ナショナル・パフォーマンス・ネットワーク（NPN） National Performance Network (NPN)
The National Performance Network (NPN) was founded in 1985. It was established as an affiliated organization of New York’s Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) to answer the need for organizations to expedite the organizing of performance tours, exchange between artists based in different regions and interstate and inter-regional tie-ups between companies and organizations following the rush of new contemporary arts organizations established across America in the beginning of the 1980s.
NPN got its start as a joint initiative by 14 arts organizations, and under the leadership of San San Wong (present the Program Director of San Francisco Arts Commission) it became completely independent from DTW in 1998 and was re-launched as a non-profit organization. From 2000 the organization has operated out of offices in New Orleans with M.K. Wegmann as CEO and president.
The Network’s members, referred to as “partners,” are primarily presenter organizations in the contemporary arts field and they become members through recommendations from NPN staff, board members and other NPN partners. Among the partners are college/university affiliated theaters in the various regions of the country, “organizations of color” representing regional Latin or Asian communities and numerous smaller organizations from states like Louisiana and Montana that otherwise tend to be isolated. In the same way, there are larger organizations among the NPN partners that organize dozens of their own productions and programs a year. While maintaining their own distinct artistic orientations, these organizations transcend regional differences and cooperate in close association.
The membership has grown to 62 partner organizations at present and they gather at an annual meeting for the full membership that is hosted in turn by the different partners around the country. These meetings are a venue for information exchange and discussion about regional artist support programs, programs to connect artists with the communities, plans for regional artist performance tours, residency programs and showcases. Most of the funding for the Network comes from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Ford Foundation and 25 other supporting foundations. There are no rules for the artistic choices made by the NPN members concerning the artists they curate for or commissions for new works. Everything is left up to the discretion of the partner organizations.
In Japan, the Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN) has adopted programs for nationwide dance tours, artist support and producing artist-community exchanges all based on the NPN models.
- NPN’s major support programs
Performance Residency Program
For artists residing in a given area for creative work, this program pays 40% of the total cost of a one or two week salary, room and board, travel expense, per diem, etc.
This is an artist grant program for commissions for the creation of new works and domestic performance tours planned jointly by two or more partner organizations. On the condition that each partner provides a grant of at least $2,000 per artist, the NPN provides a grant of $5,000.
Grants of up to $5,000 are given for national artists residing in a community in a region of jurisdiction of an NPN partner for creation or research on condition that the residency involves some form of exchange with the local community.
This is a Mentorship and Leadership Initiative to support staff or presenters who have taken a leading role in the promotion of projects. Support is given to retired producers involved in projects to train personnel of the next generation. Traveling expenses and residence fees for one-time special projects.
For the annual Network meetings, travel expenses and hotel costs are provided for the partner organization representatives, and funding is also provided for regional meetings involving several partner organizations, artists and related staff.