The Greenhouse Program promotes artistic growth in emerging Chicago dancemakers with financial support for the research or development of new work with mentorship from an established/mid-career artist. In July 2019, up to four dancemakers will each be awarded $4,000 to support their creative process as they develop new work over the course of three months. To apply, an emerging dancemaker must have the committed involvement of a mentor. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the mentor. 


The Greenhouse program supports individual dancemakers no matter the context in which they create work (solo practice, partnerships, companies, collectives and collaborations). Additional Greenhouse Program support includes: rehearsal space throughout the grant period, marketing on the Chicago Dancemakers Forum website, social media and e-newsletters during the grant period, and at least one group dialogue and response session with fellow Greenhouse artists and their mentors. 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites artists who represent the full geography of Chicago, with broad diversity of dance discipline, age, race/ethnicity, and expressions of gender to apply. Please note that artists may apply for either the Lab Artists program or the Greenhouse program, but not both. 


Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites dancemakers living in Chicago and vicinity who identify with the following statements to apply:

  • I have 2-4 years of dancemaking experience, creating at least three works in that time; I consider myself to be an emerging artist.

  • I am currently and actively engaged in dancemaking in the greater Chicagoland area.

  • I have the capacity and the to fully participate and to benefit from artistic interchange with a mentor from July to October 2019.

A competitive application demonstrates...

  • A body of quality and distinctive work for an early-career artist

  • Clear artistic vision

  • Commitment level of the mentor and match with the applicant

  • Potential for artistic growth during the program


  • Greenhouse artists' primary residences must be located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area during the duration of the program (July - October 2019). Applicants with dual-residency will not be considered.

  • Students enrolled in degree programs at the time of application are not eligible for the Greenhouse program.

  • Artists previously funded through the Lab Artists or Greenhouse programs are not eligible to apply.

  • Chicago Dancemakers Forum takes all possible measures to insure that the panel selection process is free of conflict of interest and favoritism. In keeping with that goal, anyone who has been employed as staff, as a consultant, or as a part of the leadership body for Chicago Dancemakers Forum may not apply to any of its granting programs until a full year has passed since the end of their employment before the application deadline. Excepted from this rule are interns who have earned less than $5k in a given year, or who have worked for school credit. 


The Greenhouse Program application is a one-step process. There are no fees to apply.

  • May 7, 2019: Application Deadline

  • June 2019: GREENHOUSE Artists Announced

  • July 2019: Chicago Dancemakers Forum Awards Celebration 

  • July 2019: Artist receives $4,000 grant

  • August 2019: Mid-point meetup

  • October 2019: Developing work showing 

  • October 2019: Mentor receives $1,000 stipend


  • unique to you,​

  • specific,

  • concise,

  • and honest.​



As we head into the application process, sessions are offered throughout the city in order to introduce, inform and assist potential applicants. These sessions are FREE and open to all active dancemakers in the greater Chicagoland area.

Monday, January 7, 2019
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative
1456 E 70th St, Chicago, IL 60637
Co-hosted by Rebuild Foundation and Ayesha Jaco (Lab Artist 2018)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
6:00 - 7:30 PM
South Side Community Art Center
3831 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60653
Co-hosted by South Side Community Art Center and Jenn Freeman aka Po'Chop (Lab Artist 2018)


You WILL be able to save and return to a partially completed application, but to guard against potential IT glitches we recommend that you compose and save your application materials offline and copy them once into the online form to submit when they are complete. Visit to access and submit the online Greenhouse application. DEADLINE is May 7, 2019 at 11:59PM Central. 

​If you have questions about the Greenhouse program, please contact Shawn Lent, Program Director, via email at​

"I was scared, but thoughtful experimentation changed my viewpoint of choreographing for Bharata Natyam. Thank you, Chicago Dancemakers Forum."  

2011 Greenhouse Artist Emma Draves. Photo: William Frederking..


Justin Cabrillos

Joy Davis

Emma Draves

Ginger Krebs*

Adam Rose*

*Later selected as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.


“Being a 2018 Greenhouse Artist gave me the foundation I needed to actualize my dreams. My experiences in the Greenhouse cohort helped me to understand that my input is valuable here and reinforced for me that I belong. This community is mine too.”

Elysia C. Banks


"Like other busy, overcommitted artists working multiple jobs, it often happens that I see the final showing of a colleague's project, but rarely see multiple versions or discuss it at length. By formalizing the "mentor/mentee" relationship, Greenhouse created space for artist-to-artist exchange that had depth and dimension, and could meander luxuriously through the realms of process. It was a real pleasure and privilege to participate in the program!"  

Ginger Krebs