Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants


Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [Cunningham dancers], 1961

Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants


New York, NY The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new grant program called Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants. The program will initially provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers who have experienced dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine/healthcare, utilities, and food. It will award a total of $300,000 over the course of three award cycles that will run through Spring 2022.

Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants is a new program that will be molded in the tradition of Change, Inc., a non-profit foundation established in 1970 by Robert Rauschenberg to assist professional artists of all disciplines in need. It was created in recognition of the particularly extreme impact that the pandemic has had on dancers, and follows the creation of the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program in 2020. Over the last 18 months, NYFA has awarded nearly $1.5 million in Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants to artists including choreographers in need across 40 states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

“By participating in last year’s miraculous Artist Relief initiative and seeing the research that grew out of its grants, we learned that experienced as well as emerging dancers from diverse backgrounds and regions experienced the most punishing economic instability and consequent hardships because of the pandemic,” said Kathy Halbreich, Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. “Bob Rauschenberg loved and frequently collaborated with dancers. Now more than ever, we aim to build on his concern for his fellow artists. With his devotion as the bedrock, we hope these new grants will help restore the vitality of the dance community by supporting those most in need. I want to thank Deputy Director Sharon Ullman and our NYFA partners for shepherding this program to this crucial moment.”

Eligible expenses include: housing (deposits, rent, utilities); medical/dental/vision/mental health care; food; transportation (car payments, insurance, rideshares/taxis, mass transit); and other essential expenses. Applicants can request funding for eligible expenses over a three-month period, ranging from four months before the grant deadline through four months after the grant deadline. This grant program does not cover mortgage payments, expenses related to family members, and non-essential expenses.

The first application cycle will open on Tuesday, November 9 with a deadline of January 7, 2022. Funds may be requested for emergency expenses for up to a three-month period between September 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Cycle 2 will open on March 1, 2022, with a deadline of April 1, 2022. Funds may be requested for emergency expenses for up to a three-month period between December 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022. A third cycle will be offered before June 2022.

Applications will be reviewed by an outside panel and assessed using the following criterion: demonstrated need based on the economic severity and economic urgency of the dancer’s emergency situation.

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, and live in one of the 50 states, a Tribal Nation, a U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. To be eligible to apply, the dancer’s average adjusted gross income for the last two years they’ve filed taxes must be no greater than $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers), and they must demonstrate a pressing and critical need for emergency support. NYFA will require a W-9 with a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Card or EIN should the applicant be funded.

“NYFA is pleased to partner with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation on the Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grant Program, bringing even more emergency funding to individual artists nationwide,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). “This program underscores Robert Rauschenberg’s enduring legacy of helping artists in need, and aligns with NYFA’s mission of providing critical support to artists of all disciplines,” he added.


ABOUT NYFA: The New York Foundation for the Arts was established in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. Today, the nonprofit organization’s programs and services are far-reaching and are rooted in a wealth of physical and online resources. Each year, NYFA awards more than $3 million in cash grants to individual visual, performing, and literary artists throughout the United States. NYFA’s Fiscal Sponsorship program, one of the oldest and most reputable in the country, helps national artists and arts organizations raise and manage an average of $4 million annually. NYFA’s Learning programs, including its Artist as Entrepreneur and Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, provide thousands of artists, creatives, and arts administrators with professional development training and support. NYFA’s website, NYFA.org, is used by more than 1 million people annually and features more than 20,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.

ABOUT ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATION: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation fosters the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life and work. The foundation supports artists, initiatives, and institutions that embody the same innovative, inclusive, and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors.

CONTACT: Amy Aronoff, New York Foundation for the Arts, aaronoff@nyfa.org