Moving for Change Since 1989

Our Mission

Justice Dance Performance Project bridges the boundaries of art and social justice through dance-theater performance and multi-arts programming as a catalyst for positive change. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and ignite awareness, to create a more equitable society in ways that spark individual growth and collective action. We approach all our work from an anti-racist stance.

About JDPP

Moving for change since 1989, the Justice Dance Performance Project (JDPP) is a critically acclaimed dance and multi-arts organization. At its core, JDPP celebrates the dignity of all, the wisdom of the body, and the deep reflective capacity of the mind. It is founded on the belief that the arts provide light and hope that is vital in supporting individual and collective wellbeing.

JDPP is based in Hartford, Connecticut, under the artistic direction of founder Judy Dworin. The company’s award-winning work can be seen throughout New England in theaters, at colleges and universities, prisons, and inner-city schools. Its collaborative repertory has performed in major cities across the United States and Europe. JDPP’s public programs are a societal bridge, offering new perspectives, connections, and healing to diverse populations.

JDPP is committed to building a more equitable society. We value all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, culture, age, physical ability, mental health, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical history, and status as a military veteran. We are dedicated to ending systemic racism and to approaching all of our work from an anti-racist stance.

Our Impact


5 In-Person Performances in 2022


7 Online Performances


1075 Virtual Participants


1385 in-person audience/participants


6 Residencies in Schools and Prisons


3 Virtual Classes

JDPP From the Beginning

  • 1989

    JDPP incorporated as 501c3 organization on the name MetaArts. Judy Dworin Performance Ensemble is formally instituted, and makes its international debut at the National Theater, Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • 1996

    JDPP initiates its first Parkville Community School Residency with the 5th grades - now a whole school engagement.
  • 2005

    MetaArts is renamed Judy Dworin Performance Project.
  • 2005

    JDPP initiates its first year-long performance residency at York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic, the only state prison for women in CT.
  • 2008 and 2012

    JDPP Ensemble receives Merit Awards from National and State Local History Organizations for The Witching Hour and In This House
  • 2010

    JDPP awarded the Hartford Courant Tapestry award for its bridging of diverse sectors of the community and begins its Moms & Kids outreach at York and its in-school and after school programs in Hartford.
  • 2015

    JDPP invited by the Department of Correction to begin a Dads & Kids program at Cybulski Reintegration Center in Enfield, CT as part of Governor Malloy’s Second Chance Initiative.
  • 2016

    JDPP was selected as 1 of only 6 organizations nationwide to receive a Creativity Connects: National Demonstration Projects grant award from the Andrew G. Mellon Foundation and Mid-America Arts Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts and the Department of Economic and Community Development: Connecticut Office of the Arts.
  • 2018

    JDPP Executive/Artistic Director Judy Dworin is awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the CT Department of Economic Development Office of the Arts.
  • 2019

    JDPP premieres 30th anniversary retrospective She Speaks Her Peace
  • 2020

    JDPP pivots to remote programs in response to the COVID crisis
  • 2021

    JDPP premieres ColorFields, an original dance theater work inspired by the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler
  • 2022

    Judy Dworin Performance Project becomes Justice Dance Performance Project

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JDPP, Inc. is a 501c(3) organization.