Performing Arts

National Sector Building


To help strengthen the national performing arts sector.


The Arts Program aims to help strengthen the national sector through two complementary initiatives:

  • Providing core support to select national arts organizations whose work is critical for the health of the dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields;
  • Supporting select national projects that strengthen the national infrastructure of the dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields.

The Fund for National Projects is the only component of the Arts Program's strategy for which the foundation reviews applications from individual producing or presenting organizations and convenes expert panels to identify projects for direct DDCF support.

Background & Rationale

As a national foundation, DDCF recognizes its responsibility to go beyond developing strong artists and organizations and help build strong performing arts fields at the national level. This component of the Arts Program's strategy allows DDCF to support national organizations critical to the health of dance, jazz, presenting and theater, as well as national projects that have the potential to improve the health of a given field.

The health of individual organizations and the performing arts as a whole is increasingly dependent on activities that are national in scope, such as data collection and comparative analysis, research, networking and information dissemination that leads to field-wide learning.

National organizations play a critical role in the transfer of such knowledge and help promote greater organizational efficiency. National organizations can examine and explore field-wide issues, and are working to promote long-term field strength by developing leadership academies, supporting mentorships and cultivating networks that seed artistic collaborations vital to each field.

For individual arts organizations, better data collection leads to improved benchmarking and more precise budgeting; for disciplines as a whole, such data is important in policy and advocacy circles. Disseminating best practice is often too burdensome a task for a local or regional arts organization to undertake, resulting in loss of field knowledge and unnecessary replication of failed, ineffective strategies.