Many dancers understand the frustrating experience of not having proper funding to support their dreams. Dance grants for individuals make it possible for freelance artists to get the resources they need to further the world of dance and provide invaluable lessons and entertainment for future generations.
The Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Unlike many foundations that are set up to benefit children, communities and other groups, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts exists solely to provide grants and financial assistance to individual artists who have caught the attention of those who are already considered notable in the artistic world.
Each year, the foundation serves to encourage and fund the personal projects of the chosen artists. Artists cannot apply for this grant; rather they must be nominated by an individual on the nomination committee for that calendar year.
Outside of the selective nomination process, artists can also choose to apply for an emergency grant if their work has an unexpected opportunity to be shown to the public. The foundation's website lays out specific guidelines for such a circumstance.
National Endowment of the Arts
The National Endowment of the Arts is a government-funded program that provides grant money to dance establishments that are make a difference, namely with community groups that are unable to experience the arts in any other way---be it ethnic, socioeconomic or geographical hindrances.
In a few cases, the NEA gives grants to individuals, primarily to those involved with the NEA National Fellowships in the folk and traditional arts.
Princess Grace Foundation
The Princess Grace Foundation awards grants to worthy nominees each year to encourage and further the development of their dance careers. The foundation works with non-profit and other organisations to complete the nomination process, and all award recipients must be U.S. citizens or have permanent residency. Primarily, grants are awarded only to those working within an academic setting, and they must be nominated by a dean or other appropriate authoritarian within their field of study.
Preparing for Grant Application
If you are applying for grants, or someone has been generous enough to nominate you for such an honour, prepare for what you will encounter. Many grant contenders will be interviewed extensively or asked to show examples of their work if they are too far to travel. Prepare a video showing your best work and have professional portraits taken available for display. Gather letters of recommendation so you have reputable references in a pinch. Finally, work hard to cultivate and improve your craft---you never know when an opportunity will come up to earn well-deserved money.
Finding Other Grants
If you are looking for more grant opportunities, seek the help and advice of your past and present mentors and instructors. If you are in high school or college, your instructors or deans may have an idea of programs both local and national that you may apply to. You can also make connections within online communities to further expose your work and what you hope to accomplish.