These grants provide organizations with the resources to research and plan for projects “showing particular potential for replication and influence on the practices of other organizations across the country,” according to press notes. The foundation supports projects that promise to foster continued vitality in their respective fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theatre.
The Fund for National Projects offers two kinds of support: Phase I funding to embark upon projects that have not previously received DDCF grants, and Phase II funding for organizations to continue and expand previously DDCF-funded projects.
Maurine Knighton, program director for the Arts at DDCF, said in a statement, “The long-term strength of the performing arts sector relies on a culture that embraces opportunities to adapt and evolve. The foundation is constantly seeking to support promising new ideas that help dance, jazz and theater artists—and organizations within those communities—thrive. This year’s projects have the potential for knowledge-building and advancing practice at a scale sufficient to influence the national landscape.”
Phase I funding from DDCF’s 2016 Fund for National Projects will go to seven new projects:
Art2Action in Tampa, FL, will receive $95,625 to support the presentation of performances created by, for, about and with veterans, in partnership with Americans for the Arts and the University of South Florida, as part of the National Summit on Arts & Health in the Military, February 2-5, 2017.
East West Players in Los Angeles, CA, will receive $180,000 to create Think Tanks that will gather theatre professionals nationwide to discuss issues of access, equity and the potential for systemic change in theatre and the performing arts in general.
Jazz Forward Coalition, through Fractured Atlas in New York, NY, will receive $113,400 to create JazzHubs, a network of resources in jazz that fosters professional development, interactive community engagement and broader knowledge-sharing, ultimately to support the field’s long-term sustainability.
National Arts Strategies in Alexandria, VA, will receive $84,938, working in partnership with the International Association of Blacks in Dance in Washington, D.C., to support the Black dance community’s continued strength and development by investing in education tools, cross-generational learning opportunities and leadership training.
Network of Ensemble Theaters in Portland, OR, will receive $140,625 to develop CoNECTR, an online platform that supports a national peer-to-peer artist presenting circuit for collaborative tours and residencies that is more accessible and removes barriers to diverse participation.
Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN, will receive $214,594 as the fiscal sponsor for artEquity, a national initiative designed to provide in-person, skills-based and analysis-building training to theatre practitioners to encourage greater diversity and effective social activism through their art.
Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts in Blacksburg, VA, will receive $222,824 to build VTArtWorks, an online communications hub that spreads knowledge about how the arts can be used to develop communities and foster broader civic engagement among citizens.
Phase II funding will go to five previously funded projects.
American Theatre Wing in New York, NY, will receive $112,500 to expand national media programming that connects theater communities with audiences online and on mobile devices.
Childsplay in Tempe, AZ, will receive $28,125 to bolster the capacity of its project Write Now to develop conversation, inspiration and collaboration among American playwrights creating work for youth audiences.
DataArts in Philadelphia, PA, will receive $33,750 to continue building an educational curriculum that supports the ability of professionals at nonprofit dance, jazz, theatr sticky echo and presenting organizations to better understand and use data in ways that improve their work.
Partners for Sacred Places in Philadelphia, PA, will receive $33,750 to advance on-the-ground arts programming of Creating Spaces, a successful space-sharing project matching artists and houses of worship, in Austin, TX, and Baltimore, MD.
Theatre Communications Group in New York, NY, will receive $112,500 to support its Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative to study, record and disseminate the history and ongoing progress of equity, diversity and inclusion in theatre.
Since 2007, DDCF’s Fund for National Projects has supported 78 projects with grants totaling over $11.86 million.
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is 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.” For more information visit www.ddcf.org.