Performing Arts

Fund for National Projects Phase II Grants

* The Arts Program is currently undergoing a strategic review of this program to determine its future grant-making activities. Please visit the website for more information about the initiative, including any possible deadlines, in the summer of 2017.


Beginning in 2014, DDCF will award Phase II grants to a limited number of projects that have previously received support in the DDCF Fund for National Projects (FNP) grants competition and that:

  • Have shown particular promise for creating an impact on the national dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields;
  • Aspire to provide a continued service or program, as opposed to a one-time meeting or one-time research.

Grant Details

Since 2007, DDCF has funded more than 50 projects totaling over $7 million through the Fund for National Projects. These projects have included national convenings, national research, and a variety of national services, programs and special projects.

The Fund for National Projects has limited its support to launching new projects, activities or services designed to impact the national dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields. (Older programs, including ongoing national conferences, management programs, research, etc., are supported through the Core Support for National Organizations initiative.)

Phase II grants recognize that additional investments in especially promising projects could prove critical in increasing their impact and promoting their longer-term viability. Approximately $287,500 per year will be available to support a limited number of prior FNP grantees who now apply for Phase II support.

Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded. Applicants can apply for grants not to exceed 50% of their first FNP grant. Additionally, DDCF grant funds will not exceed 20% of Phase II project costs. Grantees will be chosen by the same peer panel seeking support in the FNP grants competition. In general, grant periods will be limited to a maximum of two years, although applicants may request longer support in extraordinary circumstances.

Organizations may not apply for both an FNP and a Phase II grant in the same year. Organizations may, however submit independent applications and be a member of one applicant consortium as well.

Areas Not Funded

The Arts Project does not support visual arts, museums or galleries (apart from museum presenting programs that present live performances in jazz, dance or theater); film or media projects; literary arts; symphonies and opera companies, classical chamber music or musical forms beyond jazz; classical ballet companies; avocational arts activities; arts programs for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes; training and conservatory programs; capital projects or endowments.

Phase II grants, like FNP grants, do not support the following types of activities:

  • Projects by single performing arts entities (e.g., national tours of a particular dance or theater work, even if they aspire to be a national model for others);
  • Ongoing annual conferences;
  • Individually produced conferences, performances or symposia (e.g., a festival produced by a single organization or by a consortia of local groups in a specific city or locale);
  • Re-granting programs;
  • Translations or commissions of new works (even if expected to have national impact);
  • Production start-up activities/production costs;
  • Arts education;
  • Avocational arts activities;
  • Capital projects;
  • Endowments.


Single nonprofits and consortia who have received support through the DDCF Fund for National Projects, and whose project aspires to continuing service or activity are eligible to apply. Prior FNP funds must be expended in their entirety before a Phase II grant can begin. FNP and Phase II grants may follow one another immediately but cannot overlap.

Organizations may not apply for both an FNP and a Phase II grant in the same year. Organizations may, however, seek support independently and be a member of one applicant consortium as well.

Application Process

We are currently reviewing this program. Please watch the website for more information about the initiative including any possible deadlines.

Letters of inquiry should outline the project and articulate its impact on the fields of professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting or theater. Competitive proposals that demonstrate the potential for direct and significant impact on the national professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields are reviewed by an advisory panel, which recommends the strongest applicants for funding based on the criteria for support outlined below.

Criteria for Support

In reviewing proposals, the panel will consider the following questions:

Project Concept/Structure/Evolution/Participants

  • Does the project address a significant need for artists and/or arts organizations working in the dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields?
  • Has the project shown significant progress since its first funding? How has it changed or evolved since it was funded?
  • Are there particular lessons learned that have been gained to date that affect the program moving forward? Are these lessons specific, insightful and potentially strategic?
  • Has the project attracted the involvement of a significant and appropriate group of participants?
  • Will the project have a continued arc of activity that warrants an additional investment?


  • Is the project likely to have a significant impact on the national dance, jazz, presenting and/or theater fields?
  • Is the project expanding the range of services, activities or body of knowledge available today?
  • Does the project still represent a potentially unique or valuable service, activity or program to the field?


  • Does the applicant have the financial and administrative ability to continue to move the project forward?
  • Has the applicant met the previous reporting and match requirements of the original FNP grant?

Grant Request

  • Is the requested grant amount appropriate?