Among the liveliest of arts, dance is also a rigorous discipline, requiring the full dedication of the dancer. No matter what style of dance, the dancer needs constant practice to perform at peak ability. For many dancers and dance companies, financial realities compete with artistic pursuit. Grants are available to help both individuals and companies concentrate on artistic goals and acquaint the public with dance.
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts provides grants for dance companies and various dance projects. All types of dance, from ballet to hip-hop, may be eligible for funding. Grants are available for Access to Artistic Excellence, in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $150,000, to support the arts and provide public access to the arts. The $10,000 America Fast-Track grant provides arts funding to underserved populations, while the Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth grant provides funds to arts-based education in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $150,000. Dance companies or presenters may apply for one type of grant per year.
The Shubert Foundation applies the same criteria to dance company grants as it does for its theater funding. The foundation spends approximately 13 percent of its funding on U.S. dance companies, focusing on producing organizations. Only dance companies with professional track records may apply, and grants are not awarded to individual dancers or amateur companies.
New York Foundation for the Arts
The New York Foundation for the Arts features its BUILD grants, for Building Up Infrastructure Levels for Dance. Both small and medium-size dance companies in the New York City area may apply for BUILD grants, which consist of awards between $10,000 to $20,000 for choreographers looking to fund their companies' maintenance and infrastructure. The BUILD Stability grants award emergency funding between $1,000 and $2,500 to small companies facing financial emergencies. To qualify for this grant, the company's annual budget must be $35,000 or less.
Grants for Dance Project
The Grants for Dance project funds one grant per quarter to pay for the dance education of a student over the age of 18 who needs financial help to pay for studies. Students of any dance style or discipline may apply, provided they intend to pursue a professional dance career. Applicants should submit a letter of recommendation from their dance company or school along with the application. The goal of the Grants for Dance project is "to provide opportunity where it may have been otherwise limited."
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.