Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is pleased to open its application portal for the 15th annual Making Moves Dance Festival (MMDF). To create more performance opportunities, we have expanded to a three-day event at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC).   

MMDF2024 will present commissions by, and performances from, up to nine choreographers on Fri., Sept 20, 2024, Sat., Sept 21, 2024. Sun., Sept 22, 2024. All choreographers, dance artists, and companies working in any genre—including, but not limited to, modern, contemporary, African, ballet, ballroom, folk, hip hop, jazz, and social-dance influence (e.g., vogue, house, waacking)—are encouraged to apply; bold ideas are especially welcome. Early submission is encouraged; the submission deadline is 6 pm Friday, May 10, 2024.

MMDF2024 offers opportunities for choreographers and dance companies. 

     ● Major Commission: Two professional choreographers will each receive a $3000 commission to create a new, 30-minute work and present it at JPAC. Artists will be selected through an in-person audition/interview after a video submission. Commissioned choreographers will receive up to 80 hours of free rehearsal space at JCAL (space permitting). Commissioned choreographers will provide dancers, costumes, props, etc., out of commissioned funds (no solos or duets).

 ● Emerging Artists: As many as three professional choreographers and/or groups that are emerging and/or identify as underrepresented will receive a $1250 stipend to present a 15-minute piece at JPAC. Applicants must provide a record of accomplishment of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts in their submissions.  

     ● Early-Career Artists: As many as four professional choreographers and/or groups will receive a $750 stipend to present a 10-minute piece at JPAC; pre-existing work is preferred. Applicants must provide a record of accomplishment of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts in their submissions.

 MMDF2024 applicants will be selected by a jury of cultural leaders representing the diversity of NYC’s dance community; the jury will be chaired by JCAL Artistic Director Courtney Ffrench.

Applicants will be selected based on the strength of submitted work samples; clarity of choreographic vision; ability to communicate their commitment to purpose, aesthetic, and technique; an artist statement; evidence of training pertinent to the work; and a documented track record of artistic activity in NYC. Calls of inquiry regarding the status of an application will not be returned.

MMDF2024 applicants may be considered for multiple opportunities but can only be awarded in one category. Selected artists may request up to six hours of rehearsal space at JCAL/JPAC the week before MMDF2024, plus one dress and one tech rehearsal directly on the JPAC stage.

MMDF2024 applicants must be at least 18 years old, residents of NYC as of the application deadline, and have previously presented work in a public setting. Queens residents receive preference for all opportunities.

  • Scoring will be based on technique, intent, storytelling, and presentation. 
  • A minimum of 3 minutes of straight video footage per work sample is required. Work samples should be no more than 3 years old. No reels or trailers, no edits, or cuts
  • If sending a long work sample, please timestamp length for viewing, 3 minutes max (your best 3 minutes) 
  • Maximum 3 work samples. 
  • Submit work samples as online links (YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive) in a PDF. *If samples are password protected and a password is not given, the application will be disqualified
  • Cover letter, Resume, Contact info, and Work proposal required

Application Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2024. No exceptions, no extensions.

Selected artists announced to artists: Monday, June 10, 2024  

Selected artists announced to the public: Monday, June 24, 2024

For questions about the application please contact: 

David Smith, Program Associate- Dsmith@jcal.org 

MMDF 2024 is supported by the Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Harkness Foundation for Dance, with additional support from New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

About JCAL 

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Our mission is devoted to offering quality visual, performing, and literary arts and to providing accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts. Operating hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; closed Sundays and major holidays. For more information, call JCAL at 718-658-7400 or visit JCAL.org.

An Afro-Latinx Mixtape

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is seeking multidisciplinary artists to showcase original work for “An Afro-Latinx Mixtape,” a visual art exhibition conceived and curated by Adrian Bermeo. The show will exhibit artists’ visual interpretations of musical genres that have carried our ancestors, spoken for communities, and influenced global culture. Musical genres inspiring the exhibit include Hip-Hop, Jazz, Motown, Reggaeton, Rumba, Bomba, Salsa, Blues, Reggae, and more. As a celebration of Black and Latin@ musical genres, many being born in Africa, the Americas and Caribbean islands, this exhibition aims to represent a multinational combination of sounds and stories, as told by artists living in the undeniable melting pot that is New York City. The exhibition will be on display in JCAL’s galleries from July 26, 2024 to September 13, 2024 and is part of our Visual Voices curatorial initiative. Artists selected for this exhibition will each receive a $250.00 stipend.

About Visual Voices
Visual Voices, is a cohort of emerging and midcareer curators who will receive, from 2023 to 2025, the fiscal, strategic and institutional support to propose and mount exhibitions in JCAL’s galleries in order to amplify Queens-based BIIPOC (Black, Immigrant, Indigenous, People of Color) artists. Visual Voices curators will identify, cultivate and elevate emerging BIIPOC talent, and produce artist talks, workshops and demonstrations. Visual Voices reflects our leadership’s conviction that a diverse community isn’t defined top-down by a cultural institution, but rather by giving agency and power to a community to define itself.

     · Solo artists only; no collectives or collaborations will be considered;
     · Artist must be a current resident of NYC. Special priority given to Queens-based artists.  
     · Artists under 18 may participate with parental or guardian consent, with the minimum age being 13.
     JCAL welcomes artists of all races, colors, religions, languages, gender identities, sexual orientations, national origins, ages, disabilities, and socioeconomic and marital statuses. Those who identify as part of underrepresented communities, and whose work centers on the artist’s personal experiences and observations, are especially welcome and encouraged to apply.

Deadline to submit is April 20, 2024. Only one application per artist will be accepted. Work will be reviewed based on quality and the completeness of the accompanying application. You may be contacted with follow-up questions regarding the nature of the work and the manner of intended exhibition. Artists are responsible for transporting and collecting all artwork to and from the institution. JCAL reserves the right to not exhibit artwork that does not meet display criteria or does not align with the institution’s mission. 

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning