CHRP Raises $140,000, Awards Dorrance and Young with JUBA!

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), which fosters social reconciliation through American tap and contemporary percussive arts in world-class, innovative performance, education and outreach programs, hosted its 26th Jubalee Gala November 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Attended by nearly 250 people, the event raised more than $140,000 from a combination of ticket sales, sponsorships, a paddle raise, a raffle and contributions.

JUBA! Awards and performance
At the Jubalee, CHRP honored MacArthur Fellowship and Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer-performer Michelle Dorrance and STOMP star, Bessie Award winner and master teacher-choreographer Nicholas Young together with the JUBA! Award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Field for their groundbreaking collaboration on Dorrance Dance's ETM: Double Down. Past JUBA! Award recipients include Tommy Tune, Gregory Hines, Bill Irwin, Savion Glover, Fayard Nicholas, Maurice Hines, Luke Cresswell, American Airlines, TARGET, Richard G. Weinberg, Elaine Cohen, Mayor and Mrs. Richard M. Daley, Ted and Susan Oppenheimer, Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Patti Eylar and Charles Gardner and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

As a teenager, Dorrance studied in CHRP's annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference and later returned to teach, choreograph and perform as a part of CHRP's summer festival, Rhythm World. She choreographed a suite of dances for the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference program, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2012, and a new work, Push Past Break, funded by the Princess Grace Foundation, for CHRP's resident ensemble, BAM! Young has also been a longtime collaborator with CHRP, leading a three-year residency for his Institute for the Rhythmic Arts, an integrated approach to foot, hand and body percussion, during Rhythm World. Young will return to Chicago in 2017 to continue the IFTRA residency.

Jubalee guests also had the opportunity to see a full-length sneak peek of the Chicago premiere of Dorrance Dance performing ETM: Double Down, co-presented November 4-6 by CHRP, the Chicago Humanities Festival and the MCA and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a part of the 35th anniversary of the renowned Fellows Program.

Event Sponsors were Paul Levy and Mia Park and an anonymous donor. Lunch and Dessert Reception Sponsors were Dena Gordon and Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin. Producing Sponsors were Charlie Gardner and Patti Eylar, Northern Trust and Cari and Barry Shein. Supporting Sponsors were Segal Consulting, US Bank, Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra, Ginger Farley and Robert Shapiro, Lane Alexander and Michael Foster and Whitehall Hotel.

Story of Juba and the JUBA! Award
William Henry Lane was the first African American allowed to perform with white minstrel dancers in the 1840s. Lane and an Irishman named John Diamond were promoted in a series of staged tap dance competitions throughout the United States, and Lane won the huge majority. He went on to give command performances before the crowned heads of Europe and was proclaimed the greatest dancer of all time by American and European critics alike. He was given the appellation "Juba"-master of all dancers. Juba (also spelled giuba) is a river/valley/city in Somalia/Ethiopia/ Sudan. It is also a word in Swahili/Zulu/Italian with meanings as varied as "king" and "dove." A juba was also a dance created by slaves featuring hand clapping and foot stomping, referred to as "patting the juba."

William Henry Lane faced crushing prejudice in a country still divided by slavery and was still able to accomplish, to excel and to win. Lane's life is a testament to the ability of people to overcome all obstacles, to excel despite adversity and to affect change through acts of personal courage and fortitude. This award acknowledges those who personify these characteristics through their support of the art of tap dance.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Free for All Fund, MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at Prince, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Joyce Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Dance USA/Engaging Dance Audiences, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Deluxe Foundation, The Saints, BMO Harris, Northern Trust Charitable Trust, DeKalb Community Foundation, Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin, Charles Gardner and Patti Eylar, Jane Ellen Murray and Ed Wentz, The Oppenheimer Family Foundation, Joyce Chelberg, Lyon Family Foundation, The Weinberg Family Foundation,, Jeannette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas, Phil and Marsha Dowd, Ingenuity's Creative Schools Fund, Capezio and Dancing Fair.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project
For 26 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has helped to foster the revival of American tap dance throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world-Rhythm World-and has expanded through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for children, teens, adults and seniors.

During the last 26 years, CHRP has educated and performed globally for millions of people; received an Emmy Award nomination, as well as national airings, for JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, which was co-produced with ITVS and WTTW/Channel 11; earned an NEA American Masterpieces grant administered by the Illinois Arts Council Agency; curated the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center's three largest theaters for a sold-out audience of 1,100 in the Eisenhower Theater; provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in tap dance scholarships to more than 300 deserving, talented teens; and, most recently, led a collaborative effort to establish a shared dance/arts space in the center of the Chicago Cultural Mile: the American Rhythm Center (ARC). CHRP's vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts, which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public. For information, visit

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