Dance Exchange Awarded Funding from National Endowment for the Arts and National Park Service Initiative

CONTACT: Alison Waldman
Marketing & Communications Manager

Dance Exchange Awarded Funding from National Endowment
for the Arts and National Park Service Initiative

Supports a new project in partnership with Great Smokey Mountains National Park for Fall 2016

TAKOMA PARK, MD, MAY 10, 2016 – Dance Exchange was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Park Service’s Imagine Your Parks initiative to support the creation of Off-site/Insight: Stories from the Great Smoky Mountains. This site-responsive intergenerational performance project will unearth stories of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the surrounding region, and the people who have made the park what it is today. Dance Exchange will collaborate with park staff, visitors, regional residents and a local cohort of movement-based artists in a series of dancemaking and outdoor experiences to reveal the legacy of this park and imagine its significance for generations to come.

The project will ask: How has the park shaped the lives of those who visit and live nearby? And how have we, as humans, shaped and changed the park into what it is today? This project will culminate with a series of performance engagements in the park and beyond created by Dance Exchange’s Artistic Director Cassie Meador in collaboration with a cohort of choreographers from the Great Smoky’s region. Community members of all ages, races, backgrounds, and abilities will be invited to join in the creation and performance of a dance work that illuminates the past, present, and future of this national treasure.

Imagine Your Parks is a grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts created in partnership with the National Park Service to support projects that use the arts to engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System.

“The ‘Imagine Your Parks’ grants are really helping us celebrate the NPS Centennial and the NEA’s 50th Anniversary with some incredibly diverse and interesting projects that continue to inspire more Americans of all backgrounds to connect with their national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The grants already awarded are already demonstrating the success of the program through a variety of inspiring projects. A new generation of artists is connecting to national parks through their work, and motivating others to do the same.”


About Dance Exchange
Founded in 1976 by Liz Lerman and under the artistic direction of Cassie Meador since 2011, Dance Exchange is a non-profit dance organization based in Takoma Park, Maryland. Dance Exchange’s innovative local, national, and international performance projects engage communities and partners across a wide range of disciplines. Dance Exchange ignites inquiry, inspires change, and connects people of all ages more deeply to the questions at the heart of our lives through dancemaking and creative practices by collaborating across generations, disciplines, and communities to channel the power of performance as a means for dialogue, a source of critical reflection, and a creative engine for thought and action. For more information about this project or to interview Cassie Meador, contact Alison Waldman at

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To learn more about the National Park Service, visit

About the NEA
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary calendar.