Ana Maria Alvarez. Photo by Tyrone Domingo, Courtesy Alvarez

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Just Awarded Four Dance Artists $275,000 Each

At a time when many artists are feeling more financially strained than ever before, one of the most coveted grants in the arts is expanding. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has responded to the economic crisis by handing out eight Doris Duke Artist Awards, up from six in 2019.

What's more, half of those have gone to dance artists: Ana María Alvarez of CONTRA-TIEMPO in Los Angeles, Sean Dorsey of San Francisco's Sean Dorsey Dance and Fresh Meat Festival, Rennie Harris of Philadelphia's Rennie Harris Puremovement and New York City contemporary choreographer Pam Tanowitz.


The 2020 Doris Duke Artist Awards come with a $275,000 grant—$250,000 of which is completely unrestricted, plus $25,000 meant to encourage savings for retirement.

This year's other awardees include jazz musicians Andrew Cyrille and Cécile McLorin Salvant and playwrights Michael John Garcés and Dael Orlandersmith.

As Dance Magazine has covered before, this kind of no-strings-attached funding can have a huge impact on artists. Tanowitz explained in a press release, "As a choreographer, I'm most driven by the people I collaborate with in the studio, and because I like to work with a large team, I've always prioritized them before myself for the sake of the work. With this unique support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, I will no longer have to choose. For the first time, I will be able to invest in my own well-being worry free and continue to prioritize my collaborators."

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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