Dance Place Awarded National “Space For Change” Planning Grant from LINC and the Ford Foundation

Washington, DC Organization To Receive Rare Funds To Turn Nascent Concept For Arts And Cultural Facility Into Buildable Plan

Washington, DC – Dance Place has received a Space for Change Planning and Pre-Development Grant to help translate its vision for an exemplary art space into a buildable plan. Dance Place, one of the most prolific presenters of dance in the United States, presents performances at their home theater and in the community 48 weeks per year. The organization is among 12 grantees nationwide whose early stage facility projects were selected as exceptional examples of how art can reinvigorate a neighborhood by Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) in partnership with the Ford Foundation.

Dance Place will receive $100,000 over two years to plan the modernization and expansion of its longtime home to better meet the needs of its artists and audiences and propel the organization for the next thirty years of program growth and organizational development. Dance Place desires to create a campus that will keep pace with growth in the field of dance in Washington, DC, the community’s need for program space and the revitalization place of the immediate neighborhood and the District of Columbia’s small area plan for the Brookland/Edgewood community. The 12 winners were chosen from nearly 700 applicants from 49 states as well as the District of Columbia.

Known as the “hub of dance activity in Washington, DC,” Dance Place has helped turn the city into a viable option for artists to live and work, and plays a significant role in the development of dance on the local and national level. As one of only two dance-focused presenters in our nation’s capital, it provides a rare showcase for small and mid-sized companies, emerging groups and local artists. Its programming serves a culturally diverse community, with a range of dance-related performances, visual arts presentations, youth enrichment programs, formal internships and affordable rehearsal space.

Dance Place’s vision for its 25-year-old facility includes new performance and rehearsal space, operating and technical system upgrades, and a façade renovation in keeping with the neighborhood streetscape. Further, in partnership with the adjacent Brookland Artspace Lofts, Dance Place plans to create an arts campus that includes a shared outdoor plaza with a performance venue, an asset to the neighborhood’s emerging art and education district and a welcome addition of green space. This collaboration will also expand housing options for Dance Place’s visiting artists and interns.

“Predevelopment funds are critical to a successful planning process, but arts organizations are too often deemed ‘high risk’ by conventional lending institutions and are unable to access these much needed resources,” said Judilee Reed, executive director, LINC. “The Space for Change program is designed to help our grantees plan methodically, and create more than buildings or architectural objects, but genuinely dynamic engines of culture and change. These grants invest in the vision of compelling projects that will ultimately benefit not just artists, but a larger geographic community as well.”

“Space for Change is a unique program that provides support for arts organizations to translate ideas into action,” said Darren Walker, vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. “Each winning project expresses the rich diversity of the American cultural landscape, matching the development of creative spaces and artistic innovation.”

Space for Change – a multi-faceted program created to promote the development of affordable artist spaces through awards, research, and learning – was launched by LINC in 2009 in collaboration with the MetLife Foundation and the Ford Foundation. In addition to commissioning research and building a national learning community around the issues of artist space development, the program has included two funding opportunities: the MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Awards (ISAs) and the Ford Foundation Space for Change Planning and Pre-Development Grants. The second and final round of the ISAs was announced last fall. The Space for Change Planning and Pre-Development grants mark the culmination of LINC’s grantmaking in artist space development.

In addition to receiving direct financial support, each Space for Change grantee will have access to technical assistance, knowledge exchange, and the development of a national network of peer institutions. LINC grantees, across all of its program areas, will be invited to a series of meetings and workshops designed to advance the development of outstanding artist space nationwide.

Dance Place is honored to be among the awardees and looks forward to sharing ideas and resources with the other recipients of Space for Change Planning and Pre-Development Grants, who are:

651 Arts – Brooklyn, NY
Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education – Bronx, NY
Columbia Film Society – Columbia, SC
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA
The Heidelberg Center– Detroit, MI
The Heritage Center of Red Cloud Indian School – Pine Ridge, SD
Intersection for the Arts– San Francisco, CA
Los Cenzontles Mexican Art Center – San Pablo, CA
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) – San Jose, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)– Detroit, MI
Northwoods Niijii Enterprise Community, Inc – Lac du Flambeau, WI

For complete profiles of each grantee’s facility project please visit

The organizations responded to a call last April from LINC, in partnership with Ford, for letters of interest from nonprofit arts organizations intending to buy, construct, renovate, help develop, or become anchor tenants in an art space or cultural facility. Full proposals were invited from organizations with strong track records of artistic excellence, diverse leadership and active community engagement. The projects that proved to be outstanding were rooted not only from the internal needs of the organization, but also took into account the role of the cultural facility as an essential community asset. A total of $1 million was distributed through this program. Grantees received planning and predevelopment support up to $100,000.

About LINC
Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) is a ten-year national initiative to improve the conditions for artists working in all disciplines. LINC believes that providing artists with a relevant system of support and resources will enhance their creative output, enabling them to make greater and more meaningful contributions to our communities and society as a whole. Visit for more information.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

About Art(202)

Since 1968, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has developed and promoted local artists, organizations and activities.
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