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The Capezio Dance Foundation

The Capezio Mission >
Dance Foundation
Grant Programme >
Awardees >

Brief History, Aims and Objectives:

Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation Inc. was established in 1953 as the Capezio Foundation. Its mission is to:

“Create a greater awareness and appreciation of dance as an art form and support efforts which preserve the legacy of the past, recognize the accomplishments of the present and encourage new or emerging talents, trends and practices.”

To accomplish this mission, the Foundation operates two programs: The Capezio Dance Award and a Grants Program which supports dance and certain other national, state and local organizations that provide essential services to the field. The grants program is open to application from nonprofit organizations which qualify under the guidelines and criteria established by the Foundation’s Trustees. Grants are for general operating support, programs and special projects.

Original financial support for the Foundation was provided by Capezio Inc., then a relatively small business enterprise which was ahead of its time in giving philanthropic recognition to dance in the United States. The Foundation is now sustained by Ballet Makers Inc., a designer, manufacturer and distributor of Capezio dance footwear, bodywear and accessories for dance, theater and recreation.

Generations of Capezio family have been serving the dance field since 1887, and Ballet Makers, Inc. is proud to continue the tradition of support for all forms and styles of dance in America. The company believes in reinvesting in the field with which it conducts its business, and the more than forty years of the Foundation’s significant financial contributions to the dance community attest to this sense of corporate responsibility.


The Capezio Dance Award

Established in 1952, the Capezio Dance Award is presented annually in recognition of significant contributions to dance in the United States. Initially presented to individual dancers, choreographers, critics, teachers, producers and administrators, as selected by an independent committee, the program was restructured and broadened in 1992 and new guidelines developed.

Candidates are nominated form a group identified by the Trustees, in cooperation with a committee of distinguished national advisers (which is likewise selected each year).

The award is presented to an individual, a company or an institution and is accompanied by a $10,000 honorarium. Highly regarded by the dance community for its prestige and pragmatic value, the Capezio Dance Award is presented at a ceremony honoring the awardee.


Purpose and Criteria for Eligibility

The Capezio Dance Award should:

  • Contribute to the public awareness of dance in the United States.
  • Recognize substantial achievement in dance.
  • Honor an individual, a company or and institution who or which has made a significant contribution to dance in the United States.

The Guidelines and Criteria for Eligible Recipients are:

  • An individual/company/institution who brings respect, stature and distinction to dance, or provides significant services to the field.
  • An individual at the height of a career, or companies and institutions which exhibit qualities such as innovation, creativity and imagination.
  • All styles and forms of dance must be considered, not just ballet, modern or tap. Other styles include, but are not limited to, jazz, ballroom, show dance, folk, ethnic and avant-garde.
  • All geographical areas of the country must be included when identifying and considering nominees.

The Selection, Qualifications and Role of the Advisors

The Trustees will identify a small group of national advisors. As a group the qualifications of the advisors will include:

  • Distinction, respect and credentials in the dance field
  • An informed, national perspective.
  • Background in and/or substantial knowledge and appreciation of all forms of dance.

The Award Recipient

The Trustees will notify the recipient of the Capezio Dance Award and an announcement will be made to the general public.

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