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Diverse Nationwide Spectrum of Artists and Arts Organizations Are Considered for Doris Duke Foundation’s Inaugural Performing Arts Technologies Lab

Forty Paradigm-Shifting Proposals, Selected from 745 Submissions, Advance to Next Round of Review in Foundation’s New Initiative for Big Ideas in the Performing Arts

July 10, 2024 - NEW YORK – The Doris Duke Foundation today announced that it has selected 40 innovative artists, technologists and organizations to advance to the next phase of consideration for the inaugural Performing Arts Technologies Lab. Both a grant and a support system, the Lab has been established to nurture the development of paradigm-shifting uses for digital technologies across the performing arts. To determine what those uses might be, the foundation turned to the field itself, issuing an open call for project proposals. The initiative generated widespread enthusiasm, with 745 applications received from individual artists, universities, presenters, producers and arts organizations in 43 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Designed to promote artistic as well as technological innovation, the Performing Arts Technologies Lab supports the use of emerging technologies and new production methods, seeking to enhance access to these tools, and encourage novel, risk-taking artistic ideas. The Lab will provide funding for prototyping and feasibility testing of projects, access to a production advisor, and knowledge- and network-building opportunities. Proposals submitted in March 2024 represented an impressive array of ideas at the intersection of the performing arts and digital technology.

The 40 proposals that are now advancing to the next round of review include projects to:

  • Explore the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality in creating, presenting and experiencing works across the performing arts;
  • Enable sight- or hearing-impaired artists and audience members to further engage with art through digital technology;
  • Preserve inherently ephemeral works in the performing arts through new archiving practices, fulfilling a need that is especially acute for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists;
  • Develop knowledge-building initiatives; and
  • Pursue field-wide solutions to pressing issues such as capital needs.

Many of the proposals bridge several applicant and project categories, envisioning collaborative work across multiple disciplines.

The Lab aims to identify and advance projects that leverage technology for new approaches to conception, presentation and engagement in the performing arts. The initiative champions the performing arts’ long history of integrating with technology, understanding the term broadly to give artists and organizations latitude in creating projects that advance the field.

Doris Duke Foundation Arts Program Director Ashley Ferro-Murray said, “It is evident that there is growing interest throughout the industry to experiment with the ways the performing arts can harness the power of technology. Consistent with our mission, we are excited to engage with the field through every step of this process to explore how we might advance artistic development, both for those who work in the creative industries and for audiences.”

Out of the 40 finalists, a cohort of grantees will be selected to join the Lab and embark on a five-month exploratory period, focusing on developing their innovative projects that integrate digital technology. The foundation will provide resources to aid in feasibility studies and development, enable fabrication and material testing, and help participants identify collaborators to execute their projects.

In addition to the funding, a critical part of the Lab experience will be the provision of technical advising and programming that helps grantees build and benefit from peer-to-peer support networks across the field.

The 40 artists and organizations whose proposals have been selected for external review by an independent panel are:

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK – Dance 
  • Alley Theatre, Houston, TX – Theater 
  • Ananya Dance Theatre, St. Paul, MN – Dance 
  • Andrew Schneider, Brooklyn, NY – Theater  
  • Ballet Hispánico of New York, New York, NY – Dance 
  • Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT – Multi-disciplinary 
  • ChromaDiverse, Inc., San Francisco, CA – Dance 
  • Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga Inc., Chattanooga, TN – Multi-disciplinary 
  • CultureHub, New York, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • d. Sabela grimes, Los Angeles, CA – Dance
  • Electric Root, Torrance, CA – Jazz 
  • ArtsEmerson and HowlRound Theatre Commons at Emerson College, Boston, MA – Multi-disciplinary 
  • futurePerfect lab + Q Dance Company, Gainesville, FL – Dance 
  • grisha coleman, Cambridge, MA – Dance 
  • Guillermo E. Brown, Los Angeles, CA – Multi-disciplinary 
  • HBarts Collective, Inc., New York, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • HiiiWAV, Oakland, CA – Jazz 
  • Indigenous Performance Productions, Olympia, WA – Theater 
  • Junebug Productions Inc., New Orleans, LA – Theater 
  • Kinetic Light, New York, NY – Dance 
  • KKA Advisors, New York, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • kosoko performance studio, Brooklyn, NY / Philadelphia, PA – Multi-disciplinary 
  • Marcus Roberts, West Roxbury, MA – Jazz 
  • Momentum Stage, Inc., Plantation, FL – Dance 
  • National Performance Network, New Orleans, LA – Multi-disciplinary 
  • Native Art & Cultures Foundation, Inc., Portland, OR – Multi-disciplinary 
  • Non-Op, Inc., Chicago, IL – Multi-disciplinary 
  • Open Circle Theatre. Inc., Rockville, MD – Theater 
  • Paul Rucker, Richmond, VA – Jazz 
  • Performance Space New York, New York, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • San Francisco Jazz Organization, San Francisco, CA - Jazz 
  • Scott Oshiro, Mountain View, CA – Jazz 
  • Sélébéyone, Altadena, CA – Jazz 
  • Sozo Impact, Oakland, CA – Multi-disciplinary 
  • The Healing Project, New York, NY – Jazz 
  • Toni Dove, New York, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • University of Illinois at Springfield, Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield, IL – Theater 
  • Vision Into Arts Presents, Inc., Brooklyn, NY – Multi-disciplinary 
  • Wexner Center Foundation, Colombus, OH – Theater 
  • Wideman Davis Dance, Columbia, SC – Dance 

The Doris Duke Foundation will announce its list of Lab grantees in September 2024.

The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. DDF focuses its support to the performing arts on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.