2016 TACA New Works Fund Announced

The next 100K from the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund goes to Bruce Wood Dance Project and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

published Monday, June 20, 2016

Photo: Johan Elber
Matthew Rushing
Photo: Brian Guilliaux
Albert Drake




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.

For more information about TACA, please call 214-520-3930 or visit Connect with TACA on Facebook at or on Instagram at @TACADallas. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
2016 TACA New Works Fund Announced
The next 100K from the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund goes to Bruce Wood Dance Project and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :