Rena Butler
Ellen Chenoweth
Yolanda Cesta Cursach
Ginger Farley
Jumaane Taylor
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Chicago Dancemakers Forum launched in 2003 as a demonstration project of the Chicago Community Trust’s “Excellence in Dance Initiative” responding directly to studies that identified the clear need for multi-layered support for Chicago choreographers. For its first decade CDF flourished as an unincorporated initiative fiscally sponsored and fostered by its consortium leadership from three of Chicago’s dance incubating and presenting institutions: The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Links Hall, and Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2014, Chicago Dancemakers Forum incorporated as a 501c3 and expanded to a total of six consortium institutions with the goal of engaging a more diverse pool of artists.

The  Consortium’s  Purpose

•Assure  artistic  integrity  in  pursuit  of  the mission of Chicago Dancemakers Forum  

•Provide  expertise  and  resources  for  the  grantees

•Represent  expertise  from  the  current  field  of  dance  in  the  city –as  dance  is  most  broadly  defined

•Represent  Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s  deep  connection  to  Chicago


The  consortium is composed of individuals and representatives of organizations who are leaders in the dance community. The consortium is currently made up of 8 members and is never more than  double  the  number  of  Lab  Artist  grantees in a given year to maintain balance in conversations with the grantees.

Founding consortium members continue to exhibit sustained, strong commitments to CDF and each year one Past Lab Artist is invited onto the consortium.



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The Museum of Contemporary Art is an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time. As a leading multi-disciplinary organization, MCA presents and supports artists developing dance, theater, music and interdisciplinary performance. Its Artists Up Close programs foster exchanges between audiences and artists.


The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago's mission is to provide a comprehensive education for the dancer-artist, offering academic training leading to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. The Dance Center also serves the community as Chicago's leading presenter of contemporary dance.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

UIC provides the broadest access to the highest levels of intellectual excellence. UIC's mission is: To create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world. To provide a wide range of students with the educational opportunity only a leading research university can offer. To address the challenges and opportunities facing not only Chicago but all Great Cities of the 21st century, as expressed by our Great Cities Commitment. To foster scholarship and practices that reflect and respond to the increasing diversity of the U.S. in a rapidly globalizing world. To train professionals in a wide range of public service disciplines, serving Illinois as the principal educator of health science professionals and as a major healthcare provider to underserved communities.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s core purpose is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform and change lives through the experience of dance. 


High Concept Labs (HCL) at Mana Contemporary Chicago supports artists and facilitates dialogue between artists, audiences, and staff. This increases access and transparency to the artistic process and fosters transformational experiences in an environment of experimentation and discovery.