Elsewhere online
December 09, 2014

Penn Foundation Grant Cut Unsettles Philly Dance Companies

The umbrella organization serving dance companies in Philadelphia will shut down in the wake of the William Penn Foundation's decision to end its support to the eight-year-old nonprofit, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The $2-billion, Philadelphia-based foundation, which helped launch Dance/UP in 2006 and had given it a $950,000 grant in 2011, denied the organization's application for new funds last month.

A branch of national arts group Dance/USA, Dance/UP has provided small grants, matchmaking for national and international partnerships, and other services to Philadelphia dancers and dance groups, which characterized the organization as a lifeline and expressed dismay over the funding cut. Dance/UP has applied to the foundation for transitional funding to wind down its work and transfer its programs to other entities.

Officials at William Penn and in the city's cultural community said the foundation is seeking to limit the size of its operating support to any one organization to encourage groups to diversify funding sources. Since last year it has generally declined to provide more than 25 percent of a particular organization's budget over a sustained period.