The Bates Dance Festival has been recommended by the National Endowment for the Arts to receive a Grants for Arts Projects award of $40,000.
The grant will support the 2023 edition of the internationally renowned performance series, which this year takes place on the Bates campus July 7–29.
“We are very grateful for the continued support from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Bates Dance Festival Director Shoshona Currier. “This funding helps us bring talented, diverse, world-class artists to Lewiston to share their technique, choreography, and experiences in order to inspire our community here in Maine as well as the next generation of dancers and dance makers from around the country.”
The festival is one of 19 Maine arts organizations that learned about grants from the NEA this month. This grant is one of 1,251 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling nearly $28.8 million as part of NEA’s first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “Projects such as the Bates Dance Festival strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”
This year marks the 41st season for the Bates Dance Festival, which draws dance students from all over the world, and from the Bates student body itself.
An upper-level Bates course, “Bates Dance Festival,” provides students an opportunity to participate in the festival’s Professional Training Program and receive invaluable technical training across multiple dance disciplines and theoretical practices from leading dance scholars, artists, and practitioners in their fields.
In 2022, about a half-dozen Bates students earned academic credit for participating in the festival. And typically, Bates also offers a paid Purposeful Work internship at the annual festival.
Currier, who joined the festival as director in 2017, has worked to broaden the festival’s reach pre-pandemic by staging performances in the streets of Portland, and during the pandemic, made adaptations that featured dancers in open spaces in the local community, including downtown Lewiston parks and the banks of the Androscoggin River.
“We’ve got some great performances and works in progress showings planned for this summer as well, and are committed to keeping the festival as accessible as possible, ” Currier said. “The festival serves approximately 5,000 people each year, and I cannot wait to share more details about our 2023 summer season with everyone soon!”