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**Deadline extended to May 8, 2020**

About the Open Call

The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) invites NYC-based dance companies and choreographers to apply via open call for the 11th Annual Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 ~ Switchin’ It Up (MMDF2020). 
MMMDF2020 offers paid performance opportunities for 11 choreographers on both indoor (quarantine permitting) and outdoor stages of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 and Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.

MMDF2020 will not only showcase new, emerging and underrepresented professional choreographers, but we’re Switchin’ It Up with a quarantine permitting season kick-off Dance Party that will give the stage over to local folx who want to show us what they got! It is free and open to the public.

Applicants for the MMDF2020 open call are determined through a formal juried process. Jurors are cultural leaders representing the diversity of NYC and selected from the dance and performing arts communities. JCAL’s commitment is to showcasing the diversity of NYC culture, especially through its Building Equity platform, which emphasizes inclusiveness and tapping into the often underrepresented immigrant and indigenous artists within the African, LatinX, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities. 

The Quarantine has made our usual rehearsal period and creation process more complex - so we've extended our deadline! Choreographers working in all dance genres are encouraged to apply for MMDF2020. May 8, 2020 is the extended deadline; early submission is encouraged.


To further celebrate all that is dance, MMDF2020 features a series of dance-inspired conversations, workshops, and community engagement programs throughout September across JCAL's campus: The Jamaica Arts Center (JAC), at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue; and The Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue.

Application Details

MMDF2020 offers four opportunities for choreographers and dance companies:

Major Commission: One choreographer will be commissioned to create a 30 to 45-minute work to be presented on the indoor stage at evening performances on Sept. 25 and 26. The commissioned choreographer will receive a stipend of $4,000 to create the work, and receive up to 80 hours of free rehearsal space at JCAL. The commissioned choreographer will also receive a $500 fee to deliver a public program developed over a residency period to support full development of the commissioned work. This public program may be a workshop, master class, free public performance or other community-based activity taking place in a JCAL studio. The commissioned choreographer will provide dancers, costumes, lighting, props, etc., out of commissioned funds.

Emerging Artists: Up to four emerging and/or underrepresented professional choreographers and groups will receive a stipend of $800 to present a 15 to 25-minute piece on the indoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26. The choreographers and/or groups will be able to demonstrate a track record of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts.

Early-Career Artists: Up to four early-career professional choreographers and/or groups will receive a $500 stipend to present a 15 to 25-minute piece on the outdoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26 (presenting existing work is encouraged). The choreographers and/or groups will be able to demonstrate a track record of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts.

New Artists: Two new choreographers and/or groups will receive a stipend of $350 to present a 12 to 15-minute piece on the outdoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26 (presenting existing work is encouraged).
All choreographers, dance artists and companies -- including, but not limited to modern/contemporary, physical theater, ballet, jazz, hip hop, musical theater and folk traditional/inspired -- are invited to apply. Applications will be viewed by a jury of leading professionals and added to the archives of JCAL for future curatorial consideration. Each group can request to be considered for more than one opportunity, but each selected group will only be awarded one opportunity. Please make sure you select all areas for which you'd like to be considered. All groups will be provided with 3 to 6 hours of rehearsal space the week prior to MMDF2020 and access to JPAC stages for one dress rehearsal and one tech rehearsal prior to the day of the event. 

Program Timeline: The open-call application portal will be active as of Feb. 10; the deadline for applications is May 8, 2020. The jury will meet in June of 2020. Selected groups will be notified by second week in June 2020. Calls of inquiry regarding the status of an application will not be returned.


Eligibility: MMDF2020 is open to emerging and underrepresented NYC-based choreographers and companies with bold ideas and a progressive/contemporary nature. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have presented work previously in a public format; students may apply only for the Community Dance Battle when sign-ups are made available in August 2020. Applicants must be NYC residents as of the application deadline or can demonstrate a significant, documented track record of artistic activity in NYC. Queens residents receive preference for all opportunities.


Selection Criteria: Applicants will be chosen based on the strength of their submitted work; quality samples are important. MMDF2020 jurors and JCAL's Director of Programs and Artist Services will base choices on clarity of choreographic vision and artist statement; ability of the artist (through visual aid, written or another form of communication) to share the choreographer's commitment to purpose, aesthetic and technique; a performing company of quality that is trained to represent the work of the choreographer; and a demonstrated desire and ability to share their work and vision.


Pre-Deadline Application Workshops: We will offer two application workshops, on Wednesday, March 25, 6:30pm, and Wednesday, April 8, 6:30pm; please email any questions and request a zoom conference to We’ll review the application process and answer any questions that might arise. Requests for feedback on applications will be offered after selections are made. Please contact Director of Programs and Artist Services Catherine Peila at with any pre-deadline questions.

Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 ~ Switchin’ It Up is supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and New York Community Trust -- Building Equity. Additional general operating and program support from the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Rose Badgeley Charitable Trust, and the Colgate Palmolive Charitable Foundation; corporate support from Morgan Stanley, Con Edison, Resort World Casino NYC, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation; and ongoing government support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Office of the Queens Borough President, the Queens Delegation of the New York City Council, and NYC Council Members I. Daneek Miller, Barry Grodenchik, Rory Lancman, Donavan Richards, and Adrienne Adams.


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161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA

(718) 658-7400

©2018 by Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)