Parkinson's Foundation Awards 2022 Community Grant to Ballet Memphis

$12,000 For Program Expansion

Parkinson’s Foundation Grants More Than $2 Million to Local Communities for Parkinson’s Programs

NEW YORK & MIAMI – July 21, 2022 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the recipients of more than $2 million in community grants for Parkinson’s disease (PD) programs across the U.S. The Foundation invests in community programs that make an impact in local communities and help people live better with PD by providing support for unmet health, wellness, and educational needs. One of only two organizations in Memphis to receive funds this year from the community grant, Ballet Memphis was given $12,000 for its Dance for Parkinson's program. Led by Julie Niekrasz and Kristen Osbourne Lucas, this weekly hour-long session incorporates different exercises to stimulate the mind and body. To encourage enrollment, the fee for Dance for Parkinson's is only $5 to not be a barrier to entry for anyone who can benefit from it. In addition to the weekly class, Ballet Memphis also schedules satellite programs such as PD experts and speakers, and does outreach by appearing and demonstrating at health and wellness events.

“Investing in community-based organizations allows the Foundation to direct resources to meaningful PD programs and services locally,” said Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr. “The community grants program has grown considerably over the last few years, allowing the Foundation to reach even more people with PD and to have a lasting impact on their lives.”

Of the $2 million awarded, community grants range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per recipient. The 2022 grant cycle focuses on programs that educate and deliver exercise specifically designed for people with PD, reach those who are newly diagnosed, and address the intersection of mental health and PD. The programs funded by the Foundation will benefit people with PD in 42 states in the U.S.

"Dance for Parkinson's is essential to my quality of life. It works my balance, flexibility, and memory...Learning six sets of four different movements, then executing them to music from Mozart to Ray Charles is not only challenging, but incredibly fun." - Jim, Participant since 2017

Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $9.4 million in 716 community-based programs. To see the full list of the 2022 community grant recipients, visit

About the Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $400 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease

Affecting an estimated one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the U.S. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone.

Download the pdf here for information on Parkinson's Exercise Recommendations.