Rockefeller Brothers Offering New Dance Residencies

When it comes to arts and culture, New York City is the creative capital of the world, and throughout the metro area, there are a wide variety of funders who contribute to the city's vibrant arts landscape.

One funder, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, has always been a strong supporter of the arts in New York. In fact, half of the grants it makes in New York City go to arts programs, with its other focuses on building sustainable communities and immigrant integration. Recently, the RBF announced funding for a duo of dance residencies as a part of their Pocantico Arts Collaborative. (See Rockefeller Brothers: Grants for New York City).

Dance companies Ballet Hispanico of New York and the Monica Bill Barnes and Company were the first to be awarded grants to participate in residencies as part of the Pocantico Arts Collaborative, and each organization will develop new works as part of their residencies at The Pocantico Center, an historic property the RFB manages.

Both groups will spend a week at the property, creating new dance projects. In May, Ballet Hispanico will create a new work for their 2014 season, and the grant will also enable the group to develop an arts education program for public school students in neighborhoods near the Pocantico property.

The Monica Bill Barnes and Company will spend a week at the property this summer, and work on a collaboration with Ira Glass from NPR. The production will combine a story about female gang violence with dance.

"The goal of the Pocantico Arts Collaborative is to provide artists time and space for aesthetic exploration and opportunities for nurturing artistic imagination," a statement from the foundation said. The residencies also allow artists to "share the creative process with the public" with performances, readings, exhibits, and various artist interactions at the Center. (Read NYC program director, Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas' IP profile).

Arts organizations can apply for RBF Charles E. Culpeper Arts and Culture grants, which are intended to "bolster the creative process by assisting artists, providing infrastructure to sustain the artistic life, and offering artists additional opportunities to develop skills that complement their creative talents." In 2012, RBF's giving in New York City was nearly $4 million, with almost $2 million going to support arts programs.

The Pocantico Center, which is managed by RBF in agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a community gathering space. The RBF hosts conference and meeting on the foundation's issue areas at the Center, and the RBF has made the property accessible to surrounding communities, hosting visitations, lectures, and other cultural events.