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Chicago Dancemakers Forum Announces A Free Celebration Of Contemporary Dance


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


Erin Kilmurray

Ginger Krebs

Fujima Yoshinojo/Rika Lin

Lucky Plush Productions

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


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

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

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

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.

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.

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