Dallas — The fifth round of grants in TACA's Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund has been announced, and for the first time in the fund's five years, a dance company has been awarded the grant. Two of them, actually: Bruce Wood Dance Project and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
The groups will get a total of $100,000 to fund the creation of a new work. For Bruce Wood ($70,000), it's a new work by local choreographer and BWCP company member Albert Drake, who will create a new piece with new music by New York-based music director Joseph Thalken, who performed at the company's Mistletoe Magic in 2015 (and will return for that event in 2016).
For Dallas Black ($30,000), it's a new work by New York-based Matthew Rushing, a rehearsal director for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It's a collaboration with New York jazz artist Ted Rosenthal.
The New Works Fund has been granting a total of $100,000 for new works in theater, dance and music each year since 2012, and although in 2014 one of the grants went to Dallas Bach Society for a music/dance collaboration, 2016 marks the first year for groups dedicated to dance to receive the prize. In 2015, the winners were The Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mía Theatre Company's Deferred Action, seen last month, and Kitchen Dog Theater's repertory world premieres of two plays by Steve Yockey in the New Works Festival, which closes this weekend. At last word, there is one more year to go for this fund. Let's hope it continues beyond that.
You can see a list of previous winners, plus this year's jurors and more info in the press release below:
TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) has announced the 2016 recipients of the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund. The New Works Fund awards up to $100,000 annually to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance, and theater in Dallas County. The fund-winning performing arts organizations include:
- Bruce Wood Dance Project, with up-and-coming local choreographer Albert Drake and award-winning composer Joseph Thalken
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre, with New York-based choreographer Matthew Rushing and jazz artist Ted Rosenthal
Now in its fifth year, the New Works Fund has provided $500,000 in grants to 13 local performing arts organizations. Fourteen individual projects have been supported to date, including Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mía Theatre Company’s recent Deferred Action, The Dallas Opera’s Everest, and Second Thought Theatre’s Booth. TACA, with the support of local philanthropic leader Donna Wilhelm, launched the New Works Fund in 2012 following a hosted discussion on the importance of developing new works for the vitality of the North Texas arts community.
“We are profoundly grateful for this meaningful support that strengthens BWDP’s artistry, repertoire, and future,” said Gayle Halperin, President of the Board of Directors of the Bruce Wood Dance Project. “Founder Bruce Wood was a prolific dance-maker who believed in the power of new works to invigorate the field, cultivate enthusiasm, and build audiences for dance.”
“At Dallas Black Dance Theatre, new works inspire and invigorate our dancers, staff, Board, and patrons,” said Zenetta Drew, Executive Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. “This support enables DBDT to stage an historic tribute to Black dance for the Dallas community during our 40th Anniversary, a history-making year.”
Applications for funding from the New Works Fund are reviewed each year by a national panel of distinguished artists and arts managers. Among the national jurors included Roche Schulfer, Executive Director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre; Parisa Khobdeh, dancer for Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City; and Matt Albert, former Eighth Blackbird violinist.
Representatives from finalist organizations then interviewed with local jurors to discuss the artistic merit and community impact of their proposed new works.
The New Works Fund is the first of TACA’s two Artistic Excellence Funds. The second, the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund, launched last November with inaugural grants benefitting the development of residencies at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the Dallas Theater Center, Shakespeare Dallas, and The Dallas Opera. Additionally, TACA provides general operating and project-related grants to nearly fifty local performing arts organizations in each January. In recent years, TACA has also developed and launched numerous service programs designed to help local arts organizations reach new audiences, improve fundraising and marketing, and build their organizational capacity.
About the 2016 New Works Fund Recipients
The Bruce Wood Dance Project will enlist the creative talents of award-winning music theater composer, arranger, and conductor Joseph Thalken and BWDP Artistic Associate and SMU Meadows School of the Arts alumnus Albert Drake. Their collaborative work will explore the refugee experience across cultures through conversations, music, and dance. The work is scheduled to premiere June 2017 at the Dallas City Performance Hall.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre will mount a new work by choreographer, dancer, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearsal director Matthew Rushing, set to a score developed by world-renowned jazz pianist and composer Ted Rosenthal. The tribute-themed ballet will pay homage to legendary African American dancers and choreographers over the past century, including Talley Beatty, Alvin Ailey, and Donald McKayle. The multidisciplinary work, utilizing video and live music, is slated to premiere in November 2016.
About the 2016 Jurors
Matt Albert: Chair, Department of Chamber Music, University of Michigan
Laura Barbee: Adjunct Faculty Member, The School for Classical & Contemporary Dance, TCU
Stephen Brown-Fried: Theatre Director
Roger Brunyate: Director Emeritus, The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University
Kenneth Foster: Director of Arts Leadership, Thornton School of Music, USC
Greg Fulkerson: Professor of Violin, Oberlin College and Conservatory
Dean Gladden: Managing Director, The Alley Theatre
Andy Grotelueschen: Company Member, Fiasco Theater
Emily Hunter: Dance Teacher, Booker T. Washington High School Greg Hustis: Professor of Horn, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU Baba Israel: Artist, Producer, Educator, and Consultant
Parisa Khobdeh: Dancer, Paul Taylor Dance Company
Emily Lyon: Literary Manager, BEDLAM
Patricia McGregor: Theatre Director, Writer, and Playwright
Jonathan Moscone: Chief of Civic Engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Jonathan Norton: Playwright
Brian Perry: Bassist, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Roche Schulfer: Executive Director, Goodman Theatre
About Previous New Works Fund Recipients
Dallas Theater Center: Deferred Action by Lee Trull and David Lozano
Kitchen Dog Theater: The Thrush and the Woodpecker and Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey
Dallas Bach Society: Le Mozart Noir by Chevalier de Saint-Georges and Valerie Shelton-Tabor
Dallas Children’s Theater: Skippyjon Jones by Linda Daugherty and Nick Martin
Fine Arts Chamber Players: Universal Language by Margaret Barrett and David Silva
The Dallas Opera: Everest by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer
Second Thought Theatre: Booth by Steen Walters and Erik Archilla
Undermain Theatre: Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie: Final Reel by Len Jenkin
Voices of Change: Tibet Fantasia by Xi Wang
African American Repertory Theater: homeschooled by Jonathan Norton
Cara Mía Theatre Company: The Dreamers: A Bloodline by the Cara Mía Artistic Ensemble
Dallas Theater Center: Stagger Lee by Will Power and Justin Elllington
About TACA (The Arts Community Alliance)
Established in 1967, TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) champions artistic excellence in North Texas performing arts organizations and encourages innovation, collaboration and engagement through financial support, stewardship and resources. Since its inception, TACA has distributed more than $24 million to emerging and established performing arts organizations with budgets from as little as $27,000 to as much as $30 million.