Dance is a vital expression of culture and has the ability to create community, cultivate space for reflection and dialogue, and bring awareness to social issues through a variety of genres and practices. 

The non-profit dance ecosystem is formed by dance artists and companies at its core; surrounded by the organizations and administrators that support their work, including choreographic and residency centers, presenters, festivals, and service organizations; the schools, dance studios, and neighborhood centers where students and community members learn and train; the managers and networks that move dance around the country, and the people and organizations who help make dance happen beyond the stage or studio, such as scientists, city parks departments, local transit authorities, robotics labs, hospitals, farms, social service organizations, and more. The dance ecosystem thrives when dance artists and the organizations, programs, and spaces that sustain and connect them, work in equitable partnership with one another.

The NEA strengthens the dance ecosystem by supporting applicants doing essential work in their own organizations and local communities that contribute to a more robust, equitable, and accessible dance field; that centers and reflects a vibrant, diverse spectrum of dance artists; and that ultimately creates resilient, artful communities. We value proposals from organizations of all budget sizes, located in rural, suburban, urban, and tribal communities.
Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

For information on how to submit an application, see “How to Apply” on the left.

Project Types:

Applications must be for projects only. A project may consist of one or more specific events or activities. A project should not cover an entire season of programming as we do not fund seasonal or general operating support.

We encourage applications for projects that address one or more of the following:

  • Disability-led projects or projects that meaningfully engage disabled artists and/or students in pursuit of artistic and creative goals;
  • Preservation, documentation, and archiving of choreography, performances, and other aspects of dance history in ways that increase the diversity of artists, forms, and cultures in existing archives using archival practices that demonstrate cultural integrity;
  • Professional artist development and services to the field that strengthen the professional non-profit dance ecosystem for artists, such as programs that give artists time and space to make their work, convenings for artists and arts workers, arts leadership training and mentorship programs, and professional development services for artists that build their capacity to sustain a career in dance;
  • Creation and development of new dance works, especially by artists and companies who have historically been underrepresented, through commissioning, rehearsal periods, residencies that support artistic research, creation, or technical staging, and works made in collaboration with community members;
  • Restaging of existing dance works, including in ways that reimagine and recontextualize works that have historically had harmful depictions of cultures and communities;
  • Presentation and touring of dance, especially in communities with fewer opportunities to experience affordable, live dance, and/or by artists whose work broadens the scope of dance available to audiences;
  • Education projects specifically designed to serve youth in their communities, especially in places where there are few opportunities for wide-ranging dance experiences;
  • Cross-sector projects with non-arts organizations that bring dance into the realm of science, technology, agriculture, and other fields through mutually beneficial partnerships;
  • Advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities through projects incorporating dance;
  • Digital capacity-building for organizations to create virtual or hybrid programming, increase overall accessibility, and or/collaborate with other organizations using digital technology with dance.

Competitive dance proposals will address elements as stated in the application review criteria, as well as one or more of the following:

  • Encourage the participation of artists, production staff, administrators, and students from a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints, racial and ethnic backgrounds, economics, cultures, disability perspectives, and/or geographic areas;
  • Feature dance genres that have historically been underrepresented in national programs and systems of support;
  • Demonstrate mutually beneficial partnerships and engagement with artists, audiences, communities, and organizations within and across sectors that advance the goals of the project;
  • Provide direct compensation to artists and staff for their work on the project, especially to independent dance artists;
  • For projects that involve the presentation of artists, clearly describe the selection process and criteria used, including how you will ensure artists and audiences come from a wide range of backgrounds and reflect the audiences you aim to serve.

In some cases, a project that involves dance may be better suited for review in another discipline. Review the Artistic Disciplines page for more information, including guidance on educational projects.

For questions, including help choosing the right discipline, contact NEA staff:
Kate Folsom, or 202-682-5764
Juliana Mascelli, or 202-682-5656

Compliance Reminders:

The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Please note the following:

  • Civil Rights Laws and Policies: As a reminder, in the federal-funding context, a focus on a particular group or demographic may be permissible, but exclusion is not. This extends to hiring practices, artist selection processes, and audience engagement. Your application should make it clear that project activities are not exclusionary. Please review the Assurance of Compliance, as well as NEA Civil Rights guidance on our website, including this archived webinar: Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application.
  • Accessibility: Federal regulations require that all NEA-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may be audiences, visitors, artists, performers, teaching artists, students, staff, and volunteers. Funded activities should be held in a physically accessible venue, and program access and effective communication should be provided for participants and audience members with disabilities. If your project is recommended for funding, you will be asked to provide detailed information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities.
  • National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act Review: Recommended projects may be subject to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and/or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance review. See more information about NHPA/NEPA review under Award Administration.


Grants for Arts Projects applications will be accepted at two deadlines. All project types (described above) are accepted at both deadlines. Apply at the deadline that most closely fits the schedule of activities or timeline of your proposed project. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

First Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to

February 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens

Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal

February 21-28, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2024

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2025

Second Grants for Arts Projects Deadline:

Part 1 - Submit to

July 11, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens

Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal

July 16-23, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2025

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2025