Seven Chicago-Based Tap Artists Receive Annual Unrestricted Grant Offering Support Due to COVID-19

The Individual Tap Artist (ITA) Grant is a flexible $5,000 annual grant.

By: Jan. 27, 2021

Seven Chicago-Based Tap Artists Receive Annual Unrestricted Grant Offering Support Due to COVID-19

The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation partners with the Making A Difference Dancing Rhythms Organization, the non-profit arm of M.A.D.D. Rhythms, to announce the recipients of the 2020 Individual Tap Artist Grant, a monetary grant for Chicago-based artists who exhibit exceptional skill and dedication to the art of tap dance, or as M.A.D.D. Rhythms Director Bril Barrett explained, "The Individual Tap Artist Grant is money for Chicago-based tap dancers to help them to continue to be tap dancers."

The Individual Tap Artist (ITA) Grant is a flexible $5,000 annual grant and is designed to conform to the financial needs of curated artists. In 2020, seven Chicago-based tap dance artists were awarded grants of varying amounts to aid in financial relief for lost wages due to the COVID pandemic and to support their artistic endeavors. The 2020 recipients are Tristan Bruns, Andrew Carr, Megan Davis, Starinah Dixon, Alexandrya Fryson, Donnetta Jackson and K.J. Sheldon. Future ITA Grants will continue to conform to the needs of the time and may be given to one single artist or shared among several artists. Recipients are selected by the Making A Difference Dancing Rhythm Organization and The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation based on their history of community engagement and an understanding of and respect for the history and traditions of the art form of tap dance. The ITA Grant is an unrestricted grant and the artists may apply the funds in any way that they see fit.

The Making A Difference Dancing Rhythms Organization is the non-profit arm of tap dance performance company M.A.D.D. Rhythms. The non-profit organization's mission is to preserve, promote and contribute to this art form called tap. The Organization teaches its history, represents its culture and advocates for its future. They share this beautiful dance/music art form in order to make a difference in the under-served communities of this world and believe that access to the arts gives every person a greater chance at a positive life. Therefore, The Making A Difference Dancing Rhythms Organization will spread the joy, love, discipline and expression of tap to as many people as they humanly can.

The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation has been steadfast in their support and a crucial community partner to numerous organizations whose focus is on improving the arts, education, economics, the environment and more. In Chicago, The Foundation has made a significant positive impact on dance through the direct support of organizations such as The Chicago Dancemakers Forum, MCA Stage, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and through direct financial support of dance companies such as The Seldoms, Khecari and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, to name a few. This most recent collaboration with the M.A.D.D. Rhythms Organization to offer the Individual Tap Artist Grant once again maintains The Foundation's legacy of progressive work supporting the arts and artists with strong social programs and deep community connections.

For more information about the Making A Difference Dancing Organization or in-house dance company M.A.D.D. Rhythms and its 20th Anniversary Season, please visit MADDRhytms.com.



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