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DANCE NEWS: Dance/NYC Announces New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program

DANCE NEWS: Dance/NYC Announces New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program

Published on November 8, 2021

Deadline for Artists Nomination of Venues is November 19 at 6PM EST

Dance/NYC is pleased to announce the New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program, administered by Dance/NYC and made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The purpose of the program is to make affordable rehearsal space available to dance makers who are in critical need of space for the creation and development of their work, while also fostering a more inclusive and just dance field. By addressing financial barriers to accessing artistic development space, this program aims to advance dance artistry in the five boroughs of New York City and contribute to the field’s overall diversity, sustainability, resilience, and health. While dance rehearsal space facilities are the direct recipients of funding, individual dance artists and dance making organizations are the primary intended beneficiaries of the program.


Artist Nominations of Venues

The experiences of artists are central to this grant program, which grants funding that subsidizes the costs of venues to provide affordable hourly rental rates to the dance community. Dance/NYC invites artists and choreographers, administrators, producers, managers, and all members of our community that use rehearsal space to nominate studios for consideration in the program. Any studio can be nominated, regardless of size, location, or business structure. 

Nominated spaces will be provided with more information on the program and invited to respond to a Request for Expressions of Interest (to be released November 9, 2021). Artist nominations of venues will be accepted until November 19, 2021 and serve to highlight rehearsal space facilities that may not otherwise pursue participation in the program and further function as recommendations of a venue’s effective service to the field. NOTE: Spaces may apply regardless of whether they have received artist nominations. 


Program Overview

Dance/NYC remains committed to delivering regranting programs that address disparities in the dance field by continuing to fill gaps in the availability of resources where they are most needed. It believes the dance ecology must itself be just, equitable, and inclusive to meaningfully contribute to social progress and envisions a dance ecology wherein power, funding, opportunities, conduct, and impacts are fair for all artists, cultural workers, and audiences. Dance/NYC's approach cuts across its public programs and all aspects of its operations. 

The program builds upon The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program, established in 2011 as a result of the Foundation-supported study “We Make Do:” More Time is Better, But Budget is King (2010). Dance/NYC began administration of the RSS program in 2018 following two cycles of the Foundation’s administration (2012–2014, 2015–2018). Dance/NYC’s administration of the program was further motivated by Dance/NYC’s research Advancing Fiscally Sponsored Dance Artists & Projects (2017), Performing Disability. Dance. Artistry (2018), and NYC’s Foreign-Born Dance Workforce Demographics (2018). These studies revealed affordability to be a chronic challenge for dance artists, who ranked affordable artistic development space as a top need, especially amongst small-budget dance makers and specific populations like foreign-born and immigrant artists. In alignment with Dance/NYC’s research and organizational priority of ensuring that artists had access to quality space that was also accessible for disabled people, grantees of Dance/NYC’s iteration of the program were required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 2020, Dance/NYC’s research study Defining “Small-Budget” Dance Makers in a Changing Dance Ecology further highlighted the need for funding to cover space-related costs and noted that lack of access to space and other resources inhibits the development and growth of dance in outer boroughs. 

Dance/NYC’s second iteration of the RSS program will continue to make affordable space available to dance makers who are in critical need of it and aims to limit the financial barriers and the amount of labor required for artists to access space.

The program will provide a grantee cohort of an anticipated 16–18 New York City rehearsal space facilities a total of over $2 million over the grant period. Each grantee will receive grant funds to provide subsidized dance rehearsal space throughout the course of the grant period (April 1, 2022–December 31, 2024); fees to support administrative costs to run the program; in-kind marketing, communications, and outreach annually through Dance/NYC platforms; and professional development support in the form of grantee cohort meetings to drive individual and collective learning about artists’ needs and the landscape of rehearsal space.

The deadline for completing artist nominations of venues submissions is November 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST.


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