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NYS DanceForce announces fourth cycle of WNY Choreographers' Initiative

By Billie Owens
Aug 31, 2020, 12:16pm

Press release:

The New York State DanceForce, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, announces the fourth cycle of the Western New York Choreographers’ Initiative (WNYCI).

The program provides professional development for choreographers living in New York’s 17 westernmost counties: Chautauqua, Niagara, Erie, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Allegany, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, and Seneca.

The application deadline is Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. EDT.

The WNY Choreographers’ Initiative is designed to help WNY resident choreographers develop their choreographic skills by providing them with appropriate resources that are generally unavailable or unaffordable.

These resources include a minimum of 24 hours of creative time, professional dancers, the guidance of a mentor chosen by the artist, and a $2,500 stipend.

The exact design of the project will depend on COVID-19 health recommendations at the time of the project.

Two choreographers will be selected for the award in 2021.  

“This initiative is open to choreographers working in all dance genres," said WNYCI coordinator Lois Welk. "Each project is basically a mini-residency, designed to fit the specific needs of each artist. In 2020, the artists were doubly challenged to reinvestigate their choreographic habits -- first by the mentor and then by COVID-19.”

The New York State DanceForce is a consortium of 19 dance activists committed to increasing the quantity and quality of dance activity throughout New York State. Each of our members receives an annual allocation to create projects that bring dance artists to Upstate New York communities in customized residencies.

Since its founding in 1994, the DanceForce, through the work of its members, has funded more than 400 projects, raising more than $3 million in support of these endeavors.

Complete guidelines and application forms, can be found at For more information contact WNYCI coordinator Lois Welk at [email protected].

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