Dance Steps in As Social Contract for The Bay & Paul Foundations

The Bay & Paul Foundations make grants with a desire to support a social movement that creates a just and ecologically sound society. Or, as the foundation says: “Our vision is of vibrant communities whose skillful collaborations assure just and ecologically robust outcomes for present and future generations.”

Dance is an aspect of that vision, through The Bay & Paul Foundations' Arts & Humanities Education focus area. What may benefit your dance program is the foundation's somewhat atypical interest in adult education, as much as youth. That means more opportunities and more flexibility for how your program can synergize with the idea of arts education, which really is more closely related to arts engagement for this funder. In fact, The Bay & Paul Foundations also emphasize that while your dance program can take place in a classroom setting, it’s more interesting to them if it doesn’t. The foundation encourages you to think outside the box, stating:

. . . we favor initiatives that engage the broader community to help youth and adults acquire powerful expressive literacies and cross-cultural intelligences. Our grantees embrace the arts not as an adjunct or “enrichment” offering but as central to learning, growth, achievement, and an evolving sense of personal and collective identity.

This expression of arts education fits with the foundation's mission “to foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century.”

Other key words reinforcing this foundation’s view of its granting as a “social compact” are found in its values statement: Courage, patience, humility, listening, understanding, collaboration, opportunities.

For dance programs, recent support includes $50,000 to the New York City Ballet, $7,500 to Dancing Classrooms (Los Angeles, CA), $5,000 to thinkdance (New York, NY), and $5,000 to Ballet Tech (New York, NY).

As is likely evident from the above grants, Bay & Paul prefer to support programs in the New York City area, but it’s not an absolute. (For the record, Vermont is another geographic focus for this funder, though it’s not formally stated.) The foundation has an open, online LOI process. Biannual deadlines vary; check the website for upcoming dates.