Oct.14, 2021
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Choreographer Zachary Frazee (r), 2021 recipient, in rehearsal with mentor Hettie Barnhill (in blue)


The New York State DanceForce, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), announces the expansion of its Choreographers’ Initiative program to three new regions: Central NY, Capital District/North Country, and Hudson Valley/Long IslandThe program has provided professional development for choreographers living in New York’s 17 westernmost counties since 2018. Starting in 2022, artists across 55 counties of the state will be eligible for projects.

The New York State Choreographers’ Initiative is designed to support dance artists in the development of their choreographic skills by providing them with resources that are often unavailable or unaffordable. These resources include 24 hours of creative studio time, professional dancers, the guidance of a mentor of their choice, and a $2,500 stipend. Twelve choreographers from across the state will be selected for the award in 2022.  

 “NYSCA supports local artists and non-profits by administering vital funding to regrant partners across all regions of our great state,” says NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus. “Our Fiscal Year 2022 strategic goals prioritize expanding eligibility and increasing access for the full and richly diverse ecosystem of artists and arts organizations of New York. NYSCA regrants are a critical piece of NYSCA’s mission to develop and support the diverse spectrum of artists living and creating in New York State.”

Leanne Tintori, Program Director, NYSCA Dance / State & Local Partnerships, adds: “I’m so grateful and excited for the opportunity to engage in a partnership that will benefit dancemakers – their ideas, their talent, their creativity – across the state.”

Choreographer Zachary Frazee, a 2021 WNY Choreographers’ Initiative recipient, states: “As an individual artist and also the director of my own dance company, much of the work I do is deadline-based with only a short rehearsal period and very limited funding. Within this program, the pressure of needing to create something that can be considered “presentable” was eliminated. The work we developed feels very much like a beginning – a new chapter. I look forward to continuing to build upon this foundation and will be bringing this newfound sense of freedom, curiosity, and ease that emerged from this experience into my future projects.”

The New York State DanceForce, a NYSCA partner, is a consortium of 19 dance activists committed to increasing the quantity and quality of dance activity throughout New York State. Each of our members receives an annual allocation to create projects that bring dance artists to upstate NY communities in customized residencies. Since its founding in 1994, the DanceForce, through the work of its members, has funded over 400 projects, raising more than $3 million in support of these endeavors.

Click here for complete Guidelines. Application forms will be available November 1, 2021 at www.danceforce.org.  For more information contact Lois Welk, NYS Choreographers’ Initiative Program Manager, at choreoinitiative@gmail.com.