McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers and the McKnight Fellowships for Dancers provide fellowship awards to individual mid-career choreographers and dancers who reside in Minnesota. The McKnight Fellowships for Choreographer and Dancers are designed to enrich and strengthen our community by acknowledging the accomplishments of individual choreographers and dancers and providing for their artistic growth.

The McKnight Foundation funds individual artist fellowships in 10 program areas. The Cowles Center For Dance & The Performing Arts is the administrative home for the McKnight Fellowships for Dancers and the McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers. Support for individual artists has been a cornerstone of The  McKnight Foundation’s Arts program since it began in 1981. The foundation recognizes that the arts cannot flourish or enhance community life without the ideas, energy, and drive of individual artists, and that artists cannot make these contributions without unfettered creative time.

The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts announces the 2018 McKnight Choreographer Fellows and 2018 McKnight Dancer Fellows

2018 McKnight Choreographer Fellows:

Deja Stowers
Taja Will
Laurie Van Wieren

Choreographer Selection Panel:
Gabri Christa, Filmmaker, Choreographer and Assistant Professor, Barnard College of Columbia University, Dept of Dance (New York)
Miriam Must, Cofounder, Red Eye Theater (Minneapolis, MN)
Lionel Popkin, Choreographer and Professor, UCLA (Los Angeles)
Sixto Wagan, Director, Center for Art & Social Engagement, University of Houston (Houston)


2018 McKnight Dancer Fellows:

Renée Copeland
 Sharon Mansur
 Yeniel ‘Chini’ Perez Domenech

Dancer Selection Panel:
Michel Kouakou, Artistic Director of Daara Dance; Professor, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Alanna Morris-Van Tassel, Dancer, Teaching Artist, Choreographer (Minneapolis, MN)
Jennifer Nugent, Independent Artist (New York)
Oguri, Dancer and Choreographer (Los Angeles)



The McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers and Dancers annually awards three $25,000 fellowships to Minnesota choreographers and three $25,000 fellowships to Minnesota dancers. The awards are unrestricted and can help an artist set aside periods of time for study, reflection, experimentation, and exploration; take advantage of an opportunity; or work on a new project.




The McKnight International Choreographer program invites one international choreographer each year to spend time in residence in Minnesota, collaborating with Minnesota dance artists and showcasing new work. International Choreographer residencies are offered by invitation only. Applications are not accepted. 

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National Residencies

 McKnight Choreographer Fellows may apply for a choreographic residency with one of our five national partners.

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Through the SOLO Commissioning Program each McKnight Dancer Fellow selects a choreographer to create a new solo work expressly for the fellow.

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