New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project Advances Cultural Diversity and Community Engagement

Jun 23, 2010, 10:44 ET from MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation's Fourth Year of Funding Increases Program's Impact

BOSTON, June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announced today that it has received a $275,000 award from MetLife Foundation. The funding will support the MetLife Community Connections Fund of NEFA's National Dance Project (NDP), which enables communities nationwide to experience the work of diverse artists. This is the fourth year that NEFA has received support from MetLife Foundation, which to date has provided $1,050,000 in funding to the program.

"MetLife's continued commitment to community engagement means that an even greater number of people will have the opportunity to connect with dance artists this year," said NEFA executive director Rebecca Blunk.  "We are grateful for their partnership."

For the past 13 years, NDP has been a primary system of support for the contemporary dance field, supporting the production and national distribution of new dance works. In a field that has been historically under-funded, NDP is the only national program supporting individual dance artists and companies, whether established, emerging, culturally-specific, or experimental.

"We are proud to continue our partnership with NEFA to provide additional resources to support community programs nationwide," said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We are committed to making arts more accessible and commend NEFA's work to connect choreographers and dance companies to diverse communities across the country."

During the 2010-2011 season, the MetLife Community Connections Fund will support more than 60 community engagement activities including workshops, master classes, performances, lecture/demonstrations, and collaborations with local schools, as part of six NDP tours. Featured artists and projects are listed below; for more details on each tour, view the entire release at

  • PHILADANCO, Philadelphia, Pa.  Project: By Way of the Funk

To date, NDP has supported the creation of more than 200 new dance works, partnering directly with more than 300 U.S. presenters to connect with audiences in all 50 states.  Each year, up to 25 different dance projects are featured in engagements in at least 250 communities across the country. Additional funds for NDP are provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About the MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants are made to support health, educational, civic and cultural organizations and programs throughout the country. Recognizing the vital role the arts play in building communities and educating young people, MetLife Foundation contributes to the arts and culture by focusing on increasing opportunities for young people, reaching broader audiences through inclusive programming and making arts more accessible for all people. For more information about the Foundation, please visit its web site at

About New England Foundation for the Arts

NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, makes vital connections between artists and communities, and builds the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region's creative sector.  NEFA is a nonprofit that operates with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, and from corporations, foundations and individuals.

NEFA currently administers grantmaking programs of regional, national, and international scope that support the performing arts, public art, and Native American artists. NEFA also leads projects and initiatives that range from the analysis of the impact of the creative economy to the creation of online tools which link and advance the cultural community. For more information on NEFA's grant programs and services, please visit or call 617.951.0010.


Ann Wicks,, 617.951.0010 x534

Sarah Faria,, 401.827.3906

SOURCE MetLife Foundation