Scope and arrangement
The Dance Perspectives Foundation records date from 1966 through 2003, with the bulk dating from 1976 to 1998. The collection documents the foundation's incorporation, board of directors meetings, financial activity, and work on the International Encyclopedia of Dance. There are no records relating to the journal Dance Perspectives.
The Board of Directors files include organizational bylaws, meeting agendas, minutes, annual reports, and memos and correspondence among board members. Meeting documents and correspondence often focus on the encyclopedia, but these records also reflect the foundation's other activities, including awarding the de la Torre Bueno Prize and responding to research grant requests from scholars. Changes in the membership of the board itself are also reflected, particularly relating to extensive changes in board membership that occurred in 1997.
In addition to the general board material, some files deal with specific board members. The Patricia Egan folder contains correspondence, grant documents and an encyclopedia proposal belonging to Egan, who served on the foundation board in the 1980s and 1990s. The Hugh Dugan deposition relates to the 2001 legal proceedings that transferred control of the foundation's bank accounts from former treasurer Hugh Dugan to current board members. The 2003 deposition by Curtis L. Carter, board president, relates to a lawsuit against the Dance Perspectives Foundation by the de la Torre Bueno family that terminated the foundation's involvement with the de la Torre Bueno Prize
The International Encyclopedia of Dance files include materials from the 1976 planning conference, contributor contracts, editorial style guides, publishing agreements, press releases, and correspondence between members of the foundation board, the encyclopedia's editorial board, and authors, illustrators, and publishers (namely, Scribner's, Macmillan, the University of California Press, and Oxford University Press) involved with the encyclopedia throughout its history. These records document the encyclopedia from inception to eventual publication, with correspondence often outlining the various financial and editorial difficulties faced by the project. There are also fundraising records, which document the foundation's attempts to raise money for the encyclopedia through individual donations and corporate grants.
The financial records include the foundation's annual budgets, balance sheets, and investment statements, as well as some encyclopedia-related fundraising letters and grant documents. Specific files document the foundation's major funding sources, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Ford Foundation, and a bequest to the foundation by Selma Jeanne Cohen's cousin Frank Herschel Tick.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' dance research collection includes additional material relating to the Dance Perspectives Foundation. Clippings and programs can be found by conducting author and subject searches for "Dance Perspectives Foundation" in the library's catalog.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by name.