application, please consistently click the Save button as you're working.

Unfortunately, if you have entered something and you haven't saved that information-- if you close the browser or your internet goes out or your computer dies, most likely, we won't be able to retrieve that information for you again. And we don't want you to have spent an hour working on something. And you can't have it in your form any longer. So please remember to click Save as you are working through the form often.

As shared earlier the selection of NDP grantees is the sole responsibility of the 12 NDP advisors. They seek to select projects that represent the breadth and depth of our field as exemplified through NEFA's values inclusive of artistic and life experiences, career stage, dance aesthetics, forms, genres, and more.

While much remains unforeseen in the arts and culture landscape, we believe in the resiliency of our field and remain committed to supporting artists' ability to thrive. Thus, as you complete your NDP proposal, we encourage you to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge and know that it is OK to still be uncertain.

We invite you to lean on the NDP team as a resource as you prepare to submit your preliminary application. Now we will review the inquiry narrative questions that you will need to answer as part of the 2021 NDP Production Grant application as well as provide insight on what to consider when crafting your responses. Question 1 states, please describe the proposed new work.

While this question may feel self-explanatory, this is also an opportunity for you to share with advisors why this work is important now. Question 2 states, please provide an artist's statement in relation to the proposed new work. This question offers space for you to share your values and how it relates to the new work you are creating.

The artistic statement should not be a reshaped version of your bio. Question 3 states, we acknowledge that the people reviewing your application are likely to have gaps in understanding or knowledge about the context for your work. Please provide your own definitions of excellence and success for this project and any other information you think would be important for the advisors to have to fairly assess your application.

This question uplifts an artist's or company's agency to define excellence and success on their own terms. Your response grounds the advisors in how they assess and evaluate your application keeping in mind your definition of excellence and success with a project and not their own. This space can also be used to share additional information you feel is invaluable to your process and that otherwise would not be shared in response to other narrative questions.

Question 4 states, beyond the collaborators and creative team, how does this work contribute to the cultural and aesthetic diversities of today's dance field? You will also notice a hyperlink to view NEFAs value statement around equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Thinking about our EDIA work, it is important that we always consider how the work we support is elevating our field through the dance works and community engagement experiences with various audiences and communities. Representation is important. Creating space for challenging and rich dialogue is critical, not only for our field but for the world we want to transform through the art of dance.

While the advisors represent various geographies and experiences with dance, they may not be familiar with your work specifically. So in response to this question, you may want to start by defining your aesthetic and the specific ways in which you work and create. Then explain how you are either pushing your own boundaries and/or the form you work in.

Please note, we recognize that the contributions of diverse artistic collaborators including the dancers is important. However, the advisors seek to also understand how the proposed new work itself is contributing to the cultural and aesthetic diversities of today's dance field.

Question 5 states, describe your development process and timeline for this new work. And if applicable, include brief information about artistic collaborators. Here, the advisors are interested in further understanding your development timeline for the work and those you wish to engage through your creative process. It is also an opportunity to uplift more information about any and all artistic collaborators for the work.

Question 6 states, describe your relationships with the project partners for this new work, including the organizational partner listed on the previous tab. How will they contribute to the success of the project through the development, performance, engagement, and/or touring and promotion-- virtual or in-person? We want to emphasize that for this question, the advisors are evaluating what the organizational and project partners are doing for you and the project, not the other way around.

We understand that you may be teaching, lecturing, and leading other experiences that support your work as well as the project partner's mission and goals. But that isn't what we are asking here. The advisors are interested in understanding the deepness and diversity of the project partnerships as a way to support the excellence and success you desire for the project.

Question 7, which is the final question states, describe the audiences and communities you want to reach with this new work. How will your past or current engagement practices and/or experiences inform your vision for connecting with them as part of the choreographic development, performance, touring, and/or related activities?

Here the advisors want to understand more about the audiences and communities you wish to engage with and impact through your project. This goes beyond the presentation aspect of the work and should include other ideas for deepening and/or building new connections with the audiences and communities that you have identified.

This application requires you to offer a 3-minute work sample. For work samples longer than 3 minutes, clearly indicate queue times. If you are submitting two clips, each clip should be at least one minute in length.

For the audio, all video work samples should utilize original audio if available. You also have a place to explain how the submitted work samples relate to the proposed project in the description field provided. Video of the proposed work is not required. And we do recommend that you submit work samples that show the capacity of the artist to fully realize your ideas. This is an opportunity to connect the narrative answers to the application with a visual manifestation of your work.

For types of work samples, you can submit a clip of the in-progress work named in the application, a clip of similar work with the company or choreographer named in the application, or a combination of both. If you are a company, and you are looking to bring in another choreographer, it is helpful for the advisors to see a sample from the company who will be performing the work as well as the artist who is creating the work.

Again, we do want to emphasize that we ask you to please show us the queue times for the advisors to look at. If you submit longer than 3 minutes, the advisors will not be looking at anything beyond the 3 minutes.

Please upload the video work samples to the video-sharing site Vimeo or Google Drive and to enter the Vimeo URL link in the Work Sample Link form field. For password-protected links, please provide the password, and please do keep those up for at least two months. And then please ensure that the videos can be downloaded. Thank you.

The National Dance Project Production Grant is a two-round application process. The first round is open to anyone who would like to apply. And that deadline is March 1, 2021, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. From there, the advisors' group-- the 12 folks will select up to 36 applications. And those applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

The second round of the Production Grant application process is by invitation only. And all applicants who apply on March 1 will be notified of their status by email in early May. The 36 applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will be paired up with 1 of the 12 advisors for an advising process as they work through developing their full proposal.

The advisors are there to provide feedback from the first panel meeting about your first application. They can read your new narrative questions. They can view work samples with you and make suggestions. They can review your budget with you. They're there to guide you through the process.

During the second panel review process, they also will present your application to the full panel. And I want to make a distinction here between presenting and advocating. The advisors who are paired up with you are not advocating your application during the panel, they are presenting the information that everyone receives through the application.

But because they have had conversations with you about the development of that content, they're able to present it maybe with a little more background information. But again, they're not advocating for that application during the panel.

If you are selected to be part of the 36 finalist's group, it's important that you want to get in touch with your advisor-- get them your materials well in advance for them to review. Because they are working with a few other artists through this process. And you want to give enough time to receive feedback to make edits, et cetera, before the final application deadline.

From the 36 finalists, ultimately, 20 are selected to receive an NDP Grant, again, by the advisors. And the finalists who do not receive an NDP Grant, ultimately, will receive a finalist award in recognition of the effort that is involved in submitting the full application.

We do offer opportunities for all applicants from the first inquiry round-- from the first deadline in March-- and as well, for the finalists to receive feedback on your application. And when we notify you of your application status, you will receive information about how to receive feedback on your application.

So here is a reiteration of some of the dates we've already gone over. The first application is online. It is available now through 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on March 1, 2021.

NDP staff are available to support you during the application process via email. But I would like to remind you that our office hours are Eastern Standard Time. And we respond to emails, typically from about 10:00 AM Eastern Standard to 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM. We are not available after 5:00 PM on the deadline date.

If you are having trouble with the portal-- if you're having issues with internet-- there's a storm in your area, or the portal has crashed-- this has happened before. Please do not panic. Send us an email. And we will respond to you on March 2nd and make sure that your application materials do get uploaded and submitted.

So I don't want you to panic if you're having trouble. But keep in mind that we might not be available to support you in the moment. Again, all applicants are notified by email of your application status in early May of 2021.

And those 36 applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal, that deadline is June 7, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. A reminder to get your materials and work with your advisors well in advance of the deadline to have opportunities to adjust your materials based on feedback. The Production Grant recipients-- so those 20 selected to receive a Production Grant will be notified again by email in August of 2021.

And if you are interested in learning more about New England Foundation for the Arts, the National Dance Project, or our-- it's called Moving Dance Forward. It's a report that was done on the 20-year history of the National Dance Project Grant-making. You can always find all of these resources on nefa.org. They'll also be a slide deck that you can access if you're interested by emailing an NDP staff member. And it will be a clickable link. And a reminder also that all of the information that has been shared in this webinar today is always available online at nefa.org.

This concludes our 2021 NDP Production Grant informational webinar. As always, should you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us prior to submitting your preliminary application on March 1, 2021. All of our contact information can be found on NEFA's website, again, at www.nefa.org. We thank you again for joining us and hope that you, your loved ones, and community remain safe and healthy.

TagsDance, Blog