Two local, Black-led dance companies awarded 10K

Two Minnesota-based, Black-led dance companies were recently awarded $10K for general operating expenses.  Threads Dance Project in Golden Valley, and TU Dance of St. Paul, were among 25 companies to receive an unrestricted INFLUENCERS grant by the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting dance by people of African ancestry or origin.

With these grants, IABD aims to offer relief and funding capital to address day-to-day challenges the companies face. “This round of grants penetrates to the very root of our communities, where these companies thrive, create, and provide much-needed services to their constituencies,” said Denise Saunders Thompson, president, and CEO of IABD. “These organizations are critical and serve as a lifeline in many communities across the U.S. They are literally saving lives.”

IABD awarded the grants as part of its inaugural financial and organizational health program, Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance (MOVE), which was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information about IABD, visit

See a full list of INFLUENCERS grant recipients below:

African American Dance Ensemble, Durham, NC

Atlanta Dance Connection, Atlanta, GA

Ballethnic Dance Company, Atlanta, GA

Collage Dance Collective, Memphis, TN

Dance Iquail!, Philadelphia, PA

Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble, Philadelphia, PA

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Chicago, IL

Diamano Coura West African Dance Co, Oakland, CA

Dimensions Dance Theatre, Oakland, CA

Elisa Monte Dance, New York, NY

Eleone Dance Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Brooklyn, NY

Garth Fagan Dance, Rochester, NY

Hayiya Dance Theatre, Macon, GA

Iibada Dance Company, Indianapolis, IN

Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, Auburn, NY

KanKouran West African Dance Co, Washington, DC

Muntu Dance Theatre, Chicago, IL

Robert Moses’ KIN, San Francisco, CA

Spectrum Dance Theatre, Seattle, WA

Step Afrika, Washington, DC

Threads Dance Project, Golden Valley, MN

TU Dance, St. Paul, MN

Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY

Washington Reflections Dance Co, Washington, DC