The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $4 million in support of "bubble" residencies for dancers and choreographers.
The grants will enable artists in the arts discipline hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to safely pursue their work in quarantine. According to research from the National Endowment for the Arts, more than half the nation's dancers and choreographers were unemployed as of the third quarter of 2020. The funding also will support operational expenses associated with the residencies, including medical protocols, COVID-19 tests, and rental fees.
Launched in October with a $250,000 grant to Dance Theatre of Harlem, the foundation's bubble residency initiative has provided support for three hundred and sixty artists. The latest recipients include Company Nora Chipaumire, which will place sixteen artists at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University for three months; A.I.M by Kyle Abraham; Alonzo King LINES Ballet; Ballet Hispánico; Camille A. Brown & Dancers; Dorrance Dance; HopeBoykinDance; Jacob's Pillow; Kinetic Light; Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE; and Works & Process.
"The loss of work for dancers due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a massive void for artists who suddenly found themselves stripped of passion, purpose, income, and community. Like professional sports, the dance career is all too brief and makes this disruption profoundly devastating." said Mellon Foundation program director Emil Kang. "The foundation is pleased to support dancers' return to creative community and to enable continued creation in the midst of a devastatingly difficult time for so many."