Fall for Dance is a ten-day festival launched by City Center in 2004 to attract new audiences to the art form. Each program features several companies — from up-and-coming young troupes from Paris or Montreal to such superstars as the Paul Taylor company and American Ballet Theatre — with all tickets priced at $10. Demand for tickets has been so high that the number of performances given last year was increased from six to ten. And Fall for Dance seems to be achieving its goal: according to a statement from City Center, audience surveys from the 2006 festival indicated that more than a third of attendees were under age 30, almost one-fourth were not regular dance-goers, and 45% later went to another performance by a company encountered at the festival.
The $3.5 million Mellon Foundation grant includes $2.5 million in seed money for a planned $10 million endowment dedicated exclusively to Fall for Dance, as well as up to $1 million for regular expenses until the endowment fund is established. The $2.5 million endowment is given as a challenge grant which City Center must match on a two-to-one basis by 2012.