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Chicago Dancemakers Forum Invites Proposals From Chicago's Dancemakers For Its 2019 Grant Programs

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, up to 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 Session

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.


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)


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


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)


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) of Chicago Urban Dance Collective


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


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)


Monday, January 7, 2019

3:30 - 5:00 PM

Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative

1456 E 70th St, Chicago, IL 60637

Co-hosted by Rebuild Foundation and Ayesha Jaco (Lab Artist 2018)


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

6:00 - 7:30 PM

South Side Community Art Center

3831 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60653

Co-hosted by the South Side Community Art Center and Jenn Freeman aka Po'Chop (Lab Artist 2018)

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