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Chicago Dancemakers Forum Launches Its International Initiative With Two Events This Fall

10/14/2019

Chicago Dancemakers Forum partners with American Dance Abroad, High Concept Labs, and Mana Contemporary Chicago to launch its multi-year CrossHatch Initiative with a series of professional and artistic development events for Chicago’s dancemakers in November.

CHICAGO, IL, 10/15/2019 Images Available Here. - Chicago Dancemakers Forum‘s new CrossHatch Initiative promotes artistic growth for dancemaking artists and builds connections for, and awareness of, Chicago dance internationally. With opportunities for Chicago dancemakers in 2019 and beyond, this multi-year initiative has been designed to catalyze crossdisplinary and cultural relationship-building and exchange, and has four program areas:

  • An International Dance Engagement Workshop and Public Symposium (November 2019).

  • Up to $20,000 in travel grants for Chicago dancemakers (Application deadline May 2020).

  • Elevate Chicago Dance 2020, a dance festival designed to raise the international profile of Chicago dancemakers and facilitate relationships with international presenters (October 2020).

  • Potential of international exchange opportunities for Chicago dancemakers in 2021 with activities designed to strengthen and expand the relationships begun in earlier portions of the initiative.

 

CrossHatch Initiative – Fall 2019

 

Beyond Our Borders, a two-day workshop tailored for Chicago dancemakers and dance administrators on navigating the international performing arts landscape. The workshop will be facilitated by NYC/Pittsburg-based American Dance Abroad on Thursday and Friday, November 7 and 8, 2019 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Participants will gain deeper understanding of the current touring scene, explore ways to integrate international work into their practice, build their international profile, and gain perspective on their work by viewing it through an international lens. The workshop is limited to 25 participants and is already sold out, but interested artists can e-mail shawn@chicagodancemakers.org to be placed on the waitlist.

 

Andrea Snyder, co-founder and co-director of American Dance Abroad, confirms that “the Beyond Our Borders skill-building workshop will ensure that Chicago artists will be well-prepared for potential international opportunities. Understanding the international landscape is essential for positive and effective relationship-building. We are delighted to work with Chicago Dancemakers Forum on its important initiative.”

CrossHatch Symposium, a one-day event for dancemakers, arts leaders, and others. It will include panel discussions, workshops, presentations and cross-learning. It will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Click here for registration. The event is free, with lunch provided. Participants will discuss travel and touring with Chicago artists who have taken their work abroad, learn about cultural diplomacy and international exchange opportunities, join in cross-disciplinary experimentation with choreographic ideas, get information on passports and visas, and hear about Chicago Dancemakers Forum's new travel grants program.

 

Both the Beyond Our Borders workshop (November 7-8) and CrossHatch Symposium (November 9) will take place at High Concept Labs/Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2233 S Throop St, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60608. The entrance is on the east side of the building, by the parking lot. The space is wheelchair accessible.

 
"Chicago-based dance artists are making extraordinary, boundary-breaking work," says Sharon Hoyer, director of High Concept Labs. "We're thrilled to partner with Chicago Dancemakers, American Dance Abroad and Mana Contemporary to help provide resources for these amazing artists to bring their work to international audiences."

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum's Executive Director, Ginger Farley shares, “The depth and range of dance in Chicago merits broader exposure and engagement across all kinds of boundaries.  We are so pleased to partner with HCL/Mana to bring American Dance Abroad to Chicago to work with the dynamic artists that are making dance here. Chicago dancemakers are eager to share dialogue and develop skills so that they can participate in new and enriching experiences at home and overseas."

 

The Beyond Our Borders workshop and CrossHatch Symposium are supported by Bonnie Brooks, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, and the Institute of International Education.

For more information on the events please contact Shawn Lent, Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Programs and Communications Director at shawn@chicagodancemakers.org

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About Chicago Dancemakers Forum - Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing the artistic advancement of dancemakers. Since its inception in 2003, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has granted over $1 million to artists and is the single largest, local source of support for the city’s dancemakers which has an open call for applications. Through robust interaction among dancemakers and with the public, Chicago Dancemakers Forum builds broad support and appreciation for Chicago’s diverse dance communities. For more information visit chicagodancemakers.org.

About American Dance Abroad - American Dance Abroad is a national organization that connects U.S. choreographers and dance companies with international presenters and dance professionals on every continent. Its mission is to strengthen the export of American dance artists and companies by helping them to build international relationships. It is also a financial and information resource for professionals in the U.S. dance community who wish to work internationally. For more information visit americandanceabroad.org.

About High Concept Labs - High Concept Labs (HCL) 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. For more information visit http://highconceptlabs.org/

About Mana Contemporary Chicago - Mana Contemporary Chicago is a rapidly expanding art center set in an enormous landmark building in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Designed by noted local architect George Nimmons, the building is now home to artists’ studios, exhibition spaces, classrooms, a cafe, library, and more. As is the case in Jersey City, Mana Contemporary Chicago serves as a nexus for the many of the city’s most significant artists and arts organizations. Artists of diverse disciplines and professional levels work alongside each other in studios that vary widely in size. Mana Contemporary strives to grow a vital community of Chicago artists, showcasing their practices, processes, and ideas.. For more information visit manacontemporary.com

Photo: Hedwig Dances by William Frederking

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Announces the 2019 Lab Artists

May 2, 2019

Anjal Chande, Jane Jerardi, Mitsu Salmon, Vershawn Sanders-Ward, Darling Shear, and Nejla Yatkin will each receive a $15,000 cash grant and a year of mentorship to support the research and development of a new dance work.

 

CHICAGO, IL, May 2 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces the six recipients of the 2019 Lab Artist Awards. Anjal ChandeJane JerardiMitsu SalmonVershawn Sanders-WardDarling Shear, and Nejla Yatkin will each receive a cash grant of $15,000 combined with mentorship and collegial exchange throughout a year of artistic exploration. The Chicago Dancemakers Forum staff and consortium leadership support the artists as they research, develop, and present new dance works.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum fuels the field of dance by stimulating and nourishing the artistic and professional development of Chicago’s individual dancemakers. Since its inception in 2003, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has granted over $1 million to artists and is the single largest, local source of support for the city’s dancemakers which has an open call for applications. 

 

Chicago Dancemakers’ Lab Artists program is unique in its emphasis on an extended period of creative research. The Lab Artists are selected for the quality of their work, the distinctness of their vision, and their potential for artistic growth. Each of them has identified a unique path of artistic inquiry for the year which will lead to the creation of a new dance. By engaging leaders in the field in dialogue with the artists, the Lab Artists program fosters excellence, innovation, and connectivity in the field of dance. Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab awardees vary in age, gender, race, and dance discipline. They work in tap, bharatanatyam, butoh, burlesque, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, voguing, classical Japanese, West African, contemporary, and more.

 

Executive Director Ginger Farley shares, “We are thrilled to announce these six Lab Artists. Each has a unique and distinctive choreographic voice and together provide a rich array of dance disciplines and human perspectives reflective of the city and the time that we live in."

 

The 2019 Lab Artists will be recognized during the 2019 Awards Celebration and Benefit on Thursday, July 11, 5:30-8:30 PM at The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611..

 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2019 Lab Artists

 

ANJAL CHANDE is a choreographer, composer, and writer, making dance-theater performances grounded in an improvisational practice and bharatanatyam roots. In 2007, Chande founded Soham Dance Space in Chicago. Her work has been presented by Sophiensaele in Berlin, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, West Wave Festival in San Francisco, Drive East in New York, World Music Festival in Chicago, and multiple cities in India. She’s been recognized through the U.S. Fulbright Program, Ragdale Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Anjal’s Lab Year project “This Is How I Feel Today” explores wealth inequality, intergenerational relationships, the politics of art, and the next cup of tea. She will devote her Lab year toward an intensive phase of researching the dramaturgical possibilities for this work.

 

JANE JERARDI is a Chicago-based artist working in the media of choreography, performance, video installation, and writing. In observing the ordinary and even awkward, she sorts out and enunciates the unexpectedly beautiful. She has created work since 1998 for a variety of contexts –- from theaters and galleries to record store listening booths and public subway escalators. Her Lab Year project, ”Delicate Hold," delves into how we articulate our desires in a kind of manifesto and an embrace of empowerment, focusing on desire as it is articulated in Buddhist thought, feminist writing, and the tenets of dance improvisation – how we might become deeply attuned to desire by staying in the moment. "Delicate Hold" will be a departure for the artist as she aims to step outside the work to direct it, focusing on its overall architecture and structure. 

 

MITSU SALMON creates dance, performance, and visual works that fuse multiple disciplines. She has participated in artist residencies at Taipei Artist Village (Taiwan), Incheon Art Platform (Korea), Oxbow

(MI), Guildhall (NY) and PAM (CA) as well as locally at Links Hall, High Concept Lab, HATCH, and the Chicago Cultural Center. She has performed at places such as Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, and Urbanguild (Japan). She has received the Midwest Nexus Touring Grant and DCASE IAP. Her practice asks: How do personal and family memories connect and collide? How are ancestors held and resisted in our body? Mitsu’s Lab Year project, “Orchid,” draws from her familial stories to investigate botany and imperialism as connected to contemporary issues of migration and the environment. The work examines the choreography of plants, in terms of physical gestures and human-intervened transportation.

 

VERSHAWN SANDERS-WARD is a movement artivist, defined as "one who utilizes their artistic genius to ignite a social revolution by creatively using the body and movement as tools to gain personal and collective freedom." Ward is the Director of Red Clay Dance and is motivated by the belief that the act of building a more equitable society begins with the every individual in that society to acquire the social capital needed to thrive. Vershawn’s creative practice in dancemaking, performance, teaching and cultural organizing, provides spaces for these experiences to occur. Her Lab Year project, “Experiments in Artivism,” develops distinct tools/technologies to excavate deep embodied memories and refine her ability to use embodied research as the foundation of her dancemaking practice. These new tools will be put in practice to develop a solo work focused on the effects of female incarceration on families.

 

DARLING SHEAR is a Chicago Native with roots in Atlanta. GA. As a freelance dancer/choreographer, Darling has worked with The Fly Honeys of the The Inconvenience, Body Cartography, Links Hall, Victoria Bradford, The School of the Art Institute, DePaul Museum, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Salonathon, Open TV beta and many more. Darling’s work is intentionally queer and sex positive. Her Lab Year project, “Tech, no-Jesus,” explores our crippling addictions to technology and religious dogma in contrast to a lack in our greater collective relationship to spirituality. Through guerilla anthropological/ethnographic methods, “Tech, no-Jesus” hopes to excavate and capture the philosophical tension of Matthew 6:24. 

 

NEJLA YATKIN (pictured) creates award winning and critically acclaimed works inspired by issues of identity, feminism, and memory. She brings an incandescent trans-cultural perspective to her creations. Her recent dances have been traveling around the world, empowering and inspiring local communities to re-imagine themselves in public spaces anew, by incorporating an interactive participatory dance practice. She is a 3Arts Awardee and a Princess Grace Choreography Fellow. Nejla’s Lab Year project, “About Witches Faunas and Aliens,” is a site-specific solo dance with elements of a promenade performance including contemporary dance, ritual, music, energy healing and community participation. A documentary film is capturing the performance process throughout.

 

 

For more information on the 2019 Lab Artists or the 2019 Awards Celebration and Benefit, contact Shawn Lent at shawn@chicagodancemakers.orgor 312-550-9172. High Resolution Images Available Here

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Invites Proposals from Chicago's Dancemakers for its 2019 Grant Programs

November 27, 2018

Open Call announced for the 16th year of Chicago Dancemakers Forum's signature grant and mentorship opportunities for mid-career and emerging dancemakers across the city.

 

CHICAGO, IL, NOVEMBER 26 - Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces $110,000 in grant support to Chicago's choreographers in 2019. Up to ten Chicago-based dancemakers will be selected to receive cash grants combined with mentorship as they research and develop new work. 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites dancemaking artists of all dance forms and all areas of the city to submit proposals. $15,000 grants are available for the year-long Lab Artists program for mid-career artists, and $4,000 grants are available for the three-month Greenhouse program for emerging artists. Artists may apply for either program, but not both. 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement for the dancemaking field. Over the past 15 years, Chicago Dancemakers has provided over $1 million in direct support to choreographers through its programs. Collectively, Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees represent the distinct character and power of new dance made in Chicago. Executive Director Ginger Farley says "Chicago Dancemakers Forum is committed to elevating Chicago's extraordinarily varied and expressive dancemaking artists. Each year this process reveals new layers within Chicago's dance communities. I am so eager to see the artists that come forward in 2019."

 

Lab Artists Program

Up to six mid-career dancemakers will each receive $15,000 along with a year of mentorship to aid in the research, exploration and development of a new work. The Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist program is the most significant, sustained source of support for individual choreographers working in Chicago, which has an open call process. The program fosters excellence and innovation while also building relationships among dancemakers, presenters, audiences and supporters. 

 

Applicants to the Lab Artists program must have a developed and distinctive trajectory in their work and be well positioned to participate in a year of creative research and dialogue with their peers. A competitive application demonstrates a body of quality work, clear artistic vision, compelling area of inquiry, firmly grounded work ethic, and readiness to create work of greater depth and scale.

 

A panel consisting of local and national dance leaders and former Lab Artists, selects dancemakers at key moments in their careers, through a two-round process. The preliminary application is an open call with a closing deadline of February 5, 2019. Select applicants will be invited to submit expanded proposals for consideration for a second round in spring 2019. Finalists will each meet with Chicago Dancemakers Forum staff to receive critical feedback and one-to-one support in developing their full proposals. There are no fees to apply.

 

Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Awardees are diverse in age, gender, race and discipline; they span tap, Bharatanatyam, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, voguing, contemporary, modern dance, and more. Former Lab Artists include: Victor Alexander of Ruth Page School of Dance and Civic Ballet, Carrie Hanson of The Seldoms, Daniel "BRAVEMONK" Haywood of BraveSoul Movement, Joshua L. Ishmon, Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ginger Krebs, Julia Antonick and Jonathan Meyer of Khecari, Pranita Nayar of Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, Jamal 'Litebulb' Oliver of The ERA Footwork Crew, Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Productions, Barak adé Soleil, and Jumaane Taylor. Many of the past Lab Artists have built national and international recognition since receiving support from Chicago Dancemakers Forum.

 

Greenhouse Program

The Greenhouse Program promotes artistic growth in emerging Chicago choreographers with financial support for the development of new work with mentorship from an established/mid-career artist. In July 2019, four dancemakers will 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. 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 a group dialogue and response session with fellow Greenhouse artists and their mentors. The Greenhouse Program application is a one-step process with a deadline of May 7, 2019. There are no fees to apply.

 

Grant Information and Application Work Sessions

Chicago Dancemakers Forum offers a series of information and application work sessions throughout the city in order to introduce, inform and assist potential applicants to either grant program. These sessions are FREE and open to all active dancemakers in the greater Chicagoland area.

 

DOWNTOWN: LOOP 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

3:30 - 5:00 PM 

Fine Arts Building, Suite 520

410 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Co-hosted by Mandala Arts, Pranita Nayar (Lab Artist 2016) and Rika Lin aka Fujima Yoshinojo (Lab Artist 2017)

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2153450708303372/

 

NEAR WEST SIDE

Friday, November 30, 2018

Directly following DanceChance which begins at 7:00 PM ($3 cash donation)

Lou Conte Dance Studio, Home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

1147 Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

Co-hosted by DanceWorks Chicago

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/430400150828156/

 

NORTH SIDE: ROGERS PARK 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

5:30 - 7:00 PM

Loyola Park

1230 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

Co-hosted by Chicago Park District, Synapse Arts, Rachel Damon (Lab Artist 2010) and Anna Martine Whitehead (Lab Artist 2018)

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/261589501101902/

 

NORTHWEST SIDE: HERMOSA/WEST HUMBOLDT PARK 

Monday, December 10, 2018

6:30 - 8:00 PM 

Segunda Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center 

4046 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60639

Co-host Segunda Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and Brittany Harlin (Lab Artist 2017)

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2078630228850190/

 

NORTHWEST SIDE: ALBANY PARK

Monday, December 17, 2018

6:00 - 7:30 PM

American Indian Center of Chicago

3401 W Ainslie St, Chicago, IL 60625

Co-hosted by the American Indian Center of Chicago

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/323266054934443/

 

NEAR NORTH: GOLD COAST 

Friday, January 4, 2019

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Ruth Page Center for the Arts 

1016 N Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60610 

Co-hosted by Hedwig Dances, Jan Bartoszek (Lab Artist 2008) and Joanna Furnans (Lab Artist 2018)

 

SOUTH SIDE: SOUTH SHORE

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)

 

SOUTH SIDE: BRONZEVILLE

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)

Image: Dancemakers Time Capsule at Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 | Photo: William Frederking Photography

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Announces a Free Celebration of Contemporary Dance in Chicago on October 21 

8/16/2018

Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 takes over the Chicago Cultural Center with dance performances and events, including the Crystal Anniversary Brunch with Honorary Chair, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

 

HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE HERE.

 

CHICAGO, IL, AUGUST 16 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates its 15th Anniversary year with Elevate Chicago Dance 2018, a full-day of performances, installations, workshops and discussions by 45 Chicago dancemakers on Sunday, October 21 at the Chicago Cultural Center, in partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

 

The broadly defined theme of the day explores intersections between Dance, Space, Race, and Place. The Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 artists, through a diverse range of dance and interdisciplinary works, make connections with current ideas about the dynamics between race, social spaces, and personal and body histories. For artists as well as for public audiences, the cultural, political and architectural history of the Chicago Cultural Center building is a powerful setting for these relevant considerations. Dance performances will activate all the floors and multiple public areas of the landmark Chicago Cultural Center, including the Claudia Cassidy Theater, GAR Hall, the Dance Studio, and Preston Bradley Hall.

 

The Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 participating artists and companies include: 

Ayodele Drum & Dance

Elysia C. Banks

BraveSoul Movement

Paige Caldarella

Peter Carpenter

Asimina Chremos

Margi Cole

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Emma Draves

Joanna Furnans

Brittany Harlin

Hedwig Dances

Honey Pot Performance

A House Unbuilt/Victoria Bradford

J’Sun Howard

Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape 

Khecari

Erin Kilmurray

Ginger Krebs

Fujima Yoshinojo/Rika Lin

Lucky Plush Productions

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak

Mandala South Asian 

   Performing Arts

Carole McCurdy

Mordine & Company

Margaret Morris

Erica Mott Productions

Nadia Oussenko

Onye Ozuzu/Ozuzu Dances

Po'Chop/Jenn Freeman 

Nico Rubio/333

Same Planet Performance   

   Project 

Darling Shear

Catherine Sullivan

Synapse Arts

The Humans

The Seldoms

Monica Thomas

Visceral Dance Chicago

Rob Welcher

Anna Martine Whitehead

Nejla Yatkin/NY2Dance

Megan Young

Sara Zalek

Peter Taub, Lead Curator of Elevate Chicago Dance 2018, states: “It’s truly exciting to work with so many individual choreographers in one overarching project. The vitality of independent dance in our community is manifest in the cumulative power of their expressions.” Associate Curator Aaliyah Christina is excited to offer Chicago a day that celebrates dance in many forms including tap, Bharatanatyam, Burlesque, Hip Hop, dance-for-camera, Vogue, West African dance, classical Japanese dance, contemporary, modern dance, and more. 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement for the dancemaking field. It is the single largest local source of support for individual choreographers in Chicago which invites proposals through an open call process. Over the past 15 years, Chicago Dancemakers has provided over $1 million in direct support to choreographers through its signature Lab Artists program. In 2018, Chicago Dancemakers is leveraging this milestone year to increase public awareness of Chicago dancemakers, strengthen partnerships, and provide more resources to artists. Executive Director Ginger Farley says “Chicago Dancemakers Forum is so pleased to bring greater visibility and build strong connections for Chicago’s dancemaking artists, who are experimenting and creating in ways that resonate deeply and that stretch the boundaries of the field.”

 

Elevate Chicago Dance 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Dance performances, installations, workshops and discussions

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602 

FREE and open to the public

  

A full day of performances by 45 Chicago dancemakers investigating intersections between Dance, Space, Race, and Place. Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 is presented in partnership with the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) with additional support from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and many generous individuals. In keeping with DCASE’s mission to provide high-quality cultural programs for Chicago citizens, all events during this full-day showcase are free and open to the public. 

 

Full schedule and updates will be available at ChicagoDancemakers.org/Elevate.

 

Crystal Anniversary Brunch - Celebrating 15 Years of Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Sunday, October 21, 2018

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM 

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Individual Tickets: $250 | Tables and Sponsorships: $2,500 - $25,000

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates 15 years of supporting bold and experimental dance in Chicago. This fundraising brunch honors the program's founding trio: Bonnie Brooks (formerly of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago), Asimina Chremos (formerly of Links Hall), and Peter Taub (formerly of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago). 

 

Honorary Chair is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Honorary Co-Chairs are Michelle Boone of Navy Pier, Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim of Columbia College Chicago, and Roell Schmidt of Links Hall. 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites artists, friends of dance, cultural consumers and leaders, and members of Chicago’s business community to share in the celebration. Sarah Solotoroff Mirkin (formerly of the Chicago Community Trust) and Eduardo Vilaro (Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2004 Lab Artist, and Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico) will present the awards. 

 

Updates, ticket link, and information regarding tables and sponsorship opportunities will be available at ChicagoDancemakers.org/crystal-anniversary-brunch

 

 

 

For more information on Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 and other Chicago Dancemakers Forum events, please contact Program Director Shawn Lent at 312-550-9172 or shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.

 

 

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About Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Chicago Dancemakers Forum elevates the field of dance by being a catalyst for the artistic and professional growth of dancemakers, providing time and resources for in-depth exploration and creation. Through robust interaction among dancemakers and with the public, Chicago Dancemakers Forum builds broad support and appreciation for Chicago’s diverse dance communities. The Lab Artists program makes $15,000 cash grants to choreographers annually. Grants are combined with mentorship throughout the research, development and performance of a newly choreographed work. 

ChicagoDancemakers.org

 

About the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 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.

 

CityofChicago.org

​Chicago Dancemakers Forum Partners with Hyde Park Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on a Series of Dance Dialogues with Local and International Artists 

June 18, 2018

Award-winning artists join one another in conversation on July 18 at Hyde Park Art Center and November 27 & December 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

 

HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE HERE. MORE IMAGES AVAILABLE BY REQUEST.

 

CHICAGO, IL, JUNE 18 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces a series of Dance Dialogues in partnership with two of the city’s cultural institutions, Hyde Park Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.The events feature past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists in embodied conversation with one another and with international collaborators.

 

Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing the artistic advancement of dancemakers. Since inception, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has granted over $1 million to artists and is the single largest, local source of support for dancemakers which has an open call for applications. Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists vary in age, gender, race and dance discipline. They work in tap, butoh, burlesque, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, Bharatanatyam, voguing, classical Japanese, African, contemporary, and more. Collectively they represent the spirit and power of new dance in Chicago now.

 

LECTURE DEMO WITH AMERICAN AND EGYPTIAN ARTISTS

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

 

Join Choreographer and Artistic Director of Erica Mott Productions, Erica Mott (2010 Lab Artist) in conversation with Choreographer and Artistic Director of Ezzat Ezzat Contemporary Dance Studios (Cairo, Egypt) for an interactive lecture demonstration of new technologies used in the creation of their collaboration, Mycelial Street Parliament premiering at Hyde Park Arts Center July 13-15 & 19-21, 2018.

 

Developed through a series of one-to-one cultural exchanges between Egyptian and American musical composers, dancers, technologists and new media artists, Mycelial: Street Parliament, is an interactive exhibition that examines civic participation, social movements and interconnectedness in the digital age. 

 

The work presented in Mycelial: Street Parliament draws on data obtained from the original digital expressions (text messages, images, emojjs, etc.) of activists involved in Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to ask whether art and technology can create an a cultural experience that resembles the physical and emotional sensations of a social uprising. What are our embodied experiences of occupation and revolution? Where does resistance live outside of kind acts towards one-another or protests?

 

Stay after the lecture demo from 7:00 - 9:00 PM to tour the exhibit and enjoy a musical set mixed live by award wining Egyptian electronic music composer and Mycelialcollaborator, Ahmed Saleh. Saleh's latest album is inspired by Electro-Chabbi beats developed during and inspired by the Arab Spring.

 

 

IN PROGRESS: DANCE DIALOGUES

November 27 & December 4, 2018

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA)

220 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

 

Join past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists in the MCA Commons in live, artist-to-artist exchanges of movement, ideas, and process. These choreographers of different backgrounds and art-making practices grapple with questions that impact them each in distinct ways through embodied conversations with each other and the public. 

 

On November 27th at 6:00 PM, Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver of The Era Footwork Crew (2015 Lab Artist), Molly Shanahan of Mad Shak (2006 Lab Artist), and Meida McNeal of Honey Pot Performance (2010 Lab Artist) address how they mine the cultural histories, embodied and genetic memory, and lived experience that surface in their dancing bodies. On December 4th at 6:00 PM, Carrie Hanson of The Seldoms (2005 Lab Artist) and Adam Rose of Antibody Corporation (2014 Lab Artist) address how they use dance to contend with the spaces and places where they perform, and to encounter the audience within them.

 

In Progress is a new MCA series of public programs that give visitors a glimpse into the working practices of artists. It highlights Chicago artists with a focus on live art happenings, discussions, workshops, and screenings that expose the behind-the-scenes labor of art making. This series further positions the MCA as a platform for creative culture, providing a place for artists to test ideas and push their practices to new levels through audience engagement, and creating a forum for conversation and interaction in our new space, the Commons.

 

For more information on Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Dance Dialogues and other upcoming events, please contact Program Director Shawn Lent at 312-550-9172 or shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.

 

 

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About Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Chicago Dancemakers Forum elevates the field of dance by being a catalyst for the artistic and professional growth of dancemakers, providing time and resources for in-depth exploration and creation. Through robust interaction among dancemakers and with the public, Chicago Dancemakers Forum builds broad support and appreciation for Chicago’s diverse dance communities. The Lab Artists program makes $15,000 cash grants to choreographers annually. Grants are combined with mentorship throughout the research, development and performance of a newly choreographed work. 

chicagodancemakers.org

 

About Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect through expanded networks. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to make, see, learn about, and engage art with freedom.

hydeparkart.org 

 

About the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary museums devoted to the art of our time. With an international reputation for groundbreaking exhibitions and programs, the MCA presents the latest in cutting-edge, contemporary culture. The performing arts program features leading performers from around the globe in its 300-seat theater. Located near the historic Water Tower in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA features exhibition spaces, the restaurant Marisol with an interior design by artist Chris Ofili, the Commons engagement space, a gift store, and a terraced sculpture garden with a view of Lake Michigan.

mcachicago.org

 

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About Ezzat Ismail Ezzat

Ezzat Ismail Ezzat is an architect and professional dancer based in Cairo, as well as a leader in the contemporary dance scene of Egypt. He began dancing and architectural studies in 2004 with group of amateurs at Cairo University, where he dance and choreographed in different theatrical plays and won the best choreography prize for his work in “Elgens Eltalt”. In 2008, he started studying contemporary dance at Studio Emad Eddin through “Cairo Contemporary Dance Workshop Program” (2008-2011) lead by Laurence Rondoni. During this time, he met different international artists and took part in artistic propositions, workshops and performances with national and international artists. Since completing his studies in architecture (2009) and contemporary dance (2011), Ezzat has been instrumental in developing the contemporary dance scene in Egypt. In 2010, he built Ezzat Ezzat Contemporary Dance Studio, which is one of the pioneer spaces dedicated to the art of contemporary dance. Through this space, Ezzat was able to develop as a performer, teacher and culture manager, as well as create different initiatives like the Contemporary Dance Night Series (2011- 2016), Basic Rights for Egyptian Dance Artists (BREDA, 2014), SEEDS (2015), PTP (2015), ROOTS training program (2016), artistic residencies and productions video-dance & live performances, which has had a great impact on the exposure and growth of contemporary dance in Egypt. 

eedancestudio.com

 

About Carrie Hanson | The Seldoms

Carrie Hanson is a choreographer and Artistic Director of The Seldoms. Her work involves research and embodiment of social, political, environmental issues and history, as a mode of pressing performance to speak to larger issues. Since founding The Seldoms in 2002, she has designed projects with practitioners of visual arts, theater, music/sound design, fashion, and architecture. In 2015, she was named Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year in Dance”, honored for her “brawny, brainy movement”. Under her direction, The Seldoms has toured nationally and to Russia, Taiwan, and Scotland, and gained a reputation for performance in spaces including an historic park fieldhouse and truck depot. Time Out Chicago called her work in an outdoor pool, Giant Fix, one of the “best dance moments of the past decade”. Her work, Power Goes (2015), was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, received a National Performance Network Creation Fund and NEFA National Dance Project Award, and toured to nine US venues, engaging a community cast in each city. She has received commissions from Texas Performing Arts, the Morton Arboretum, and the National Theater of Mannheim, Germany. She was a resident artist at the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron. Hanson has received two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, a Ruth Page Award, was a Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum Lab Artist and one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012. “Hanson is among the more fascinating and surefooted of our contemporary choreographers.” – Chicago Tribune.

theseldoms.org

 

About Meida McNeal | Honey Pot Performance

Meida Teresa McNeal is the Director of Honey Pot Performance, an Afro-feminist collective dedicated to critical performance & public humanities. She received her PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and her MFA in Choreography & Dance History from Ohio State University. Over the past two decades, Meida has produced numerous creative projects as both a solo artist and with Honey Pot Performance, with works performed in Illinois, Rhode Island, Ohio, California, and Trinidad. She has received many grants and awards supporting her creative work including National Endowment for the Humanities, a 3Arts Award in Dance, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist award, and a 2018-19 Co-Mission Fellowship at Links Hall. Positioning her work as an Independent Artist and Scholar at the intersection of performance studies, dance and critical ethnography, she has taught courses in dance, critical performance ethnography, and black diasporic cultural production at Northwestern University, Brown University, Governors State, and Columbia College Chicago. Meida also works with the Chicago Park District as Arts & Culture Manager supporting community arts partnerships, youth arts, cultural stewardship, and civic engagement initiatives across the city’s parks and cultural centers. 

honeypotperformance.org

 

About Erica Mott | Erica Mott Productions

Erica Mott Productions/EMP is a Chicago-based cross-disciplinary ensemble led by Erica Mott. A former researcher and international development worker turned choreographer and director, Erica’s vision is towards citizen participation, community dialogue and convergence. To this end, the ensemble creates original performances and exhibitions for diverse communities in order to reveal shared history and invite a collective visioning of the future. Erica’s direction and vision employs new strategies of interdependence over interdisciplinarity. Bringing seemingly disparate forms, materials and ideas in close proximity, her goal is to spark curiosity and highlight possibilities. Through extensive collaboration in a multi-disciplinary ensemble of dancers, composers, video artists, architects, user-design specialists and new media technologists, she uses technology to expand the performers’ bodies, to invoke a deeply embodied experience for viewers and to invite the emergence of a vibratory communal body - collectively, consciously, connectively present.

ericamott.com

 

About Jamal "Litebulb" Oliver | The Era Footwork Crew

Litebulb is a dancer and dance activist at the forefront of footwork culture in Chicago. Known for the intricacy and velocity of his moves, Litebulb has performed with leading artists like Chance the Rapper and DJ Rashad. Since 2009, he has traveled to international stages, from New York PS-1 to the Barbican in London. In 2014, he co-founded The Era Footwork Crew (The Era). Now touring global venues and Chicago schools with The Era, Bulb’s practice is both intensely local and broadly international. He has received awards and grants for his innovative work, including recognition as a dancer of the year in Dance Magazine, a major arts grant from Chicago Dancemakers Forum and University of Chicago/Arts and Public Life, and as a choreographer of the year by New City magazine. He also appeared in a dance cameo with fellow footworker P-Top in the movie, Manglehorn, with Al Pacino. Litebulb was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, where he lives and works today.

facebook.com/wetheera/

 

About Adam Rose

Adam Rose is the Artistic Director of Antibody Corporation. Antibody creates performance works incorporating music, movement, and languages both real and invented. 

antibodycorp.org

 

About Ahmed Saleh

“Ahmed Saleh (sound composer) is a musician, composer and sound artist from Alexandria, Egypt. He has become one of the spearheads of the Electronic music scene in Egypt.” (Press: Cairoscene Magazine – March 2015). Saleh’s experience as a visual artist had a great affect on his music. He composed his first live solo set and made an appearance at the 100LIVE Festival in 2009. Saleh is a member and one of the founders of the well-known band Telepoetic and composed the soundtracks for many independent movies, contemporary dance shows and theater. In 2014, he was a part of Jazz Nomades project and performed at La Voix Est Libre Festival (France). Saleh’s music had been featured on many radio shows in Poland, Germany, France, London and Egypt. Saleh has collaborated with Oliver Coates (London), Mehdi Haddab (France), Mederic Collignon (France), Phillippe Gleizes (France), Predrag Sestic (Belgrade), Alessio Ballerini (Italy), Abdullah Miniawy (Egypt), Marc Nammour (France) and Phillip Geist (Germany). Saleh’s music was released in Europe by the French record label based in Grenoble Full Fridge. Currently Saleh is collaborating with Hend El Rawy, the vocalist of the well-known French band ORANGE BLOSSOM.

 

About Molly Shanahan | Mad Shak

Choreographer Molly Shanahan has based her work in Chicago since 1994, after receiving her Master of Arts in Dance at The Ohio State University. Sustaining a lifelong focus on movement practices in and out of the studio, including daily practice in a pool, teaching, long-form creative processes ranging from one to ten years involving multiple iterations, and inquiry into the scholarly and creative literature that intersects with her work. Molly is recognized as a "singular voice in Chicago dance," (TimeOut Chicago) who has been "distilling the essence of performance—the relationship between audience and artist—for years, exposing the honest beauty of the body in its natural state: fluid, organic motion" (New City Chicago). Molly’s work has been supported by two National Performance Network Creation Fund Awards, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for choreography, and a 2010 Meier Arts Achievement Award, among others. In 2012 Molly received a Presidential Fellowship from Temple University (Philadelphia) to pursue a PhD in Dance. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Denison University; and has taught at Wayne State University, Bryn Mawr College, Temple University, The University of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago, among others, and was a Lecturer in the Dance Program at Northwestern University from 2008-2012.  

madshak.com

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Announces the Awardees of the 2018 Greenhouse Program for Emerging Choreographers

June 2, 2018

Elysia C. Banks, Erin Kilmurray, Monica Thomas and Megan Young each receive a $4,000 grant to promote the development of new work.

 

HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE HERE

 

CHICAGO, IL, JUNE 4 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces the four recipients of the 2018 Greenhouse AwardsElysia C. BanksErin KilmurrayMonica Thomas and Megan Young will each receive a cash grant of $4,000 for the development of new work with the support of a mentor who is awarded $1,000 for their participation.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing the artistic advancement of dancemakers. In addition to its signature Lab Artists program for established artists, Chicago Dancemakers Forum renews its commitment to supporting Chicago choreographers by offering this opportunity for emerging artists. The Greenhouse program stimulates artistic growth and relationship-building for emerging dancemakers by providing cash grants along with paid mentorship, rehearsal space, marketing, and group dialogue—to support their creative process as they develop new work over the course of three months. The Greenhouse program ran once previously in 2011 and is being offered again in 2018 in honor of Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 15th anniversary. Executive Director Ginger Farley says, “To have a thriving cultural landscape in Chicago we must support artists at all stages of development. There is such a rich pool of young dancemakers in Chicago right now, we are eager to engage with them as they develop new work in 2018.” 

 

Since inception, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has granted over $1 million to artists and is the single largest, local source of support for dancemakers which has an open call for applications. Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees vary in age, gender, race and dance discipline. They work in tap, butoh, burlesque, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, Bharatanatyam, voguing, classical Japanese, African, contemporary, and more. Collectively they represent the spirit and power of new dance in Chicago now.

 

The four 2018 Greenhouse awardees will be recognized along with the recently-announced 2018 Lab Artists during the Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2018 Awards Celebration and Benefit on Thursday, July 12, 5:30-8:30 PM at The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611. At the culmination of the 2018 Greenhouse program, the four artists will show their developing work on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602 as a part of the day-long event, Elevate Chicago Dance - Investigating Dance, Space, Race, Place, in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

 

For more information on Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Greenhouse Program and upcoming events, please contact Program Director Shawn Lent at 312-550-9172 or shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.

 

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Elysia C. Banks (Mentor: Joshua L. Ishmon)

Elysia C. Banks graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2012, receiving a BFA with a  concentration in Dance Performance. She has presented work in Deeply  Rooted Dance Theater’s  Emerging  Choreographers Showcase and in collaboration with Collaboraction Studios at The Goodman, Hamilton Park, Collaboraction Theatre and the Theatre on the Lake. Elysia’s project during the Greenhouse program, Of Wine and Chocolate, stems from an open conversation had between her and the cast, which features two Black women and two white women, exploring their differing perspectives, experiences, cultures, heritages, and expectations and how those affect their friendship today.

 

Erin Kilmurray (Mentor: Ginger Krebs) 

Erin Kilmurray draws upon a contemporary dance practice, ensemble theatre, space-making, and a long standing relationship with nightlife culture to make performance exchanges that intentionally shift between immersive and proscenium formats. Kilmurray is the director/ choreographer of The Fly Honey Show and a member of The Inconvenience. Using the dance floor and sports arenas as points of departure, her multi-phase dance project, SEARCH PARTY, follows a group of women as we consider the boundaries we face in this monumentally maddening moment in time — investigating our designated space vs. free space, what we have vs. what we need, and what is expected of us vs. what we are capable of. 

 

Monica Thomas (Mentor: Steve Delahoyde)

Monica Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist working in movement and video: a director and choreographer. Her dance for camera work has shown in festivals, recently at Dance Camera West, Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, and American Dance Festival. In 2017 she presented a site-specific performance and dance for camera series as a Performance Lab artist at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her new project Brought to You By is a series of satirical dance films presented as commercials. Each will critique representations of gender and race in commercial media by examining the commercial performing body with humor and heightened imagery. 

 

Megan Young (Mentor: Meida McNeal)

Megan Young is a movement and new media artist whose work tests boundaries, exploits loopholes, and undermines convention. She has presented at the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Hong Kong, Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology at Connecticut College, The Current Sessions, Open Engagement, and in the Chicago SpinOff Series. Her socially engaged artist activism has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Atlantic, and on National Public Radio. Young’s project for Greenhouse addresses the inherent inequalities of surveillance systems through interactive installation and performance scores. She builds on past collaborations to consider how best to navigate the hostilities of this place. 

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF BOLD AND AMBITIOUS DANCEMAKING

April 3, 2018

Increased grants and public engagement in 2018 mark the 15th Anniversary year of Chicago Dancemakers Forum and its Lab Artists Program.

 

HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE HERE

 

CHICAGO, IL, April 3, 2018 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates its 15th Anniversary with robust public programming, increased grants to dancemaking artists, public showcases, and two celebratory events. During this milestone year Chicago Dancemakers Forums renews its commitment to Chicago’s extraordinarily diverse dance communities with ten grants to local choreographers totaling $110,000. Cash grants are combined with mentorship and showcasing opportunities giving artists and dance-enthusiasts a lot to celebrate.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement for the dancemaking field. It is the single largest local source of support for individual choreographers in Chicago which invites proposals through an open call process. Over the past 15 years, Chicago Dancemakers has provided over $1 million in direct support to choreographers through its signature Lab Artists program. In 2018, Chicago Dancemakers is leveraging its 15th Anniversary to increase public awareness of Chicago dancemakers, strengthen partnerships, and provide more resources to artists.

 

Executive Director Ginger Farley says “It is deeply gratifying to witness the growth and increased vibrancy of the field of dance in Chicago since this program began 15 years ago. Focused, long-term commitment can have a profound impact. I am thrilled to be able to shine the light on so many dynamic dancemaking artists during our anniversary year.”

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum began in 2003 through the Chicago Community Trust’s "Excellence in Dance Initiative”. It was designed to address a clearly identified need for multi-layered support of Chicago’s independent dancemaking artists and has been a driving force in the Chicago dance community ever since. Leaders from three of the city’s major dance incubating and presenting institutions, Bonnie Brooks (then at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago), Peter Taub (then at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, MCA), and Asimina Chremos (then at Links Hall) formed a consortium to design and nurture the project. Chicago Dancemakers honors this founding trio at the Crystal Anniversary Brunch on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Chicago Cultural Center. 

 

Also in honor of the anniversary, Chicago Dancemakers partners with its consortium member organizations and community partners on multiple public events, including: SHareOUT!, a mini-festival of performances at MCA featuring the six 2017 Lab Artists, and three Dance Dialogues at MCA and Hyde Park Arts Center. In keeping with Chicago Dancemakers Forums’s goal to connect artists with one another, MCA also hosts a special Greenroom Reunion event; all past Chicago Dancemakers Forum participants are invited to come together to share their current work and to discuss their perspectives on the future of dance in Chicago. As the culmination of the anniversary year, Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) showcase the work of 20+ artists through Elevate Chicago Dance - Investigating Dance, Space, Race, Place, a full-day event on Sunday, October 21 the Chicago Cultural Center. 

 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Programs

 

For 15 years Chicago Dancemakers Forum has fueled the field of dance by supporting Chicago choreographers at key moments in their artistic development. As the signature endeavor in that effort, the Lab Artists program provides up to six selected dancemakers with $15,000 each year. The program is unique in that it emphasizes an extended period of research in the development new dance works. Cash grants are combined with mentorship and collegial interactivity throughout the year to support artists as they experiment, and take artistic risks. This multi-layered approach provides dancemakers with renewed resources and builds strategic relationships to nourish their artistic growth during the award year and beyond. Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists are diverse in age, gender, race and discipline; they work in tap, Bharatanatyam, footwork, dance for the camera, voguing, contemporary, modern dance, and more. Collectively these artists represent the spirit and power of new dance in Chicago now.

 

Also in 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Forum reinstates its Greenhouse program for emerging choreographers. The program, offered only once before, stimulates artistic growth and relationship building by providing $4,000 cash grants to artists for the development of new work with the support of a mentor. Applicants must each apply with the committed involvement of an established artist who is awarded $1,000 for their participation. Application deadline for the Greenhouse program is May 7, 2018.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum will applaud the newly selected Lab Artists and Greenhouse Artists  on Thursday, July 12th at the 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Awards Celebration at The Arts Club of Chicago.

 

During the past 15 years Chicago Dancemakers Forum has actively contributed to a thriving dance community on many levels. In additional to its granting programs Chicago Dancemakers Forum delivers a wide variety of public events and programs which catalyze artistic process, bring artists together for dialogue, and build new networks of support and public appreciation for dance and dancemaking in Chicago. 

 

During 2015-17, in partnership with the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, Chicago Dancemakers Forum led the way in bringing the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) to Chicago. RDDI, a substantial one-time stimulus, was designed to increase the scope, visibility, and viability of dance activity in regions of the U.S. RDDI Chicago began with the Chicago Dance Lab and Presenter Exchange in Summer 2016 and concluded with the Elevate Chicago Dance festival in Fall 2017. Programming also included symposia, choreographic workshops, and public dialogues about dancemaking practices. Events occurred throughout the city in partnership with Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s many community partners and its consortium organizations.

 

 

Upcoming 15th Anniversary Public Events

 

Dance Dialogues: 

  • Summer 2018, Day and Time TBA at Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

  • Tuesday, November 27 and Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Times TBA at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Past Lab Artists with different backgrounds and art-making practices engage in live exchange of movement, ideas, and process sharing.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2018 Awards Celebration: 

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 5:30-8:00 PM at The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

 

Chicago Dancemakers applauds the 2018 recipients of the Lab Artist and Greenhouse Awards and celebrates the creative riches of Chicago's dance communities. The evening includes an awards presentation and reception at The Arts Club of Chicago.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT! at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago:

SHareOUT! is MCA’s mini-festival of works that have been developed in a year of research

supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum.

  • Friday, August 24, 6:00 PM and Saturday, August 25, 2:00 PM at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

2017 Lab Artists Victoria Bradford and Brittany Harlin activate the museum grounds, and Joshua Ishmon and Rika Lin share a double bill in the theater for two premieres: Ishmon and his dancers perform Redefining BLACK to an original score by trumpeter/vocalist Sam “Trump” Harris; and Lin performs a solo accompanied by traditional Japanese and electronic music in Asobi: Playing within Time.

  • Friday, August 31, 7:30 PM and Saturday, September 1, 2:00 PM at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The closing weekend of SHareOUT! features two firsts: a dance work for a theater stage by Daniel “BRAVEMONK” Haywood, founding member of the internationally legendary breaking crew Phaze II Crosstown Crew; and the world debut of the Jazz Hoofing Quartet by tap artist Jumaane Taylor with Marlene Rosenberg (bass), Justin Dillard (piano), and Makaya McCraven (drums).

 

Elevate Chicago Dance - Investigating Dance, Space, Race, Place:

Sunday, October 21, 2018, Times TBA at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum partners with consortium member the Department of Special Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to produce a day of dance events created by 20+ experimental contemporary dancemakers, called Elevate Chicago Dance - Investigating Dance, Space, Race and Place.

 

Dancemaking artists submit proposals for performances, workshops, in progress showings, public dialogues, social choreographies, extended residencies, dance on film, and performance installations that are embedded within and around the architecturally rich Cultural Center building. Invited artists include the more than 75 past awardees of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Lab Artist and Greenhouse Programs, and the 2015-17 RDDI Chicago and the Elevate Chicago Dance 2017 festival.

 

The relationship between Dance, Race, Space and Place is an organizing theme for the day. This theme was identified by working with current Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists. For artists as well as for public audiences, the cultural, political and architectural history of the Chicago Cultural Center building is a powerful setting for these relevant considerations. In keeping with DCASE’s mission to provide high-quality cultural programs for Chicago citizens, all events and performances during this full-day showcase are free and open to the public.

 

Crystal Anniversary Brunch - Celebrating 15 Years of Chicago Dancemakers Forum: 

Sunday, October 21, 2018, 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates 15 years of supporting bold and experimental dance in Chicago. This fundraising brunch honors the program's founding trio: Bonnie Brooks, Asimina Chremos, and Peter Taub. Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites artists, friends of dance, cultural consumers and leaders, and members of Chicago’s business community to share in the celebration. Sarah Solotoroff Mirkin, formerly of the Chicago Community Trust, and Eduardo Vilaro (Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist 2004), Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico, will present the awards.

 

 

 

For more information on Chicago Dancemakers Forum 15th Anniversary events or to arrange an interview, please contact Program Director Shawn Lent at 312-550-9172 or shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM INVITES PROPOSALS FROM THE CITY'S CHOREOGRAPHERS FOR THE 2018 LAB ARTIST PROGRAM

11/15/2017

Open Call announced for the 15th Anniversary year of Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s signature $15,000 cash grant and mentorship program.

 

High resolution photos are available here.

 

CHICAGO, IL, NOVEMBER 15 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces the 15th year of its signature Lab Artist Awards program and invites Chicago contemporary choreographers of all dance forms  and all areas of the city to submit proposals. Up to six dancemakers will each receive $15,000 along with a year of mentorship to aid in the research, exploration and development of a new work. The most significant, sustained source of support for individual choreographers working in Chicago with an open call process, the Lab Artist program fosters excellence and innovation while also building relationships among dancemakers, presenters, audiences and funders.

 

A panel consisting of local and national dance leaders, and former Lab Artists, selects choreographers at key moments in their careers, through a two-round process. Each applicant must demonstrate a body of quality work,  clear artistic vision,  a compelling area of inquiry, a firmly grounded work ethic and readiness to create works of greater depth and scale. Successful applicants have developed a distinctive trajectory in their work and are positioned to participate in a year of creative research and dialogue with their peers.

 

The initial application is an open call. It becomes available starting December 20, 2017 with a closing deadline of February 6, 2018. There are no fees to apply. Select applicants, based on their artistic vision and potential for creative growth, will be invited to submit expanded proposals for consideration for a second round in spring 2018. Finalists will meet individually with Chicago Dancemakers Forum staff to receive critical feedback and one-to-one support in developing their full proposals. More information about the application process can be found online.

 

Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists are diverse in age, gender, race and discipline, working in tap, Bharatanatyam, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, voguing, contemporary, modern dance, and more. 

 

Former Lab Artists include: Lane Alexander of the American Rhythm Center and Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Julia Antonick and Jonathan Meyer of Khecari, Jamal ‘Litebulb’ Oliver of The ERA, Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and Barak adé Soleil. Many of these 59 artists have built national and international recognition since receiving support from Chicago Dancemakers Forum. Collectively, they emanate the distinct character and power of new dance made in Chicago. Throughout its history Chicago Dancemakers Forum has awarded $835,000 to individual dancemakers based in the city and has successfully raised $1 million dollars to secure artist grants for years into the future.

 

“As Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrate’s its 15th anniversary year, we renew our commitment to elevating Chicago’s extraordinarily varied and expressive dancemaking artists. Each year this process reveals new layers within Chicago’s dance communities, I am eager to see the artists that come forward in 2018.” — Ginger Farley, Executive Director of Chicago Dancemakers Forum

 

While rigorous and competitive, the Lab Artist open call selection process is also designed to be beneficial for all who participate. Even those who are not selected as Lab Artists describe the application process as a constructive, informative experience with opportunity for professional development. A series of public dialogues, application information and work sessions are offered November 16, 2017 to February 1, 2018 across the city. All sessions are free and provide space and time for gathering advice, sourcing feedback within the application process, and asking questions.

 

Public Dialogues and Application Information Sessions

Chicago Dancemakers Forum launches its 15th Anniversary year with a series of public dialogues envisioning the future of Chicago Dance: opportunities for artist-to-artist exchange on innovation in the field. The sessions also include information about the application process for the Lab Artists program. 

 

AUSTIN

“Innovation in Chicago Dance: Contemporary Makers”
Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 6pm

Austin Town Hall Cultural Center

5610 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60644

Public Dialogue and Information on the Lab Artists Program 

Discussion with 2017 Lab Artist Brittany Harlin and 2015 Lab Artist Benjamin Holliday Wardell.

Co-hosted by Chicago Park District and Move Me Soul.

Further details available here.

 

NEAR WEST
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8pm

Lou Conte Dance Studio

1147 Jackson Blvd, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Lab Artists Program Information and Application Tips following the DanceChance performance.

Co-hosted by DanceWorks Chicago.

Further details available here.

 

BRONZEVILLE

“Innovation in Chicago: Dance and Community Engagement”

January 5, 2018

Harold Washington Cultural Center

4645 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653

Co-hosted by Ayodele Drum & Dance, Harold Washington Cultural Center and Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).

More information coming soon.

 

LOOP

“Innovation in Chicago Dance: The Rhythmakers“

Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 3:30pm

American Rhythm Center

410 S Michigan Ave, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Public Dialogue with 2017 Lab Artist Jumaane Taylor and 2004 Lab Artist Hema Rajagopalan. 

Co-hosted by American Rhythm Center and Natya Dance Theatre.

Further details available here.

 

UNIVERSITY VILLAGE / LITTLE ITALY / TRI-TAYLOR

“Innovation in Chicago: Dance and Disability”
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 3:30pm

University of Illinois at Chicago

1640 W Roosevelt Rd

Chicago, IL 60608

Public Dialogue with Sarah Cullen Fuller, Ginger Lane, and Kris Lenzo.

Moderated by Carrie Sandahl

Co-hosted by UIC's Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Art and Culture

Further details available here.

 

 

Application Work Sessions

These sessions are hands-on work sessions to help applicants submit the strongest possible applications. All applicants are invited to bring drafts of their application material for feedback and one-on-one coaching with Chicago Dancemakers Forum staff.

 

WASHINGTON PARK / HYDE PARK

January 29, 2018 at 5:30pm

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

Lab Artist Awards Program Application Work Session #1

Further details available here.

 

NEAR NORTH
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:30am

Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 North Dearborn St, Chicago, Illinois 60610

Lab Artist Awards Program Application Work Session #2

Further details available here.

ONCE-ONLY, CITYWIDE FESTIVAL ELEVATES CHICAGO DANCE IN OCTOBER

September 6, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON SEPT 6, 2017, 1:30PM

 

Media contacts  

Shawn Lent, Program Director, 

312-550-9172 • shawn@chicagodancemakers.org

Jordan Kunkel, PR/Communications intern

513-265-4935 • jkunkel@luc.edu 

chicagodancemakers.org

Facebook: ChicagoDancemakers 

@chi_dancemakers 

 

From October 19-21, the once-only Elevate Chicago Dance brings together 40 Chicago dancemakers for performances, studio showings and dialogues around the city.

 

CHICAGO, IL, SEPTEMBER 6 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces Elevate Chicago Dance, a citywide dance festival featuring close to 40 Chicago choreographers and dance companies in public performances and studio showings at nine creative spaces around the city. Forty local, regional and national colleagues in the field of dance—professionals who support dance through presenting work, creating residencies and developing other artist resources—will also convene during Elevate Chicago Dance to engage directly with the featured artists. The performances, showings and other events will take place over three days, October 19-21. Visit the Elevate website to reserve tickets.

 

Elevate Chicago Dance marks the culmination of a multi-year Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) produced by Chicago Dancemakers Forum and New England Foundation for the Arts designed to support professional development for Chicago-based dancemakers, build connections that will nourish dance artists, and develop the overall capacity and infrastructure of the Chicago dance community. Over the past three years, RDDI in Chicago has led to the curation of dynamic programming such as the Chicago Dance Lab and Presenter Exchange in Summer 2016 and choreographic workshops throughout 2016-17. Elevate is guided by a Task Force comprised of representatives from key organizations in Chicago's independent dance community.

 

Ten programs of performances and studio showings are planned at nine venues, including the Chicago Cultural Center, two Chicago Park District sites, High Concept Labs, and Links Hall. A festival highlight of two evening programs at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago features eight contemporary companies representing the breadth of Chicago dance today. More information about the public events can be found below and on the Elevate website at www.chicagodancemakers.org/elevate.

 

Says Ginger Farley, Executive Director of Chicago Dancemakers Forum: “Chicago Dancemakers Forum is so pleased to bring greater visibility and build strong connections for Chicago’s dancemaking artists, who are experimenting and creating in ways that resonate deeply and that stretch the boundaries of the field.”

 

Peter Taub, Curator of Elevate Chicago Dance, stated: “It’s truly exciting to work with so many individual choreographers in one overarching project. The vitality of independent dance in our community is manifest in the cumulative power of their expressions.”

 

The Elevate Chicago Dance programs are outlined below.

 

Chicago Cultural Center — Public Studio Showings

Thursday, October 19 at 1p.m., 78 E. Washington St, Chicago
The festival opens with four highly distinctive groups showing works and discussing their creative directions: Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Every house has a door, Anna Martine Whitehead, and Sara Zalek. Free admission. 

 

South Shore Cultural Center — Performances

Thursday, October 19 at 7:30p.m., 7059 S South Shore Dr, Chicago 

The festival's first program of performances is a varied showcase of Chicago dancemakers set in the South Shore Cultural Center ballroom: Groundhog, Red Clay Dance Company, Same Planet Performance Project, and more. Free admission. 

 

Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery — Late Night Showcase

Thursday, October 19 at 10:00p.m., 1463 W Chicago Ave, Chicago

The artists in this program presented with Defibrillator are Khecari, Adam Rose & April Lynn/Antibody Corp, Darling Shear, and more. Suggested donation $5.

 

Loyola Park Fieldhouse — Public Studio Showings

Friday, October 20 at 9:30a.m., 1230 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago 

The festival's second day begins with artistically diverse Chicago dancemakers showing short pieces and discussing their creative directions: Joanna Furnans, Ginger Krebs, Synapse Arts (in residency at Loyola Park), and more. Free admission. Limited capacity.

 

Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago — Friday Performances

Friday, October 20 at 7:30p.m., 1306 Michigan Ave, Chicago 

Elevate presents two evenings of performances at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, featuring eight artists and companies that showcase the breadth of new dance in Chicago. 

Four companies perform new works on Friday October 20: Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r), BraveSoul Movement, The Seldoms, and Visceral Dance Chicago. 

 

Links Hall — Late Night Showcase

Friday, October 20 at 10:00p.m., 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago

This late night program features new and recent choreography by Rachel Bunting/The Humans and other companies to be announced.

 

Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago — Family Workshop & Matinee 

Saturday, October 21 at 2:15 p.m., 1306 Michigan Ave, Chicago

Ayodele Drum & Dance's youth program, Sesa Wo Suban, leads a Workshop at 2:15p.m. then Performs at 3:00p.m. as part of the Dance Center's FamilyDance Matinee series. 

Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago — Saturday Performances 

Saturday October 21 at 7:30p.m., 1306 Michigan Ave, Chicago

The second evening of Elevate at the Dance Center features Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape, Ayodele Drum & Dance, Hedwig Dances, and Lucky Plush Productions. 

Invited Studio Showings

Elevate creates a space for dancers, dancemakers and supporters of dance to experience a range of Chicago-based dance, have direct exchanges with each other, and discuss ways to contribute to a healthy dance field. Programs at Dorchester Artist + Housing Collaborative, High Concept Labs, and Old Town School are curated specifically for the convening of dance artists and invited colleagues and are not open to the public. The artists showing and discussing their work are: Jenn Freeman/ po’chop, HoneyPot Performance, Darrell Jones, NIC Kay, Erica Mott, Onye Ozuzu, Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver/ The ERA, Molly Shanahan/ Mad Shak, Benjamin Wardell/ The Cambrians, and Nejla Yatkin/ NY2 Dance. In addition, Kristina Isabelle Dance is creating a site-specific project for the invited audience.

 

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​About Chicago Dancemakers Forum 
Chicago Dancemakers Forum is a catalyst for innovation and a means to increase dynamic interaction among dancemakers living and working in Chicago. The organization provides multi-layered support for choreographers by making cash grants, presenting public workshops and events, and offering professional development and residency opportunities for Chicago-based choreographers. Structured as a not-for-profit, Chicago Dancemakers is the only Chicago-based organization dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement in new-dance development.

 

About NEFA
New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies. NEFA’s work is accomplished through grant making, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure.

 

About RDDI

The Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) is a program of NEFA's National Dance Project which 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. 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. RDDI Chicago was planned and implemented in 2015-16.

 

Funding

Elevate Chicago Dance and RDDI Chicago are made possible with funding from Reva and David Logan Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Chicago Park District/Night Out in the Parks, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, PERT Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through NEFA’s National Dance Project.

 

About Elevate’s Affiliation with Night Out in the Parks

Events at South Shore Cultural Center and Loyola Park Fieldhouse are presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. Now in its fifth year, the 2017 Night Out in the Parks series will host over 1,200 cultural events and programs at more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks a safe haven and hubs of activity. Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to movies, peace rallies, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 100 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

 

About the Elevate Chicago Dance Task Force

Elevate Chicago Dance is guided by a Task Force of key stakeholders in Chicago’s independent dance community. Its members and their organizations are Margi Cole/ Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Yolanda Cesta Cursach/ Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Heather Hartley/ Audience Architects, Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll/ Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kay LaSota/ Chicago Moving Company, Kimberly Davis/ Old Town School of Folk Music, Meida McNeal/ Chicago Park District, Roell Schmidt/ Links Hall, and Steven Wang/ High Concept Labs.

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCES THE 2017 LAB ARTISTS

June 19, 2017

Brittany Harlin, Daniel “Bravemonk” Haywood, Joshua L. Ishmon, Jumaane Taylor, Rika Lin, and Victoria Bradford are the 2017 recipients of a $15,000 cash grant and a program of mentorship to support the research, development, and presentation of new work.

 

HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES WITH CAPTION SHEET ARE AVAILABLE HERE.

 

CHICAGO, IL, June 13 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum presents Brittany HarlinDaniel “Bravemonk” Haywood, Joshua L. Ishmon, Jumaane TaylorRika Lin, and Victoria Bradford as the recipients of the 2017 Lab Artist Awards. For the first time since its inception, Chicago Dancemakers has increased the number of Lab Artist awards from four to six. Now in its second decade of supporting individual choreographers in Chicago, the Lab Artists program provides each of the awardees with a $15,000 cash grant complimented by mentorship during a year of in-depth research and exploration as they develop new work.

 

Executive Director Ginger Farley says, ”I am once again humbled by the range of talent and bold creativity that is taking place in the field of dance in Chicago. In anticipation of Chicago Dancemakers Forum's 15th anniversary year, I could not be more pleased to announce an increase in the number of  Lab Artists Awards and am eager to begin the year of deep exchange with these six exciting dancemakers.”

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement in dancemaking and is also the single largest source of support for individual choreographers in the city with an open call process. Chicago has seen a remarkable increase in the quality and depth of dancemaking in the fourteen years since its Lab Artist Awards program began. NewCity’s Players 2017 testifies to both this impact and activity, “Chicago Dancemakers Forum constantly drives the wind into the sails of the Chicago dance community. Chicago live arts are undergoing a renaissance, many thanks to Farley’s deft, sensitive and knowledgeable leadership of an organization at the cutting edge.”

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s past 48 Lab Artists differ in age, gender, race, sexuality, discipline, and dance forms, including Bharatanatyam, Butoh, Chicago footwork, tap, contemporary dance, dance for the camera, modern dance, voguing, and more. This year's cohort continues to honor Chicago’s many dance communities and original perspectives. 

 

Through a two-stage process, the six 2017 Lab Artists were selected by a panel made up of local and national arts presenters and curators, grantors, and artists for their outstanding creative work and potential for artistic growth. Each Lab Artist has identified a unique path of investigation which will lead to a new dance work. The grant and mentorship provided through the Lab allows awardees the time, funding and resources necessary to fully explore their visions, conduct research related to their artistic interests and develop new work in response to this in-depth creative process. 

 

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum 

2017 Lab Artists

 

BRITTANY HARLIN’S focus is Hip Hop, Street Styles and Somatic Theory. She studied dance at Loyola University Chicago, and her work has been featured in events and venues such as Fantabuloso, Links Hall and Dance Chicago. Harlin’s mission is to create solidarity between diverse backgrounds. She aims to begin a movement that brings street dance and concert dance together cohesively, using Somatic Theory to develop pedagogy that connects movers to physical technique and mindfulness of the implications of adopting street movement — mainly the participation in the socio-political movement that is Hip Hop. 

 

DANIEL“BRAVEMONK” HAYWOOD, a cultural ambassador and leader in the Hip-Hop community, has served both nationally and internationally as an artist, performer, educator, choreographer, host, judge and competitor over the last 18 years. BRAVEMONK is a member of Chicago’s legendary and internationally recognized breaking crew Phaze II Crosstown Crew (Est. 1982), Co-founding Director of BraveSoul Movement, a founding contributor and Co-Host of Power Style Radio, and an advisory board member of Chicago Dance History Project. During his year with Chicago Dancemakers Forum, BRAVEMONK will collaborate on an exploration in pushing creative boundaries for the concert stage while staying rooted and connected to the Afro-diasporic cultural lineage of Hip-Hop and street dance forms.  

 

JOSHUA L. ISHMON studied dance at Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Ballet Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. He joined Deeply Rooted’s second company in 2007, and their first company in 2009. Ishmon performs, teaches and choreographs for companies and schools across the midwest. Passionate about investigating the often negative perceptions associated with the word, color, and race “black,” Ishmon will facilitate community conversations and movement studies on the topic during his time as a Lab Artist. This research will inform an original score and choreography which will be presented on stage with musicians. 

 

JUUMANE TAYLOR is a tap artist who began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre. He has performed and studied with Bril Barrett, Idella Reed Davis, Jimmy Payne Jr. and Sarah Saveloy and has travelled internationally to perform tap. Taylor sees tap as a full music and dance entity. He wants to continue his exploration of the musicality of tap dance and its timeless relationship with Jazz music through a project and performance series that revitalizes how contemporary society views tap. Taylor’s goal is to strengthen the natural relationship between Jazz and tap artists and elevate tap’s visibility throughout the city of Chicago. 

 

RIKA LIN (FUJIMA YOSHINOJO) is a second generation Japanese American performing artist, choreographer, and Grandmaster in Fujima style Japanese classical dance, and has performed in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, as well as within the community and educational outreach programs. Yoshinojo blends traditional aesthetics fused with contemporary music and movement practices to make traditional dance pieces relevant with 21st century issues of roles and identity. During her year with Chicago Dancemakers Forum, she will explore the concept of “asobi” or “play” as it relates to the perception of time while performing and the generational perception of gender differences. 

 

VICTORIA BRADFORD works in the fields of performance, video and installation, with training in the visual arts and upbringing in theatre, dance and voice. MCA Chicago, Governors State University, Gallery 400 are among the many art spaces where she has produced work. Bradford understands the body as a physical presence that has the power to intervene in systems much larger than itself and bring a sense of scale to the paradoxes and conundrums of our times. As a Lab Artist, she is planning a relay from the headwaters to the mouth of the Mississippi River. One choreographer, three dancers and an archivist will run downriver, stopping at nearly 100 towns and cities where they will listen and share with the residents of the community in a workshop utilizing movement, dialogue, and witnessing. Bradford explain’s, “We run because the story demands it, an effort to revive the human element of the discourse in which our country is so consumed.”

 

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These six Lab Artists will be recognized on Thursday, July 13, 5:30pm at The Arts Club of Chicago during the 2017 Lab Artist Awards Celebration and Benefit. The evening will include a cocktail reception and an awards presentation followed by a seated dinner. There will also be a dance performance/presentation by 2016 Lab Artist Onye Ozuzu and a work created by Elise Cowin and 2014 Lab Artist Ginger Krebs

 

Tickets for Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2017 Lab Artist Awards Celebration and Benefit are available now. The event is co-chaired by Justine Jentes, Peter Taub, and Christine Watkins. The event host committee (in formation) is comprised of Jan Bartoszek and Jeff Usow, Steve and Yayoi Everett, Tim Donza & Christopher Barrett Politan, Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, Frank Fishella, Lisa Yun Lee, Roell Schmidt, Kathryn Quinn, Angel Ysaguirre. Pam Crutchfield is the lead event sponsor.

 

In 2017, Chicago Dancemakers Forum is supported by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Foundation, The Morrison-Shearer, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, PERT Foundation, and the Breakout Campaign donors.

 

To get to know the 2017 Lab Artists as well as all of the opportunities available to Chicago choreographers through Chicago Dancemakers Forum, check out the organization’s websiteFacebook or Twitter feeds, and attend the Lab Artist Award Celebration and Benefit. 

 

If you would like more information about the 2017 Lab Artists or the Awards Celebration and Benefit, please contact Shawn Lent, Program Director.

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM PRESENTS THE 2017 LAB ARTIST AWARDS CELEBRATION AND BENEFIT

May 31, 2017

On Thursday, July 13 at The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago Dancemakers Forum will honor the newest grantees of the $15,000 Lab Artist Awards.

 

High resolution images with caption sheet are available here.

 

CHICAGO, IL, May 31 – Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates its 2017 Lab Artist Awardees. Now in its second decade of supporting individual Chicago-based choreographers, the Chicago Dancemakers Lab Artists Program provides each of the four artists with a $15,000 cash grant complimented by mentorship during a period of in-depth research and exploration as they develop new work. The soon-to-be-announced 2017 awardees will be recognized on Thursday, July 13, 5:30pm at The Arts Club of Chicago during the 2017 Lab Artist Awards Celebration and Benefit. The evening will include a dance performance/presentation by 2016 Lab Artist Onye Ozuzu and a work created in response to the exhibition at the Arts Club by 2014 Lab Artist Ginger Krebs with Elise Cowin. There will be a cocktail reception and an awards presentation followed by a seated dinner. Tickets for the event are available now.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement in dancemaking and is also the single largest source of support for individual choreographers in the city with an open call process. Chicago has seen a remarkable increase in the quality and depth of dancemaking in the fourteen years since its Lab Artist Awards program began. NewCity’s Players 2017 testifies to both this impact and activity, “Chicago Dancemakers Forum constantly drives the wind into the sails of the Chicago dance community. Chicago live arts are undergoing a renaissance, many thanks to [Executive Director, Ginger] Farley’s deft, sensitive and knowledgeable leadership of an organization at the cutting edge.”

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists differ in age, gender, race, sexuality, discipline, and dance forms, including Bharatanatyam, Butoh, Chicago footwork, tap, contemporary dance, dance for the camera, modern dance, voguing, and more. Among the past 50+ Lab Artists are Chicago notables Lane Alexander (American Rhythm Center), Carrie Hanson (The Seldoms), Kevin Iega Jeff (Deeply Rooted Dance Theater), Jonathan Meyer and Julia Antonick (Khecari), Hema Rajagopalan (Natya Dance Theater), Julia Rhoads (Lucky Plush Productions). Other CDF artists, such as Ayako Kato, Barak ade Soleil and Jamal ‘Litebulb’ Oliver, invest in constant artistic exploration specific to their non-traditional paths and goals. Lab Artists have shown their work in venues ranging from tiny community spaces to major theatrical venues locally, throughout the US and across the globe. Many have received prestigious grants and awards subsequent to their Lab Artist year; these honors include the United States Artists Fellowship, “Bessie” New York Dance Awards, MacArthur International Connections Exchange Grant, MAP Fund grant, and National Endowment for the Arts Award. Lab Artists also represent and serve as ambassadors for Chicago’s many communities of artists.

 

Through a two-stage process, the four 2017 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Awardees will be selected for their outstanding creative visions and potential for artistic growth. Each artist has identified a unique path of creative investigation, which will lead to a new dance work.

 

“We are eagerly awaiting the selection of the 2017 Lab Artists and look forward to presenting them to the public on July 13. It is also our goal to cross the finish line on the 2017 Breakout Campaign which will support the Lab Artist grants for years to come,” said Executive Director Ginger Farley.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2017 Lab Artist Awards Celebration and Benefit is co-chaired by Justine Jentes, Peter Taub, and Christine Watkins. The event host committee (in formation) is comprised of Jan Bartoszek and Jeff Usow, Steve and Yayoi Everett, Tim Donza & Christopher Barrett Politan, Frank Fishella, Lisa Yun Lee, Roell Schmidt, Kathryn Quinn, Angel Ysaguirre. Pam Crutchfield is the lead event sponsor.

 

Prior to this event in their honor, the 2017 Lab Artist Awardees will be announced through an emailed press release (on or around June 22) as well as on Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s social media and website. If you would like more information about this event or the 2017 Lab Artists, please contact Shawn Lent, Program Director or Jordan Kunkel, PR/Communications Intern. 

 

 

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Photo: William Frederking

Touch My Beloved's Thought by 2016 Lab Artist, Onye Ozuzu

November 22, 2016

Four dancemakers in Chicago will each receive $15,000 plus mentorship and professional development support 
 
Seven free application information and work sessions at multiple locations across the city kick off vital program’s 14th year

 

 

For immediate release November 22, 2016 • High resolution photos available here

 

Media contacts: Shawn Lent, Program Director at shawn@chicagodancemakers.org 
or 312-550-9172; Zachary Whittenburg, Consortium Member at zwhittenburg@gmail.com

 

CHICAGO – Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF), under the leadership of Executive Director Ginger Farley, is pleased to announce its open call for applications for Lab Artist Awards in 2017, marking the program’s 14th year. The most significant, sustained sources of support for individual choreographers working in Chicago, CDF’s four Lab Artist Awards each include a $15,000 cash grant, combined with a full year of mentorship, as recipients explore and develop new works. The program fosters dance excellence and innovation while building relationships among artists, presenters, audiences and funders.

 

A panel consisting of local and national dance leaders, alongside former Lab Artist awardees, selects choreographers at key moments in their careers, through a two-round process. Applicants must present the content and quality of their completed projects, articulate clear visions and compelling areas of inquiry, and demonstrate firmly grounded work ethics. Successful applicants have developed a distinctive trajectory in their work and are positioned to create high-quality projects of greater depth and scale.

 

Past CDF Lab Artists are diverse in age, gender, race and discipline, working in tap, Bharatanatyam, Chicago footwork, dance for the camera, voguing, contemporary dance, non-dance choreographies, modern techniques, ballet and more. Fifty-three Lab Artist alumni recognized throughout the program's 14 year history — 90% of whom remain based in Chicago — include Lane Alexander of the American Rhythm Center and Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Julia Antonick and Jonathan Meyer of Khecari, Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and Barak adé Soleil. These and other Lab Artist alumni have built national audiences and international recognition since receiving support from CDF and, collectively, CDF’s Lab Artists emanate the distinct character and power of new dance made in Chicago. 

 

Says Ginger Farley, CDF Executive Director: “I am so pleased to once again be able to offer this outstanding program to Chicago choreographers. It’s always an honor to work with the thrillingly talented, bold and risk-taking dancemakers selected for Lab Artist Awards. Over the past 14 years, we have seen and fostered significant expansion and growth of the field of dance in Chicago. CDF is grateful for the support of the donors and funders that make the CDF Lab Artist Awards possible. Their ongoing investment is but one indicator of Chicago’s strong commitment to its exciting, flourishing and distinctly diverse dance communities.”

 

While rigorous and competitive, the CDF Lab Artist selection process is also designed to be educational and energizing for all who participate. Free application and information sessions, integral to the program’s success and offered at CDF community partner sites throughout Chicago, provide space and time for gathering advice, sourcing feedback within the application process, and asking questions.

 

Application Information Sessions: December 2016

 

Near West Side / West Loop
Friday, December 2, 2016 from 8–8:30pm

at the Hubbard Street Dance Center
1147 W Jackson Blvd at S Racine Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60607

Further details available here.

Monthly new choreography showcase DanceChance, co-hosted by DanceWorks Chicago and the Lou Conte Dance Studio, precedes this session from 7–8pm.

 

Lincoln Square / North West Side
Thursday, December 8, 2016 from 4–5:30pm

at the Old Town School of Folk Music - Szold Hall

4545 N Lincoln Ave at W Wilson Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60625

Further details available here.

This session is co-hosted by 2016 CDF Lab Artist Carole McCurdy.

 

Online Chat
Thursday, December 22, 2016 from 10–11am

at facebook.com/ChicagoDancemakers

Further details will soon be available here.

Application Work Sessions: January 2017

 

Rogers Park / Loyola Park / Far North Side

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 from 11am–12:30pm 

at 1230 W Greenleaf Ave at N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, Illinois 60626

Further details available here.

This session is co-hosted by 2010 CDF Lab Artist Rachel Damon of Synapse Arts.

 

River North / Gold Coast / Near North Side
Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 10–11:30am

at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 N Dearborn St at W Oak St
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Further details available here.
This session is co-hosted by 2008 CDF Lab Artist Jan Bartoszek of Hedwig Dances.

 

Downtown Chicago / Loop
Monday, January 16, 2017 from 4:30–6pm

at the Fine Arts Building

410 S Michigan Ave at E Congress Pkwy, Suite 520

Chicago, Illinois 60605

Further details available here.
This session is co-hosted by 2016 CDF Lab Artist Pranita Jain of Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, 2007 CDF Lab Artist and RDDI participant Ayako Kato, and RDDI participant Nico Rubio.

 

Jackson Park / South Shore / Woodlawn
Monday, January 23, 2017 from 6–7:30pm

at the Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 S Stony Island Ave at E 68th St

Chicago, Illinois 60649

Further details available here.

This session is co-hosted by 2016 CDF Lab Artist Onye Ozuzu.

 

Application Timeline: 2017 Lab Artist Awards

 

The first-round application becomes available online starting December 22, 2016 at chicagodancemakers.submittable.com with a deadline of February 6, 2017. There are no fees to apply. Select applicants based on their artistic vision and potential for creative growth will be invited to submit expanded proposals for consideration for a second round in spring 2017, during which finalists will meet individually with CDF staff to receive critical feedback and one-to-one support in developing their full proposals. Even those who are not selected as CDF Lab Artists describe the application process as a constructive, informative experience and opportunity for professional development.

 

December 22, 2016: First-round application goes live

February 6, 2017: Deadline for first-round applications

March 13, 2017: CDF invites select candidates to submit second-round proposals

March 15–May 15, 2017: Finalists meet with CDF staff

May 22, 2017: Deadline for second-round applications

 

Selection criteria for the second-round include innovation, knowledge of craft, depth of perception and social relevance. Lab Artists must possess the skills and experience to undertake a project of extended scale, new discovery or deeper exploration, and the capacity to benefit from an environment of artistic interchange. 

 

June 22, 2017: CDF announces 2017 Lab Artist Awardees

July 2017: CDF Lab Artist Awards Celebration and a retreat beginning the granted year

 

About Chicago Dancemakers Forum

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum elevates the field of dance by being a catalyst for the artistic and professional growth of dancemakers, providing time and resources for in-depth exploration and creation. Through robust interaction among dancemakers and with the public, CDF builds broad support and appreciation for Chicago’s diverse dance communities. The organization bases its work on the following core beliefs: dance matters, an inclusive arts community is the only option, the artist is at the center, creative inquiry is as valuable as product, Chicago has a rich and thriving dance ecosystem, and collaboration activates change.

 

CDF began in 2003 in response to studies which clearly identified a need for multi-layered support of Chicago choreographers. Originally conceived and led by consortium made up of leaders from three of Chicago’s most innovative presenting and incubating dance institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and Links Hall, the consortium now includes the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, and a rotation of former Lab Artists.

 

In 2016 CDF received operating support from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The Chicago Dancemakers Forum has entered its second decade of supporting individual dancemakers and is building a fund of $1,000,000 to sustain its vision into the future, supported by the following foundations and corporate funders: The Chicago Community Trust, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Merrill Lynch, and Sandbox Industries.

 

For more information, contact CDF Program Director Shawn Lent via email at shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.

Image: Jewel Tones by 2016 CDF Lab Artist, Onye Ozuzu

Photo Credit: William Frederking

 

• • •

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCES ARTIST-PRESENTER COLLABORATIONS FOR DANCE SYMPOSIUM OCTOBER 8 AT HIGH CONCEPT LABS

1 September 2016

Full-day event designed to prompt interaction, dialogue and outside-the-lines thinking about dance performance and presentation

For immediate release September 1, 2016 • High-resolution images available here

Media contacts • Shawn Lent, Program Director, shawn@chicagodancemakers.org or Zachary Whittenburg, Consortium Member, 312-850-9744 ext. 136 • zwhittenburg@hubbardstreetdance.com

 

CHICAGO – Today the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) and High Concept Labs (HCL) are pleased to announce the first-ever, city-wide Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance symposium, to be held October 8 at HCL, located at 2233 South Throop Street in Chicago.

 

Pre-registration can be found here. Walk-ups are also welcome.

 

This day-long symposium is one of multiple public programs planned by CDF as part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI), a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ (NEFA) National Dance Project (NDP). This multi-layered, joint initiative supports the professional development of Chicago-based dancemakers, and stimulates networking and partnerships that strengthen the field of dance in Chicago. RDDI Chicago activities began in April 2016 and continue through fall 2017, with the capacity to reach more than 200 Chicago-area dance artists and practitioners. Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance is one of a number of public programs presented by CDF and other local partners, that are designed to share the connections, discoveries and learning generated during the RDDI Chicago Dance Lab — held over 12 days in summer 2016 at the University of Illinois at Champaign–Urbana — out and into Chicago’s broader dance communities, and among their members. The events offered during Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance will be particularly relevant to choreographers, Midwest and Chicago-area performance presenters, dance scholars and students, donors and funders, culture-seekers and dance enthusiasts.

 

The schedule of Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance events is as follows:

 

Morning Panel: “Partnerships”
10:30am–noon

 

Shoshana Currier, Director of Performing Arts, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Kevin Iega Jeff, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Emily Johnson, Choreographer/Director, Catalyst Dance
Michelle Kranicke, Artistic Director, Zephyr Dance
Emily Hooper Lansana, Associate Director, Community Arts Engagement, University of Chicago

Bill Michel, Executive Director, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Joseph Ravens, Performance Artist and Founder, Defibrillator Performance Gallery

 

Moderated by Ginger Farley, Executive Director, Chicago Dancemakers Forum

 

Seven panelists with diverse perspectives speak about their collaborations and relationships, to reveal the depth of commitment and potential for rich dialogue between dance artists and presenters. This panel also explores specific creative approaches these partners have used to collaborate to create and present dance, in spaces ranging from traditional proscenium theater spaces to storefront galleries.

 

Networking Lunch
Noon–1pm

 

Live Performance and Presentation: “In Residence”
1–1:30pm

 

Steven Wang, Executive Director at High Concept Labs, presents the Sponsored Artist Program at HCL, offered twice annually for four-month periods, and designed to promote the growth of artists and their work through customizable, no-cost support services and granted time in its studio spaces. In addition, HCL 2016 Sponsored Artist and Tap Dancer/Hip Hop artist Groundhog, performs live.

 

Afternoon Presentation: “Case Studies”
1:30–3pm

 

Visiting dance artist and choreographer Dahlia Nayar presents an example of her success in relationship-building with performance presenters, as well as her creative approach to developing, securing and executing national touring for their works.

 

Carrie Hanson, Founding Artistic Director of The Seldoms, and Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, reveal the curatorial process and multiple relationships that lead to the production of Power Goes.

 

Says Ginger Farley, Executive Director, Chicago Dancemakers Forum: “I am so excited to gather with this dynamic group of experts from within our field, each of whom brings a unique perspective and a story to tell about the realization of their goals and work in dance. While the panels and presentations will give attendees the opportunity to hear specific examples of successful approaches, we are also pleased to provide additional time and space during the day for networking and casual conversation. Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance is the ideal way for CDF and NEFA to build relationships and stimulate new thinking around the viability and vitality of dance in Chicago.”

 

Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2016 beginning at 10:30am at High Concept Labs (HCL) located at Mana Contemporary Chicago (2233 South Throop Street). A $10 suggested donation from each attendee includes lunch. Visit chicagodancemakersforum.org or call 773-580-9322 in advance to RSVP. Space is limited and programming is subject to change.

 

Artist-Presenter Collaborations for Dance is a program of Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the Regional Dance Development Initiative for Chicago, made possible by funding from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; and national support for the National Dance Project from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 

About the Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) elevates the art form of dance by committing time and resources to individual artists for in-depth exploration and creation. Through robust interchange among dancemakers, CDF catalyzes artistic and professional growth and builds broad support and appreciation for Chicago's diverse dance communities. Now in its second decade, CDF is the only Chicago-based organization dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement in dance. Visit chicagodancemakers.org to learn more.

 

About High Concept Labs

High Concept Labs (HCL) 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. Visit highconceptlabs.org to learn more.

 

About NEFA

NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies. NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. Visit nefa.org or call 617-951-0010 to learn more.

 

For more information about CDF or Artist-Presenter: Collaborations for Dance, or to request interviews or high-resolution images, contact Program Director Shawn Lent at shawn@chicagodancemakers.org, and/or Consortium Member Zachary Whittenburg at 312-850-9744 ext. 136 or zwhittenburg@hubbardstreetdance.com.

Image: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Photo Credit: SANDRO

 

# # #

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCES 2016 LAB ARTIST AWARDS

29 June 2016

Chicago-based dance artists Pranita Jain, Carole McCurdy, Onye Ozuzu and Catherine Sullivan will each receive $15,000 and additional support for the research and creation of new works

 

Awardees to be recognized July 15 at the Arts Club of Chicago

 

For immediate release June 29, 2016 • High-resolution images available here

Media contacts • Shawn Lent, Program Director, or Zachary Whittenburg, Consortium Member

337-794-8222 • shawn@chicagodancemakers.org or
312-850-9744 ext. 136 • zwhittenburg@hubbardstreetdance.com

 

CHICAGO – Today the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) and Executive Director Ginger Farley are pleased to announce the four recipients of  2016 CDF Lab Artist Awards: Pranita Jain, Carole McCurdy, Onye Ozuzu and Catherine Sullivan will each be granted $15,000 by CDF, in addition to receiving 12 months of mentorship and peer support.

 

Now in its second decade of supporting individual dancemakers as they explore and develop new work, CDF fosters excellence and innovation in dance, while building relationships among dance artists, audiences, funders and presenters. The organization elevates and stimulates Chicago’s cultural life, and its complex and diverse dance communities, by providing choreographers with time and resources for interaction, inquiry and innovation, while fostering a broad environment for appreciation of, support for, and access to dance.

 

Says Ginger Farley, Executive Director of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum: “I am eager for a year of creative exchange with these four extraordinary, Chicago-based artists. One of the key things we have heard from members of our city’s dance communities, is that artists are thirsty for dialogue and interaction bridging aesthetic and cultural distinctions, and that they yearn for greater exchange among their disciplines and practices. The areas of inquiry that Jain, McCurdy, Ozuzu and Sullivan have proposed provide a rich ground for individual contemplation as well as stimulating interaction between them, as they embark on these new creations.”

 

A panel consisting of local and national dance leaders and previous Lab Artist awardees selects four talented artists working in the field of dance, at key moments in their artistic development. Each must demonstrate a clear vision, a solid body of work, a compelling line of inquiry and a firmly grounded work ethic. Executed through two rounds of applications — the first being open and a second finalist round — the selection process is rigorous, competitive and educational.

 

Throughout their year of CDF support, Lab Artists participate in regular roundtable meetings designed to strengthen relationships with their peers and people of influence in the field. Internal program evaluations confirm that CDF Lab Artists not only value the financial support, but also the lengthened time for artistic process and professional development CDF offers. In addition, awardees view the grants as essential ingredients in furthering their artistic growth, and encouraging their visibility.

 

Says Zachary Whittenburg, the CDF consortium member representing Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: “Each year, the Lab Artist selection process is as illuminating as it is competitive, and 2016 was no exception. Among the trends emerging from this particular group of proposals were shared interests in labor practices, and deeply considered questions about identity. Multiple applicants also expressed some degree of conflict between challenging and upholding time-honored traditions to which they were dedicated. The full experience has only reinforced my enthusiasm about the vitality of dance in Chicago, and reconfirmed its effectiveness as an art form uniquely suited to reflect contemporary life.”

 

The four 2016 Lab Artists have been chosen for their outstanding creative visions, and their potential for artistic growth. Each artist has identified a unique path of creative investigation, which will lead to an original, public-facing project.

 

About the 2016 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists

 

Pranita Jain is a performer, choreographer, company director, curator and producer working in Indian classical dance. Trained in New Delhi, India, Jain relocated to the United States in 1985 to study dance ethnography. She is currently Executive Artistic Director of Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, and also founded and directed Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts. She has performed, choreographed and produced widely in the U.S. and India. In addition, Jain is a dedicated and highly sought-after educator. She returns to India annually to connect with other artists in order to stay current, and to enrich her understanding of Indian performance and culture, as they evolve.

 

Jain’s CDF-funded project, Unwinding, is the process she pursues to contemporize the classical Indian dance form Bharat Natyam. She takes the “original” movements that she has practiced for decades, called adavu, and she makes them new. Creating new adavu means incorporating new positions, new body levels and new sounds; it also includes a change to corresponding rhythmic syllables used in the Carnatic accompaniment. Choreographically, the act of unwinding involves freeing up the restrictions within a given adavu, to understand how it limits or liberates Jain’s expression. Unwinding, the project, describes and reveals the creative tension between the diasporic experience and upholding tradition.

 

Carole McCurdy is a Chicago-based artist who creates movement-based performance. Her work addresses grief and anxiety, duty and resistance, and the absurd mysteries of embodiment. She has performed locally at spaces including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Church of the Epiphany, Links Hall, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, High Concept Labs and Defibrillator Performance Gallery, and in New York City at Movement Research. In 2014 she danced under viaducts in downtown Chicago and then toured Indonesia with 2007 CDF Lab Artist Nicole LeGette’s blushing poppy Dance Club. In 2008–09, she was awarded a six-month artistic residency at Links Hall, where she created and showed her ensemble piece, Alas.

 

Pairing influences from two very different dance worlds — butoh and Argentine tango — McCurdy’s CDF-funded project (((waver)) aims to explore the ways we embrace otherness. Each tango embrace is a meeting of two worlds and involves delicate negotiations of balance, resistance and yielding; butoh is a continuously shifting embrace of all that is otherworldly within the human body. Both forms emerged during eras of massive social displacement, and both waver between female and male, presence and nostalgia, attention and forgetting. Moved by the inchoate connections transmitted by these forms, (((waver)) seeks a partnership between them, to refresh the sensation of being bodies together.

 

Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has been actively presenting work, both nationally and internationally, since 1997. Recently, she premiered Black Saint and the Sinner Lady at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The live dance and music performance, in honor of Charles Mingus’s 1963 album of the same name, was made in collaboration with jazz composer and saxophonist Greg Ward, and was commissioned by Links Hall and Constellation. Ozuzu’s group improvisational score, The Technology of the Circle, was a featured presentation during Chicago Artists Month 2015.

 

Ozuzu’s CDF-funded work, Project Tool, is a durational performance installation. Within Project Tool, a mature dancer’s body explores, through using handheld tools and legacy processes, the relationships between mind, body and tool. In collaboration with a group of improvisational performers, dance artists, and architect-carpenters, Ozuzu will build a shared dance space. In building this space together, the group will explore the actions, techniques, qualities and capacities of the body which become involved through the acts of building. Tools will serve as functional, aesthetic, corporeal, somatic, representational and abstract influences, all at once.

 

Catherine Sullivan has created film, theater and installation work with numerous collaborators and ensembles, both nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at venues including France’s Opéra de Lyon and the Berlin International Film Festival, and her solo exhibitions have been held at the Walker Art Center, Vienna Secession, Metro Pictures, and Galerie Catherine Bastide. Group exhibitions have included the Whitney Museum, and Moscow and Gwangju biennials. Sullivan’s notable recognitions include an Alpert Award in the Arts, and her work is held in private and public collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Tate Modern in London, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.

 

Sullivan’s CDF-funded project, Unfinished Business – a sensitivity training, is the first episode in a series of movement-driven short films concerned with self-possession, and with the regulation of labor through the senses. The pilot episode will focus on a scene of ambiguous labor — uncompensated work outside one’s job description — absorbed by the female characters. Action will be shaped through a rigorous interplay between heavily stylized movements, dance idioms, mises en scène, and tense relationships between film, dance and dramatic acting. The episodic form is relevant to the social and political dilemmas described by Sullivan’s project, which will renew the question of “unfinished business” over time.

 

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2016 Lab Artist Awards Celebration

 

All four artists will be present and recognized at the Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2016 Lab Artist Awards Celebration, to be held on Friday, July 15 beginning at 5:30pm at the Arts Club of Chicago, located at 201 East Ontario Street in Chicago. The gala evening and dinner will also feature live, site-specific performances by Jessica Cornish, and 2015 CDF Lab Artist Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver with footwork crew The Era. Single tickets are $175 each; sponsorship opportunities and reservations for tables of nine begin at $1,250. Visit chicagodancemakersforum.org or call 773-580-9322 in advance.

 


About the Chicago Dancemakers Forum

 

A consortium of committed individuals founded CDF in 2003. They included representatives from Chicago’s most innovative presenting and incubating dance institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and Links Hall. In 2016, the founding consortium continues to lead the program and has expanded to include leaders from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, alongside an independent arts advocate and Lab Artist alumni serving in rotation.

 

Prior Lab Artist Awardees were, in 2015, Barak adé Soleil, Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver, Benjamin Holliday Wardell and Sara Zalek; in 2014, J’Sun Howard, Ginger Krebs, Adam Rose and Ahmad Simmons; in 2012, Paige Cunningham, Kristina Isabelle, Mark Jeffery and Victor Alexander; in 2010, Rachel Bunting, Rachel Damon, Meida McNeal and Erica Mott; in 2009, Julia Rae Antonick, Lin Hixson, Kevin Iega Jeff and Atalee Judy; in 2008, Jan Bartoszek, Peter Carpenter, Jonathan Meyer and Nadia Oussenko; in 2007, Matthew Hollis, Ayako Kato, Nicole LeGette and Julia Mayer; in 2006, Darrell Jones, Michelle Kranicke, Margaret Morris and Molly Shanahan; in 2005, Asimina Chremos, Margi Cole, Carrie Hanson and Julia Rhoads; in 2004, Lane Alexander, Shirley Mordine, Hema Rajagopalan and Eduardo Vilaro; and in 2003, Ginger Farley, Jimmy Payne, Jr., Sheldon B. Smith and Erica Wilson-Perkins.

 

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum is supported by the following foundation and organizational funders: The Chicago Community Trust, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Goldman Sachs, the Morrison-Shearer Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

 

For more information about CDF’s 2016 Lab Artist Awardees, or to request interviews or high-resolution images, contact Program Director Victoria Bradford at 337-794-8222 or victoria@chicagodancemakers.org, and/or Consortium Member Zachary Whittenburg at 312-850-9744 ext. 136 or zwhittenburg@hubbardstreetdance.com.

 

Visit chicagodancemakers.org to learn more.

 

# # #

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM AND NEFA ANNOUNCE RDDI CHICAGO PUBLIC PROGRAMS FOR 2016–17

3.31.2016

Creative and professional development workshops to be offered in conjunction with Regional Dance Development Initiative

 

(CHICAGO, IL) The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF), together with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), is excited to offer seven public programs through spring 2017, in conjunction with RDDI Chicago, designed to serve members of Chicago’s many dance communities with workshops and convenings addressing creative and professional practices.

 

RDDI Chicago is part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP), which provides professional growth for dance artists in regions across the U.S., through programs designed to help dance artists clarify goals, develop strategies, hone public presentation skills, and strengthen partnerships between artists and performing-arts presenters. A national panel of arts professionals recently selected the 12 Chicago-based dance artists who will participate in a 10-day RDDI Dance Lab for Chicago, produced with support from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 

Before and after the 10-day RDDI Dance Lab, CDF will coordinate a series of public events for members of Chicago’s many dance communities to address specific needs and topics which emerged from the in-depth planning phase for RDDI, and in response to recommendations from the national panel who reviewed all applications for the RDDI Dance Lab in addition to selecting the 12 participants. Many of these activities are designed with the capacity to develop as needed in response to issues which arise during the RDDI Dance Lab. The RDDI Chicago Public Programs will share the new connections, discoveries, and learning of the RDDI Dance Lab out and into Chicago’s broader dance communities and among their members. These programs have the capacity to reach more than 200 Chicago-area dance artists through spring 2017.

 

Specific challenges, opportunities, questions and shared values have been identified through a series of public information sessions, meetings, and review panels held since April 2015 regarding RDDI Chicago, convened by CDF and held at locations throughout Chicago. These include:

 

•  Concerns that dance-related activities in Chicago are not widely visible outside the immediate region, despite the number and diversity of artists creating and sharing their work

•  Desires for greater connectivity among members of Chicago’s various dance communities, specifically across generations, city geographies, dance disciplines and practices

•  The needs of dance artists for critical discourse and actionable feedback about their work

•  An increased demand for space, as well as research and development opportunities which support the unique creative processes of dance artists

•  Support for and information about alternative but viable structures for dance companies, as well as for leadership transitions within established companies and organizations

•  Discussion regarding issues of sustainability and capacity, emerging from the entrepreneurial nature of professional dance work, as well as the need to develop, model, and implement successful strategies in response to these issues

 

RDDI Chicago Public Programs for 2016–17
Further details available and/or forthcoming; please note all programming is subject to change

 

Choreographic Workshop Series

These public workshops, led by established, nationally recognized dance artists, will address choreographic development while representing multiple dance approaches and traditions for artists who are working independently of academic programs. These workshops’ elements are intended to stimulate new thinking for attendees and catalyze their artistic processes.

 

•  Choreographic Workshop with Tere O’Connor: April 23, 2016 
at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, 1147 West Jackson Boulevard

•  Choreographic Workshop with Bebe Miller: September 17, 2016
at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street

 

Making Your Life as an Artist

Former choreographer Andrew Simonet will lead an impactful two-day workshop based on his book, Making Your Life as an Artist, which has been shared free of charge as an e-book. Since 2006, Simonet’s program, Artists U, has built a grassroots platform for helping artists build balanced and sustainable lives.

 

•  Making Your Life as an Artist with Andrew Simonet: June 17 and 18, 2016 
at Defibrillator Performance Gallery, 1463 West Chicago Avenue

 

Artist and Presenter Symposium

This public program will engage presenters and artists local to Chicago with one another in discussions about creative and successful artist-presenter partnerships and relationships. Agenda, panelists and participants will be announced at a later date.

         

•  Artist and Presenter Symposium: October 8, 2016 
at High Concept Labs at MANA Contemporary Chicago, 2233 South Throop Avenue

 

Dance Marketing Panel

Hosted by RDDI Chicago advisory member organization Audience Architects as part of its fall 2016 Community Convening, this public program will foster dialogue among artists around dancemaking and marketing. A panel will discuss tools and best practices to help artists utilize language both to clearly represent their work and to communicate effectively with members of their current and future audiences. Panel topics may include building communities, designing project-specific and broader social media campaigns, and effective branding for artists and their organizations. Agenda, panelists and participants will be announced at a later date.

 

•   Dance Marketing Panel: November 17, 2016
Part of Audience Architects’ Fall 2016 Community Convening, 444 N Wabash Ave, basement level event space

 

Public Dialogue: Dance Through the Artist’s Frame

In recognition of Chicago’s flourishing community creating work in dance through the frame or lens of visual arts, CDF will partner with Gallery 400 to design interdisciplinary activities and live performances intended to stimulate dialogue and artistic activity. This activity will be held in conjunction with a forthcoming exhibition highlighting the American dance artist, choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, her body of work, and its continued influence. Agenda, panelists and participants will be announced at a later date.

 

•   Public Dialogue: Dance Through the Artist’s Frame: Spring 2017, date TBA
at Gallery 400, 400 South Peoria Street

 

 

About the Chicago Dancemakers Forum 
The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is a catalyst for innovation, and a means to increase dynamic interaction among dancemakers living and working in Chicago. CDF provides multi-layered support for choreographers by making cash grants, presenting public workshops and events, and offering professional development and residency opportunities for Chicago-based choreographers. Structured as a not-for-profit, CDF is the only Chicago-based organization dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement in dance, and to new-dance development. By focusing on the creative processes of individual dance artists, CDF cultivates, encourages and inspires artistic exploration and professional growth, fueling the field of dance in Chicago overall. Visit chicagodancemakers.org to learn more.

 

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies. NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. Visit nefa.org or call 617-951-0010 to learn more.

 

• • •

NEFA AND CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCE CHICAGO RDDI ARTISTS

1.27.16

12 Chicago artists selected to participate in Regional Dance Development Initiative

 

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts, together with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, is excited to announce the 12 Chicago-based artists selected to participate in a 10-day dance lab with support from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 

The dance lab is part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP), which provides professional growth for dance artists in regions across the U.S. through programs designed to help dance artists clarify goals, develop strategies, hone public presentation skills, and strengthen partnerships between artists and presenters.

 

“NEFA’s work with the Chicago dance community in developing this RDDI has been particularly rewarding, and the generous early response from local foundations makes it possible to move forward," said NEFA deputy director Jane Preston. “We are excited about building more connections and opportunities for these artists, as well as strengthening Chicago dance artists’ connections to each other and to the national dance field.”

 

A national panel selected 12 artists from a highly competitive pool of 36 applicants who represent a broad range of career stages and dance disciplines including: African, butoh, burlesque, contemporary, dance on film, improvisation, interdisciplinary, and tap, representing multiple neighborhoods across the greater Chicago area. The 2016 RDDI Chicago Dance Lab Artists are:

 

 

The panel consisted of five artists and presenters from around the country, including: Rob Bailis, Associate Director at Cal Performances, San Francisco, CA; Jennifer Calienes, Independent Consultant, Boston, MA; Laura Elaine Ellis, Choreographer, Producer, Executive Director at African and African American Performing Arts Coalition, San Francisco, CA; Chuck Helm, Director of Performing Arts at Wexner Center for the Arts; Columbus, OH; Christopher K. Morgan, Choreographer, Artistic Director Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, Washington D.C.

 

The Chicago Dance Lab will take place July 29–August 9, 2016, along with additional workshops and events open to the Chicago dance community in 2016 and 2017.

 

“The Chicago Dancemakers Forum is honored to be the local host and to partner with NEFA on RDDI Chicago. We’ve learned so much about our community of dance artists through the selection process alone, and are excited to take a deep dive with this exceptional group of selected RDDI participants at the summer Chicago Dance Lab,” commented Ginger Farley, executive director of CDF.

 

Since 2004, dance labs have been held in the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Bay Area, New England, and Minnesota. Outcomes for previous lab artists have included national funding, commissioning of new and collaborative projects, national and international festival residencies, and extended engagements and partnerships with presenters.

 

NEFA launched the National Dance Project in 1996 to encourage the creation of new dance work to share with audiences in communities throughout the U.S.  Since then, the program has distributed more than $28 million in grants and remains one of the most significant sources for dance funding in the U.S. NDP has reached over 3.6 million audience members in all 50 states, Washington D.C, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NEFA's National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the French American Cultural Exchange, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

 

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies. NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.

 

About Chicago Dancemakers Forum
The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is a catalyst for innovation and a means to increase dynamic interaction among Chicago’s dancemakers. CDF provides multi-layered support for choreographers by making cash grants, presenting public workshops and events, and offering professional development and residency opportunities for choreographers. CDF is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely nurturing artistic advancement and new dance development for the dancemaking field. By focusing on the creative process CDF cultivates artistic exploration and growth for individual artists, fueling the field of dance in Chicago overall. CDF is a not-for-profit organization. www.chicagodancemakers.org.

 

###

 

IMAGE: Khecari (Julia Rae Antonick and Jonathan Meyer); Photo by John Sisson.

 

CONTACT: 
Ann Wicks/NEFA | 617.951.0010 x534  
Victoria Bradford/CDF | 337.794.8222

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM 
ANNOUNCES 2016 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

January 4, 2016

CDF welcomes applications from January 4 to February 8, 2016 in its 12th year of granting Lab Artist Awards

 

Four selected awardees will each receive $15,000 supporting the research, development and presentation of new work
 

CHICAGO — Chicago Dancemakers Forum is pleased to announce its annual call for proposals for its Lab Artist Awards in 2016. Through $15,000 cash awards complemented by a full year of mentorship and professional development, CDF supports choreographers as they explore and develop new work. CDF fosters dance excellence and innovation while building relationships among dance artists, presenters, audiences, and funders.

 

CDF Lab Artist alumni are diverse in age, gender, race, and dance discipline, working in tap, Bharatanatyam, Chicago house culture, dance for the camera / dance cinema, voguing, contemporary dance, non-dance choreographies, movement improvisation, modern techniques, footwork, and ballet. These 49 Lab Artist alumni — 90% of whom remain based in Chicago — include Lane Alexander of the American Rhythm Center and Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Julia Antonick and Jonathan Meyer of Khecari, Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and Barak adé Soleil. They and others work actively in the field, with many building national audiences and international recognition in the years since receiving their CDF awards. 

 

“The most fulfilling outgrowth of my experience with CDF is that research and development practices were set in motion and they continue to inform my process of making work,” says Julia Rhoads, CDF Lab Artist in 2005 and artistic director of Lucky Plush Productions. “I am also grateful to CDF for offering a platform where I could have a deep and detailed exchange with other choreographers and a consortium of colleagues who are active in the field.”

 

The 2016 Lab Artist application will be available online starting on January 1, 2016. Visit this link: http://chicagodancemakers.submittable.com to access and submit the online form. Three optional Application Work Sessions will be offered by CDF in order to advise those interested in completing the online form. Select applicants will be invited to complete and submit expanded proposals for consideration during a second round, during which each candidate will meet with the CDF Program Director.

 

The complete program cycle is as follows (dates subject to change):

 

2016 Lab Artist Application Work Sessions:  

 

January 4, 2016 from 6–8pm at the Chicago Cultural Center 

February 11, 2016 from 6–8pm at the Old Town School of Folk Music

February 13, 2016 from 6–8pm at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative

 

2016 Lab Artist Award Cycle:

 

January 1, 2016: Application opens for 2016 Lab Artist Award proposals

February 8, 2016: Application closes (first-round submission deadline)

February 29, 2016: CDF invites select candidates to submit expanded proposals

March 1 to May 22, 2016: CDF Program Director meets with second-round applicants

May 23, 2016: Second-round expanded proposal submission deadline

June 29, 2016: CDF announces four Lab Artist Awardees for 2016

July 2016: CDF Lab Artist retreat launches full year of granting and support

 

CDF selects Lab Artists based on their artistic vision and potential for creative growth. Strong candidates are active in their field and developing a distinctive trajectory in their work. Lab Artists possess the skills and experience to undertake a project of extended scale, new discovery, or deeper exploration, and the capacity to benefit from an environment of artistic interchange. They are able to articulate their needs, use independent research time, and make the most of their opportunities to work with the consortium members and other artists participating in the program. 

 

Contact Victoria Bradford at 337-794-8222 / victoria@chicagodancemakers.org and/or Zachary Whittenburg at 312-850-9744 X 136 / zwhittenburg@hubbardstreetdance.com.

 

 

ABOUT CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM

CDF was founded in 2003 in response to studies which clearly identified a need for multi-layered support of Chicago choreographers. CDF addresses that need through its Lab Artist Program which makes $15,000 cash grants to selected, independent recipients. By combining these grants with mentorship throughout the research, development and performance of new work, the program builds a strong community of colleagues and peers for its artists. CDF emphasizes creative process and encourages choreographers to delve deeply into their work. Throughout the year of support Lab Artists participate in regular roundtable meetings designed to strengthen relationships with their peers and people of influence in the field. 

 

A panel consisting of local and national dance leaders and previous award recipients selects four talented choreographers at a key moment in their artistic development. Applicants must demonstrate quality of work, a clear vision, a solid body of work, a compelling area of inquiry, and a firmly grounded work ethic. The selection process is rigorous, competitive and educational, beginning with an open call for proposals. After an initial selection process the panel applies criteria such as innovation, knowledge of craft, depth of perception, and social relevance to a second review. All applicants receive critical feedback with finalists receiving one-to-one support in developing their full proposals. Even those who are not selected describe the application process as a constructive, professional development opportunity.

 

Past evaluations of Lab Artists program show that the artists deeply value the financial awards, elongated time for artistic process, and the interaction that CDF offers. The experience of the Lab Artist year is highly validating. In addition, choreographers view the grants as essential ingredients in furthering their artistic development, as well as increasing prestige and visibility. In recent years more than half of the applicants were new to the panelists, which indicates the increasing strength and diversity of the dance field in Chicago and the ongoing relevance of CDF as a support system.

 

A consortium of committed individuals founded CDF in 2003. They included representatives of Chicago’s most innovative presenting and incubating dance institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and Links Hall. The Chicago Community Trust supplied seed money for the first three years of the program through its Dance Initiative, led by Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin. Ongoing, the consortium organizations have provided a variety of resources for CDF and the artists. In 2014 the consortium expanded to include leaders from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and a rotation of Lab Artist alumni.

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCES RFP FOR DANCE ARTISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CHICAGO DANCE LAB: October 2015 workshop series to assist applicants

(9/18/15; Chicago, IL)

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF), together with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), are initiating plans for a 10-day dance lab in Chicago, related professional development, and a citywide showcase for dance artists. Request for proposals is now available online at chicagodancemakers.org. Deadline for applications is Monday, November 2, 2015 at 5:00PM.

 

The dance lab is part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP). The RDDI provides professional growth for dance artists in regions across the U.S. through a 10-day dance lab designed to clarify goals, develop strategies, hone public presentation skills, and strengthen partnerships between artists and presenters. NEFA and CDF will engage a cohort of national dance leaders to work with Chicago dance artists in an immersive curriculum. Since 2004, dance labs have been held in the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Bay Area, New England, and Minnesota.

 

Together with other local partners, NEFA and the Chicago Dancemakers Forum have hosted exploratory meetings, establishing the interest of the dance community and how a Chicago lab would be specifically tailored to meet their needs. Additional key planning partners include Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Audience Architects.

 

In October, CDF will lead work sessions to support artists in preparing competitive proposals. These sessions will focus on the current language artists are using to describe their work and how artists define their goals. Six sessions across Chicago's neighborhoods will be offered. See details here.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with NEFA and to have the opportunity to bring this impactful program to the Chicago dance community,” said Ginger Farley, Executive Director of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum. “We’ve seen the effectiveness of this program in other cities and can’t wait to see what it does to reveal and elevate dance in Chicago.”

 

With a $200K challenge grant from The Reva and David Logan Foundation and a $75,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Chicago Dance Lab is projected to occur in the summer of 2016, with post-lab activities following in the fall and winter. A city-wide dance showcase would follow in the fall of 2017 and would feature the lab artists as well as other local artists, along with regional, national, and international dance presenters. The project would culminate with grants to support residencies, presentations, or other projects with lab and showcase artists. 

 

“We are very excited that this generous challenge grant from the Logan Foundation has already leveraged significant support in the form of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. This advances NEFA’s partnership with Chicago’s dance community through significant investment in realizing a multi-year RDDI program,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards.

 

Outcomes for previous lab artists have included national funding, commissioning of new and collaborative projects, national and international festival residencies, and extended engagements and partnerships with presenters. More information on the previous RDDI labs can be found on NEFA's website. Information on the Chicago Dance Lab can be found on CDF’s website.

 

NEFA launched the National Dance Project in 1996 to encourage the creation of new dance work to share with audiences in communities throughout the U.S.  Since then, the program has distributed more than $28 million in grants and remains one of the most significant sources for dance funding in the U.S. NDP has reached over 3.6 million audience members in all 50 states, Washington D.C, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NEFA's National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French American Cultural Exchange. 

 

About the Chicago Dancemakers Forum
CDF strengthens the field of dance in Chicago overall by supporting deep investigation, bold risk-taking, and artistic rigor. CDF provides multi-layered support for Chicago choreographers through its Lab Artists program, as well as through public workshops, events, and residencies, all with a strong emphasis on artistic and professional development. The CDF Lab Artist Program makes four $15,000 cash grants to choreographers annually, each supplemented by mentorship throughout the research, development, and performance of the grantees’ newly choreographed work. Visit chicagodancemakers.org.

 

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies.

 

NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.

 

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CONTACT: Victoria Bradford | 337.794.8222

CHICAGO DANCEMAKERS FORUM ANNOUNCES 2015 LAB ARTIST AWARDS

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is delighted to announce the four recipients of its 2015 CDF Lab Artist Awards. Each Chicago-based artist will receive $15,000 as well as 12 months of mentorship and peer support. Choreographers Barak ade Soleil, Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver, Benjamin Holiday Wardell, and Sara Zalek were selected by an esteemed panel comprised of local and national dance leaders, artists, scholars and arts administrators, following a rigorous, two-round application process. Each grantee was identified as being within a key moment in their artistic development, demonstrated a clear vision, a solid body of work, a compelling line of inquiry, and a firmly grounded work ethic.

 

Under the leadership of Executive Director Ginger Farley, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum is in its second decade of supporting individual dancemakers as they explore and develop new work. CDF fosters dance excellence and innovation while building relationships among dance artists, audiences, and funders.

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