National Dance Presenters Forum

National Dance Presenters Forum

Jacob’s Pillow, in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) and The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), invites emerging dance presenters to apply for an immersive professional development experience to:

  • Strengthen curatorial practice in dance
  • Discuss critical issues facing the dance field
  • Learn about and share audience engagement strategies
  • Explore collaborative strategies to support choreographic development
  • Strengthen professional networks

The Forum experience will take the shape of a learning cohort, wherein participants, facilitators, presenters, and virtual panelists will interrogate and contribute perspectives on the evolving state of 21st-century dance presenting. The cohort will use the lessons learned and the challenges and opportunities identified through recent initiatives and reports as launching points for discussion and reflection. These will include Moving Dance Forward: NEFA’s National Dance Project at 20 & Critical Field Trends report; South Arts Dance Touring Initiative; and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences.

“We need a platform where presenters can learn how to advocate for artists and build networks and partnerships to support their career trajectory.”

The forum was first established at Jacob’s Pillow in August 1996 and was held annually through 2006. It was widely recognized for its lasting impact on the professional development of performing arts presenters and the national growth and interest in the presentation and touring of dance.

For Festival 2018, the forum is featured in response to field-wide demand and in support of the Pillow’s commitment to facilitate and host discourses in dance development as outlined in its five-year strategic plan, Vision ‘22.

Read more about the participants selected for the 2018 Forum in this Press Release.


Lead funding for this initiative comes from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) and The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by The Barr Foundation, Dance/USA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, South Arts, and curriculum support provided by the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.