Mission & Focus

NY Export Opus Jazz, Photo by Fred Fehl
From the Archive: NY Export Opus Jazz, Photo by Fred Fehl

The Harkness Foundation for Dance is a private grant-making foundation dedicated to invigorating and supporting the dance art form, predominantly in New York City. Since its inception the Foundation has contributed significantly to the dance field, extending grants to over 560 organizations. The Harkness Board of Trustees meets three times annually to consider proposals.

There are four major areas of support:

  • Dance creation
  • Dance presentation
  • Dance education
  • Dance medicine/other services to the dance field


The Foundation supports dance companies, dance presenting organizations, dance education organizations, and dance service organizations. Proposing organizations and artists must have non-profit status, with an in-force 501c3 letter or letter of fiscal sponsorship. Learn more about eligibility >

Types of Grants

Major Initiative


The Harkness Foundation has committed significant multi-year funding totaling $1 million each to five partner organizations of major importance to the dance field:

  • The Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • The Joyce Theater
  • New York City Center
  • The 92nd Street Y/Harkness Dance Center
  • NYU Langone Medical Center/ Hospital for Joint Diseases, home of the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries

Read more about this initiative >

Broad-based Dance Field Support

The Foundation currently offers two categories of grants to the NYC dance field at large:


Program grants provide general operating support for ongoing programs offered by an organization. These grants may be earmarked for a sub-program or aspect of an organization’s customary scope of activities. Program grants are awarded for one calendar year of program activities.


Project grants provide targeted support for specific projects. Pilot projects and collaborative projects involving multiple organizations may also be considered. Project grants may extend over one or two calendar years.

With some exceptions, Program Grants and Project Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000/year.

Proposing organizations should specify whether they are seeking a Program Grant or a Project Grant.