Applying to the National Endowment for the Arts
Note: The audio cuts in suddenly, just as the guest presenter is being introduced. You will not miss any of the main content.
Douglas Sonntag, Director of Dance and Team Leader for the Division of Performing Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts, discussed the NEA’s mission, programs, and application processes. He presented an overview of the NEA’s Art Works category which supports projects in Dance, Music, Literature, Presenting, Folk and Traditional Arts etc., covering the application process, the panel review process, and ultimately what makes an application competitive. A lively question and answer session followed the presentation.
About the presenter
Douglas C. Sonntag serves as the Director of Dance for the National Endowment for the Arts, a position he has held since 1997, and was recently appointed the Performing Arts Division Team Leader. From 2004 to 2008 he was also the Director of the Office of National Initiatives where he supervised work on several signature Endowment programs including Shakespeare in American Communities, Save America’s Treasures, American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, and the NEA Arts Journalism Institutes.
Previously, he served as program administrator and senior program specialist for the Arts Endowment’s Dance Program where he supervised grants to dance companies, dance presenters, dance media grants, and dance preservation projects. From 1981-1986, Mr. Sonntag was general manager of the Repertory Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, he was an associate instructor for the University of Utah's Institute of Arts Administration and a staff specialist for the Department of Ballet. From 1980-81, Mr. Sonntag was the project director of the Utah Playwriting Conference, a joint project of the Sundance Institute and the Utah Arts Council.
He has served as a judge for the American College Dance Festival/Dance Magazine Awards, and as a panelist for the Utah Arts Council, the Jerome Foundation, and the Carlisle Project. He has spoken at and served on panels many organizations including Dance/USA, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the International Association of Blacks in Dance, and at the International Tanzmesse NRW in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the Monaco Dance Forum, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Mr. Sonntag attended the American College in Paris and the University of Utah graduating with a B.F.A. in Ballet and an M.F.A. in Theater with an emphasis in arts administration.