NYC Dance

Contact: Leah Krauss

The Mertz Gilmore Foundation has an extensive history of supporting dance in the city, reflecting Joyce Mertz Gilmore’’s passion for dance. The Joyce Theater in Chelsea is named in her honor. Mertz Gilmore was one of the first foundations to recognize the key role that presenters play in the dance field – providing artists with technical and promotional support, commissioning pieces, staging works-in-progress, mounting full performance seasons, educating audiences through outreach programs, and developing a vital distribution network for live performance. The Foundation continues to fund contemporary dance presenters located throughout the city’’s five boroughs. Our objective remains to support and invigorate the presenting field to serve New York City’’s artists and audiences.

The Program’’s grants fall into two categories:

I. Presenters: The Foundation provides general operating support for presenters of small to mid-sized dance companies in New York City. A presenter is an organization, or department or program of a larger organization, which facilitates exchanges between New York City’’s artists and audiences through creative performance opportunities. Grants are available only to groups that present contemporary dance (exclusively or as a part of multi-disciplinary programs). Grant terms will generally be two years in length. To qualify for a grant, applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • A current and continuous three-year history of presenting high quality contemporary dance;
  • A substantial annual budget dedicated to dance;
    • The dance budget should include annual expenses related to dance presentations; residency and commissioning programs; technical assistance services to dance artists; and rehearsal space and time
    • The dance budget should NOT include expenses related to fiscal sponsorships; dance schools/conservatories; or school-based arts education programs;
  • Sound organizational financial capacity and stable management, documented by the organization’s most recent audit and operating budget;
  • Ongoing performance activity (with multiple dance presentations each year); and
  • Efforts to increase and diversify the audience for dance.

II. Advocacy/Support Services: On a limited basis and for opportunities that meet strategic concerns of the Foundation, organizations may submit proposals for discrete advocacy/support services projects to advance the dance field by improving conditions for individual dance artists. Prior to submitting a letter of inquiry, grantseekers are encouraged to contact Leah Krauss to discuss the nature of the proposed project.

The Foundation will not make grants for individual artists or companies, or organizations based outside of New York City.

TO APPLY: Please e-mail a 3-page letter of inquiry to Leah Krauss to help staff determine the possible fit with the Foundation’’s criteria and program priorities. Please include a detailed budget of your dance program.

Deadline:  Letters of inquiry for the upcoming spring 2018 grant cycle are due by Friday, January  19, 2018. Final funding decisions will be made by the Board in April.

2017 GRANTS  (Updated June 2017)


Baryshnikov Arts Center
$60,000 over two years to support the development and presentation of dance. (Year 2)

Bronx Museum of the Arts
$50,000 over two years to expand the Bronx Museum’s role as a presenting institution for dance. (Year 2)

 College Community Services (Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts)
$20,000 over two years to support the dance series at a cultural facility located on the campus of Brooklyn
College. (Year 2)

$50,000 over two years to support Dance Now Joe’s Pub. (Year 2)

Fiorello H. Laguardia Community College Foundation ( Laguardia Performing Arts Center)
$20,000 over two years to support dance presentations. (Year 2)

Gina Gibney Dance, Inc.
$80,000 over two years to support the dance presenting programs. (Year 2)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
$120,000 over two years to support New York City dance artists at Jacob’s Pillow. (Year 2)

Kings Majestic Corporation (651 Arts)
$70,000 over two years to support emerging and established choreographers of the African diaspora. (Year 2)

La Mama Experimental Theatre Club
$40,000 over two years to support the dance program at La MaMa. (Year 2)

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
$60,000 over two years to grow a dance program in Lower Manhattan. (Year 2)

MAPP International Productions, Inc.
$50,000 over two years to support New York City dance artists who take creative risks to develop socially
relevant work. ( Year 2)

New York Live Arts
$80,000 over two years to support and present dance. (Year 2)

Queens College Foundation (Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts)
$100,000 over two years to build a network of rehearsal and performance opportunities for NYC-based dance companies throughout the CUNY system. (Year 2)

Socrates Sculpture Park
$20,000 over two years to support the dance series at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens. (Year 2)

$40,000 over two years to support SLAM Presentations.

Works & Process, Inc.
$30,000 over two years to present dance at the Guggenheim Museum.

Advocacy/ Support Services

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
$100,000 over two years to help Restoration develop a dance rehearsal and presenting program. (Year 2)

Broadway Dance Lab
$50,000 over two years to support the needs of musical theater choreographers. (Year 1)

Dance Service New York City (Dance/NYC)
$100,000 over two years to provide general support. (Year 1)

Dance Service New York City (Dance/NYC)
$36,000 for one year to develop and promote integrated dance performances at accessible venues in New York City.

Exploring the Metropolis
$30,000 over two years to support a residency program in Jamaica, Queens open to emerging choreographer and composer pairs. (Year 1)

Fractured Atlas Production ( American Dance Abroad)
$100,000 over two years to bring international dance presenters to New York City. (Year 2)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
$50,000 for one year to seed a year-round residency program at Jacob’s Pillow.

Jerome Robbins Foundation
$50,000 over two years to support the development of new dance-driven musical theater. (Year 1)

New York City Center
$80,000 over two years to support City Center’s Choreography Fellowship program. (Year 1)

UBW (Urban Bush Women)
$80,000 over two years to support female choreographers of color and foster greater understanding of their work. (Year 1)

Late Stage Stipend Grants
$94,500 to 27 dance presenters to help dancemakers in the later stages of the artistic process.