A fellowship created to address the scarcity of female choreographers in ballet was announced on Monday night at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. The Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Choreographers, to be offered to three candidates over a three-year period, will provide fellows a stipend of $35,000, along with office and studio space, access to housing in New York and close contact with other artists and scholars.

Jennifer Homans, the former dancer and historian who is the director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts, said that the culture of the ballet world does not often encourage women “to explore that aspect of their creativity.” She continued: “We’re in a position to create a kind of opportunity and staging ground for women who want to be choreographers or who are choreographers and need a place to explore a piece that they’re working on, to really have a moment where they can do research.”

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation has given $150,000 to create the fellowship in partnership with the center, which opened last fall. Part of the center’s goal is to encourage cross-discipline dialogue. “We have filmmakers, philosophers, dancers,” she said. “We’re trying to assemble a community of different people who are interested in ballet, but not necessarily always from a traditional ballet background.” The first fellowship will begin this fall; to be considered, candidates should submit a proposal to the center outlining their project.