NEFA Receives $3.3 million Grant for National Dance Project; Program Assessment Affirms Impact

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Rebecca Blunk, executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts, announced that NEFA has received a new two-year $3.3 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for the National Dance Project. Since 1998, DDCF has provided more than $21million in funding for NDP.

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“Through its visionary approach..., NDP has enriched the aesthetic vocabulary of the dance field,” said Ben Cameron, DDCF Program Director for the Arts.

Rebecca Blunk, executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts, announced that NEFA has received a new two-year $3.3 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for the National Dance Project. Since 1998, DDCF has provided more than $21million in funding for NDP.

The renewed funding comes on the heels of a program assessment, commissioned by DDCF and conducted by Helicon Collaborative, to evaluate the impact of NDP in light of the current and evolving needs of the dance field. Interviews and surveys of artists and presenters and other stakeholders confirmed that NDP continues to be an essential resource, needed even more today than when it began more than 15 years ago. A few of the many observations detailed in the report include:

  •     NDP’s grants and services provide a voice and visibility for dance artists, and help to build and sustain connections with dance presenters, the marketplace for their work;
  •     NDP’s commitment to diversity was specifically noted as being “critically important”;
  •     Grants to support the presentation of dance allow presenting organizations to bring a wider variety of dance to their communities with less financial risk;
  •     NDP’s efforts to sustain international cultural exchange in dance continued to make an important contribution to dance development during “a time of isolationism in American foreign policy.”

NDP provides a system of support for the living, evolving discipline of contemporary dance by supporting the creation and touring of dance. NDP has enabled communities in all 50 states to experience the work of the most creative and compelling dance artists of our time. To date, NDP has supported the creation of over 200 new dance works, working directly with over 300 U.S. presenters. Each year, up to 30 different dance projects are featured in engagements in more than 250 communities across the country.

“Through its visionary approach of supporting both the creation and the distribution of new work, NDP has enriched the aesthetic vocabulary of the dance field and offered extraordinary dance experiences to audiences nationwide. We are delighted to renew our support for this important program,” said Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Program Director for the Arts.

The DDCF funding also provides for supplemental awards for general operating support to NDP grant recipients, meeting a critical need in the dance field given the economic downturn. Said NEFA executive director Rebecca Blunk, “The dance field is standing and cheering for Duke’s generous and sensitive leadership during these particularly challenging times.”

Additional support for the National Dance Project comes from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust, with additional funding for special initiatives from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and the French American Cultural Exchange.

About Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. http://www.ddcf.org

About NEFA
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 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 currently administers grantmaking programs of regional, national, and international scope 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 work of the cultural community. http://www.nefa.org.

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