THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN DANCE RECEIVES $2,636,000 MELLON FOUNDATION GRANT
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is pleased to announce a $2,636,000 grant award, made possible through continued support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation over the next four years. This generous grant will support Phase II of the Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) including capital deployment to member organizations and is part of a total package award of $4,508,000 in partnership with Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF).
Phase II of the COHI responds directly to many of the learnings from Phase I activities and serves as recommended next steps to strengthen IABD, Inc., its member organizations, and by extension, the field of Black dance. Consisting of two cohorts, Phase II aims to ensure the vitality of the Black dance sector by addressing historic barriers, building parity among Black dance organizations that support and create work with differing aesthetics, and developing new models and practices for nonprofit arts organizations. This should be accomplished by creating peer-learning opportunities that cross-pollinate strategies for organizational health, providing organizations with access to information, tools, and consultants who can support their longevity, and strengthening the capacity of these organizations to become recognized thought leaders.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank the Mellon Foundation for its continued commitment and support of IABD,” said Yvonne Walker, Board Chair. “This strategic gift will not only have long term effects on the Black dance community but solidifies IABD’s role and position in the full dance ecosystem.”
In a statement, IABD President and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson said the grant award will fund the five founding companies of the association, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadanco!, The Philadelphia Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, as well as a cohort of twenty-five (25) member organizations. “The awarding of this type and size of grant from The Mellon Foundation to IABD is historic and one-of-a-kind for the Black dance community. The foundations laid by these organizations have been built upon the support each has provided to one another for many years. With this funding opportunity, the critical role that these organizations have played and continue to play in the dance field will be strengthened and supports IABD’s history, identity, and legacy, as well as the organizational contributions to Black dance through dance artists, dance traditions, and those companies’ Founders.”
In April, IABD will invite organizations to participate in the application process for Phase II. Dance organizations that met and completed the full criteria of Phase I will be eligible to apply. Additional information specific to eligibility and requirements will become available soon. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, data and analysis from this project will be compiled in order to bring greater awareness to the performing arts and philanthropic fields. For more information visit www.iabdassociation.org/COHI.