Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is one of the largest grantmakers in performing arts philanthropy. It prioritizes funding for larger institutions in the creation and public performance of their work, although it does support individual artists through grants administered by intermediaries. The foundation also supports projects that build demand for the arts and promote organizations that develop wider audiences for (primarily contemporary) dance.

IP TAKE:  Individuals and small dance troops and organizations are best served by going through DDCF's intermediaries. It does not accept unsolicited proposals, but it does take letters of inquiry.

PROFILE: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) seeks to “improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.” The Foundation prioritizes large dance organizations over smaller ones, though this is not always the case as the occasional smaller program has received funding in the past. It does its dance grantmaking through its Performing Arts funding area.

DDCF primarily supports two types of major organizations: established dance institutions and organizations that make grants and provide support to individuals and smaller dance companies. The foundation has four major grantmaking strategies:

Artistic Creation and Touring - This competitive initiative supports the commissioning, production, and presentation of new works. DDCF does not currently offer grants directly through this initiative; rather they are offered through intermediaries, the Creative Capital Foundation, the National Performance Network, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Support for Organizations - Grants awarded under this initiative support innovative approaches to addressing current concerns in the performing arts, such as audience engagement and retention. Currently DDCF offers grants through the Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences Program, the National Subsidy Programs, and the National Dance Project.

National Sector Building. These grants support the rebuilding and strengthening of national performing arts fields. This program only supports national organizations. Grants of $60,000 to $200,000 are available through the Fund for National Projects; however, these grants can cover only up to fifty percent of total project costs.

Unrestricted Support for Artists. This grants seeks to strengthen a fair and sustainable system of unrestricted support to individual artists across the country. Currently DDCF only supports artists through fellowship programs at United States Artists.

Note that the foundation doesn't take unsolicited proposals, but it does accept letters of inquiry.

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