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Auburn dance company awarded $30K as it eyes downtown space

As it waits to see if it’s included in the city’s $10 million grant plans, an Auburn dance company has found financial support from a couple of outside sources recently.

Sean McLeod’s Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre has been named one of 25 nationwide recipients of a $10,000 grant from the International Association of Blacks in Dance, according to a Feb. 18 news release from the association. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the grants can be used for general operating expenses.

Additionally, as of Jan. 1, Kaleidoscope is under contract with New York state to receive $10,000 a year in Council on the Arts funding, according to correspondence McLeod provided. That money, he added, will support the company’s New York Dance Festival, a two-week series of concerts and classes that takes place in July. The contract expires at the end of 2020.

McLeod, the Auburn native, producer and choreographer who serves as president of Kaleidoscope and parent organization the New York Institute of Dance & Education, said there was no application process for the association’s grant. That makes being selected “so humbling,” he said. He now hopes to leverage the grant into funding from local foundations and other sources.

“We hope it shows them yet again the way we’re looked at by the world of dance, and on the world stage,” he said. “If we could get that kind of support in our home state, that’d really be fantastic.”

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