Chicago Dancemakers Forum Announces New Public Programs

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

• Choreographic Workshop with Abby Zbikowski: December 10, 2016
at Links Hall, 3111 North Western Avenue

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 to learn more.

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