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See Chicago Dance Announces Its 2024 Gala Community Celebration Date And Honorees

This annual celebration of Chicago's dance Community will honor Jan Bartoszek, Patti Eylar and the 2024 Honorary Chairs Carol Fox and Niki Morrison.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
See Chicago Dance Announces Its 2024 Gala Community Celebration Date And Honorees  Image
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See Chicago Dance has announced its 2024 Gala Community Celebration & Awards Presentation, Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina. Tickets are $300 and will be available at SeeChicagoDance.com on Monday, July 22. Table sponsorships (with seating for ten) are available now, starting at $3,000. 

The annual Gala Community Celebration & Awards Presentation gathers 250 dance supporters and artists to celebrate Chicago's dynamic dance community and honor individuals who have made a significant, sustained impact. In 2024, See Chicago Dance presents the See Chicago Dance Legacy Award to Jan Bartoszek, founder and artistic director of Hedwig Dances. Also being honored at the Gala is dancer, teacher, and philanthropist  Patti Eylar, who is being presented with the Distinguished Service to the Dance Field Award.

In addition to these annual awards, SCD will also honor Carol Fox and Niki Morrison, the founders of See Chicago Dance (formerly Audience Architects). This year, they serve as the event's honorary chairs.

The event co-chairs are Kay Burnett, Pam Crutchfield, Winifred Haun, and Kevin McGirr. The 2024 Host Committee currently includes Robin Edwards (Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center), Honorary Chair Carol Fox+ (Carol Fox & Associates), Judie Moore Green+ (Auditorium Theater), Roderick Hawkins (Northwestern University), Meghan McNamara+ (Levitt Pavilion Denver), Michael McStraw+ (Chicago Dance History Project), Princess Mhoon (Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project), Honorary Chair Niki Morrison+ (Carol Fox & Associates), Brian Smith+ (Joffrey Ballet) and Linda Swayze (Joffrey Ballet).

+ Connotes past See Chicago Dance board presidents 

“This is going to be an amazing gala! Not only are we honoring the legacy and service of Jan and Patti and the amazing impact they've had on Chicago dance, we are also shining a spotlight on the foresight Carol and Niki had twenty years ago when they developed SeeChicagoDance.com. After it was launched in 2005, the success of the website led to the incorporation of SCD,” says Executive Director Julia Mayer. “As we celebrate the origins of our organization, we are also developing a new state-of-the-art, community-driven website that will take us into the decades to come. All funds raised this year, beyond our general operations needs, will go to support this exciting new platform. We can't wait to celebrate all of this with our community on September 24.”

In addition to being a community celebration, this gala is See Chicago Dance's annual fundraiser and includes a cocktail reception, a seated dinner with awards presentation, a tease of the new SeeChicagoDance.com website, a paddle raise, and a performance by Hedwig Dances. More details on the evening's program will be forthcoming.

The location for the event, Venue West, is fully accessible. See Chicago Dance will provide ASL interpretation, CART captioning, and large print programs. If guests require other accommodations, they may contact See Chicago Dance's Membership & Operations Manager Kennedy Ward at Kennedy@SeeChicagoDance.com.

ABOUT JAN BARTOSZEK, 2024 LEGACY AWARD RECIPIENT

Jan Bartoszek is an American choreographer and the founder and artistic director of Hedwig Dances. For decades, she has created powerful, visually compelling dances, established multiple international dance collaborations, mentored numerous dance artists, received an Emmy nomination for her dance film “Arch of Repose” and played a leading role in making dance a vital force at the Chicago Cultural Center. Ms. Bartoszek has choreographed more than 70 dances for Hedwig Dances that critics have described as “intelligent, accomplished, moving” (Chicago Tribune) and “poignantly human” (Chicago Reader). She has presented her works in Chicago's vibrant theaters, national performance venues including the Aspen Institute and two exclusive performances at Joyce SoHo in New York City and internationally in Cuba, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil and Canada. Through her interdisciplinary dancework, she fosters a spirit of collaboration with other artists–merging choreography, objects, media, text and music–to create dances that resonate with complexity and depth.

ABOUT PATTI EYLAR, 2024 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE DANCE COMMUNITY RECIPIENT

Patti Eylar studied in California, Maryland, and on full scholarship at the American Ballet Theatre School in New York. In 1977 she moved to Chicago to join the Lyric Opera Ballet and was a founding member of the Chicago City Ballet, directed by Maria Tallchief and Paul Mejia. She then danced with Ballet Chicago, directed by Daniel Duell, from its inception in 1987 until 1993. She was also a soloist in Ruth Page's The Nutcracker at the Arie Crown Theater. She was a faculty member and accountant at the School of Ballet Chicago from 1995 to 2001 and started teaching at Chicago Ballet Arts in 2002. From 2005 to 2020, she and Leslie Saunders were co-directors of CBA. Ms. Eylar was on the faculty of the Lou Conte Dance Studio from 2002 until its closure in 2020. She has served on the boards of the Chicago Dance Coalition, Chicago Dance and Music Alliance, the Civic Ballet of Chicago and See Chicago Dance. She is currently a board member and past president of the Joffrey Ballet Women's Board and is a board member of The Joffrey Ballet, Auditorium Theatre, Chicago Dance Health Fund, Chicago Dance History Project and Chicago Ballet Arts. In 2011 she received the Ruth Page Award for her contributions to the Chicago dance community. In 2014 she and her husband, Charles Gardner, received the JUBA award from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and in 2019 they received the Adler & Sullivan Award for their lasting contributions to the arts and the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre.

ABOUT Carol Fox, 2024 HONORARY CHAIR

Carol Fox established Carol Fox & Associates, Inc. (CF&A) in 1994 to provide unparalleled marketing and public relations services for Chicago-based arts and entertainment organizations. As the firm celebrates its 30th anniversary, CF&A has grown to become the largest Chicago-based marketing and public relations firm dedicated to promoting arts, entertainment and lifestyle clientele locally and in more than 30 cities across North America. Ms. Fox has earned the Crain's Chicago Business Notable Entrepreneur Award and, most recently, the company has been acknowledged by PR Net as one of the top 100 agencies in the U.S. in 2023.

Ms. Fox's career includes five plus years as the director of communications for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Her passion for dance led her to spearhead the development of the non-profit website SeeChicagoDance.com, a project of The Chicago Community Trust's Excellence in Dance Initiative.  Following the success of the website, Ms. Fox and co-founder Niki Morrison founded See Chicago Dance (formerly Audience Architects) and considers it one of the highlights of her career. Carol served as the president of See Chicago Dance for 12 years

ABOUT NIKI MORRISON, 2024 HONORARY CHAIR

As Carol Fox & Associates' executive vice president, Niki Morrison plays a major role in the company's general operations, overseeing both the marketing and special events departments and establishing the digital media department. A former dancer, Ms. Morrison feels fortunate to have worked with New York City Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pilobolus and Savion Glover, among many others.

Continuing her lifelong dedication to dance, Ms. Morrison is proud to have co-founded nonprofit organization See Chicago Dance with Carol Fox for which the two were honored with the Ruth Page Award for dedication to the field. She has also served on committees for Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival and Dance/USA, where she was also a speaker.

ABOUT SEE CHICAGO DANCE

See Chicago Dance is a nonprofit service organization with the mission to advocate for the dance field and strengthen a diverse range of dance organizations and artists through services and programs that build and engage audiences. Its vision is to fearlessly inspire an ever-growing inclusive community to share in and spread the power of dance in Chicago.

See Chicago Dance is the source for all things dance with the city's most comprehensive resource for dance information and one of the largest websites in the United States dedicated to the art form. Its two-pronged approach focuses on building audiences while developing a more cohesive dance community.

For audience members, See Chicago Dance offers a dynamic calendar of dance performances and experiences, Hot Deal ticket discounts, professionally written reviews and previews, and listings for more than 200 dance organizations.

For dance artists and organizations, See Chicago Dance provides a full range of Programs and Industry Resources to help build audiences, improve skills and foster appreciation of dance.

See Chicago Dance's board of directors includes Amanda Banks (vice president), Debra Bernstein-Siegel, Michael Foster, Ladonna Freidheim, Erik Kaiko, Sarah Lombardi, Jorge Perez (president), Allyson Ratliff, Marisa C. Santiago (secretary), Kia Smith, Dawn Stanislaw (treasurer) and Sarah Venuti-Yates.

 




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