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December 16, 2014

Philly Dance Group to Get Penn Foundation Bridge Funds

The William Penn Foundation has agreed to provide transitional funding to Dance/UP, an umbrella organization for Philadelphia dance companies, after a denial of operational funds last month put the group on the path to closure, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Dance/UP will use the $89,000 injection to find new organizations to which to transfer its programs, which include small grants, subsidies for venues, and other services for the city's dance troupes and choreographers.

Dance/UP, a branch of national nonprofit Dance/USA, had been financially supported by Penn since the foundation helped establish the local group in 2006. Dance/UP announced plans to shut down after the foundation unexpectedly rejected an application for new funding, sending shock waves through the local dance community.

Laura Sparks, the foundation's executive director, said Penn recognized "the important role that Dance/USA has played in advancing dance in this region" and decided to provide the bridge funds "after receiving guidance from Dance/USA about what it needed in order to responsibly transition its work and staff."