Groundwork Grant

Groundwork Grant – Call for Applications


Through support from Houston Endowment, Dance Source Houston will pilot the Groundwork Grant program to address the need for increased funding to support local dance makers. Nonprofit dance companies and fiscally sponsored projects dedicated to the creation and presentation of all dance genres are encouraged to apply. Eligible applicants must be located within the Greater Houston region. 

This program is a response to the findings and culminating report of Dance Source Houston’s recent needs assessment study of the Houston dance sector. Data revealed that, of the responding dance organizations, over half had operating budgets under $100,000 and all reported a small number of sources for support. The Houston dance landscape is rife with activity, but lacks sufficient funding to allow individuals and organizations within the community to thrive. Through the distribution of funds to small and mid-sized organizations, DSH aims to foster increased stability for the city’s dance field and advance the sector as a whole.

The priorities for the funding are in alignment with Dance Source Houston’s mission to empower the diverse individuals and organizations working in the field of dance throughout the Greater Houston region by means of advocacy, inclusive community engagement and support services.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are eligible to apply if they:

  • Are a dance organization or fiscally sponsored project focused on the performance and/or presentation of dance;
  • Are based in the Greater Houston region, defined by Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties;
  • Have a documented history of creating and presenting dance in the Greater Houston region;
  • Have a documented history of paying fees to local dance artists for performance-based work;
  • Can provide current proof of 501(c)(3) status or proof of fiscal sponsorship by an organization with a history of serving as a fiscal sponsor; and
  • Are a current Dance Source Houston member at the intermediate or advanced level.

Applicants are not eligible to apply if they:

  • Are an individual artist or artist collective without a fiscal sponsor;
  • Are an organization that is not focused on the creation or presentation of dance; 
  • Do not have a history of paying fees to local dance artists for performance-based work, or
  • Are an educational institution.

Through the Groundwork Grant program, Dance Source Houston will award operating support grants to dance organizations and fiscally sponsored projects. Applicants will be split between two funding tiers based on the age of the organization. Organizations/fiscally sponsored projects in operation for less than five years will be eligible to apply for $5,000, and those with proof of operations for more than five years will be eligible to apply for $10,000. Proof of IRS determination or documentation from a fiscal sponsor proving that the entity was in existence as of January 2015 will be used to determine which level applicants will be considered for. 

Funding Priorities

Grant panelists will select awardees based on:

  • A clear artistic vision and exhibition of artistic excellence, as defined by Animating Democracy’s Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change;
  • A clear explanation of how the funds would impact the organization;
  • Organizational and financial health, regardless of budget size, 
  • A range of organizational models, budget sizes, dance genres and perspectives; and
  • Representation of and service to audiences reflective of the Greater Houston region.

Submission Details

The application will be available through an online portal at, beginning November 22, 2019. Complete applications, including all support materials, must be submitted online by Friday, January 17, 2020 at 6:00pm CST.


Dance Source Houston seeks members of the Greater Houston dance community to serve as panelists to evaluate applications to the Groundwork Grant program. Prospective panelists who represent a broad range of artistic and cultural perspectives are encouraged to apply.

Applicant Assistance


To assist applicants, DSH will hold two in-person sessions focused on the Groundwork Grant program, as well as multiple general info sessions covering all of DSH’s programs and services. 

Thursday, December 5 | 6:30-8:30pm | MATCH, 3400 Main Street, upstairs conference room

Friday, December 6 | 11am-1pm | MATCH, 3400 Main Street, upstairs conference room

RSVP here


Additional questions should be directed by email to Do not direct questions at individual staff member email addresses. Please put “Groundwork Grant Question” in the subject line to ensure your email is prioritized. 

Dance Source Houston is currently building a Frequently Asked Questions page based on questions received. New questions will be added as they are received. 



Press release

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Call for applications 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Groundwork Grant sessions – 2

December 5 – 6:30-8:30pm – MATCH – RSVP

December 6 – 11am-1pm – MATCH – RSVP

Deadline for submission

Friday, January 17, 2020

Panel review

Late January, 2020

Grantee notification & orientation

February 2020

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