Thursday, May 3, 2012

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grants supporting the performing arts,

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties.

Fund for National Projects


The Fund for National Projects supports projects that:
  • Strengthen the national infrastructure of the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields; or
  • Improve conditions for the national community of performing artists in professional nonprofit dance, jazz and theatre.

Grant Details

From 2009 through 2014, the Fund will award a total of up to $1 million in grants each year to support key national projects in the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields. Grants range from $60,000 to $200,000 and cannot exceed 40% of a project’s total cost.
National projects engage a broad national constituency, occur once (or periodically) rather than annually, and have the potential to significantly impact a field.
Organizations are encouraged to submit letters of inquiryfor projects that strengthen the national infrastructure of the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields, or that improve conditions for the national community of performing artists in dance, jazz and theatre, such as:
  • Research projects assessing the national health of professional nonprofit arts groups or of individual professional artists;
  • Special national convenings for entire professional nonprofit performing arts fields (beyond traditional national annual conferences);
  • Special projects that address unique circumstances that affect an entire professional nonprofit field.
Highest priority will be given to projects that improve the health of the Arts Program's priority performing arts fields and do not duplicate ongoing efforts or existing services.

Areas Not Funded

The Fund expressly does not support the following types of activities:
  • Projects by single performing arts entities (e.g., national tours of a particular dance or theatre work, even if they aspire to be a national model for others);
  • 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 nonprofit organizations and consortia are both eligible to apply.  

Application Process

Interested organizations should submit a letter of inquiry to the Arts Program using the online submission form (seeApplication Deadlines & Submission Instructions). 
The Arts Program staff reviews letters of inquiry on a rolling basis, schedules meetings to learn more about promising projects, and invites full proposals based on meetings with prospective applicants.
Competitive proposals that demonstrate the potential for direct and significant impact on the national professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields are reviewed by an advisory panel, which recommends the strongest applicants for funding based on the criteria for support outlined below.

Application Deadlines & Submission Instructions

The deadline to submit a letter of inquiry is July 2, and letters of inquiry must be submitted online. Full proposals are due approximately six weeks after receiving an invitation to submit.
Letters of inquiry should outline the project and articulate its impact on the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting or theatre field. A brief history of the organization(s) involved should also be included.
Please use the following instructions and links for submitting letters of inquiry online:

Criteria for Support

In reviewing proposals, the panel considers the following questions:
Project Concept/ Structure/ Participants
  • Does the project address a significant need for artists and/or organizations working in the dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields?
  • Is the project well conceived and structured?

  • Does the project reflect clear understanding of the state of the performing arts today?
  • Does the project reflect sharp, refined, strategic thinking?
  • Does it identify an appropriate and significant group of partners/participants? (e.g. Have participants been strategically identified? Are they the “right” group to move this project forward?)
  • Will this project have significant impact on the national dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre field?
  • Does the project expand the range of services, activities or body of knowledge available today?
  • Does the project do more than replicate existing programs and services?
  • Does the applicant have the financial and administrative ability to execute the project successfully?
Grant Request
  • Does the scope of the project warrant the level of support available in this fund from DDCF ($60,000-200,000)? (Grants can cover up to 40% of total project costs.)

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