The Chicago Dance Lab Summer 2016, Elevate Chicago Dance (October 2017, and multiple public programs are part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of the National Dance Project (NDP). NDP, now in its 19th year of implementation, is a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts. NDP provides grants for the production and touring of contemporary dance work by regionally and nationally significant artists in the United States and beyond.


RDDI is designed to maximize local and regional support for dance artists by catalyzing existing resources and by redefining the relationship between artist, presenter, and community. RDDI focuses on increasing the capacity of dance artists by strengthening the articulation of work, its inspirations and processes, and by developing presenter relationships and new markets.


The first pilot project of the RDDI took place in Seattle in August of 2004. Additional regional projects have taken place in the San Francisco Bay area; Portland, Oregon; New England; and Minnesota. Each RDDI Lab is developed for the unique needs of the nearby dance community through partnerships with regional dance leaders.


The RDDI Chicago Advisory Committee includes:

Brett Batterson: Executive Director, The Auditorium Theater

Heidi Coleman: Director of University Theater, Undergraduate Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, The University of Chicago

*Shoni Currier: Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago

Yolanda Cursach: Associate Director of Performance, Museum of Contempory Art Chicago

Leigh Fagin: Associate Director for University Arts Engagement, The University of Chicago

*Ginger Farley: Executive Director, Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Joan Gray: President Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago

Heather Hartley: Executive Director, Audience Architects

*Kevin Iega Jeff: Artistic Director, Deeply Rooted Productions 

Nicole Jolly: Chicago Park District

Scott Lundius: Director of Education, Old Town School of Folk Music

Meida McNeal: Arts & Culture Manager, Chicago Park District

Shirley Mordine: Artistic Director, Mordine and Company Dance Theater

*Onye Ozuzu: Chair, Dance Department, Dance Center of Columba College Chicago

Jason Palmquist: Executive Director, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Jorge Perez: Executive Director, Ensemble Espanol

Julia Rhoads: Artistic Director, Lucky Plush Productions

Laura Samson: Director Global Corporate  Citienship, The Boeing Company

*Peter Taub: Director of Performance Programs, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Michael Tiknis: President and Managing Director, Harris Theater for Music & Dance

*Zac Whittenburg: Director of Communications, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago


* denotes CDF consortium member



Reva and David Logan Foundation

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.