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Performing Arts

Funding Areas

Performing Arts

Through the Arts Program, the foundation supports artists with the creation and public performance of their work.

In her will, which guides our focus areas, Doris Duke expressed her interest in assisting “actors, dancers, singers, musicians and other artists of the entertainment world in fulfilling their ambitions and providing opportunities for the public presentation of their arts and talents.” Given this direction and Doris Duke’s interests during her life, the foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.

Why It's Important

Why It's Important

A vibrant arts and culture sector contributes to the emotional and social well-being of individuals, communities and nations. Performing artists are central to the sector, sparking the public imagination, creating new bridges of understanding and enhancing quality of life. The Arts Program’s holistic funding approach is grounded in equity and informed by the belief that artists add value to society and should be supported to live dignified lives while pursuing their creative expression. Our long-term vision is to help advance the careers of artists from subsistence to sustainability, then beyond sustainability to thriving.

What We Support

The Arts Program supports the performing arts by providing grants to two complementary and interdependent elements of the field.

Key Regranting Programs and Competitions

Meet the 10th Anniversary Class of Doris Duke Artists

The Doris Duke Foundation believes that the most effective illustration of the power of the performing arts to positively impact our society is found in the vital work of artists themselves.

Established in 2012, the Doris Duke Artist Award is the largest national prize dedicated exclusively to individual performing artists. Each year, the Doris Duke Artist Awards support select performing artists across the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theater with unrestricted individual grants. The goal of the award is to propel leading performing artists and to demonstrate the creative possibilities that emerge when artists themselves are able to define—and provide for—what they need to thrive.

Grantmaking Process

To maximize the reach of its grant dollars, the Arts Program administers relatively few programs directly but, more often, awards large initiative grants to intermediary nonprofit organizations, which in turn distribute grants to individual artists and arts organizations through competitive, peer-reviewed selection processes.

Seeking a grant?

View our latest funding opportunities and open competitions

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There are no open competitions at this time.