News

9.1.15

Challenge Grant Sets Stage for Chicago Dance Lab

NEFA’s National Dance Project receives $200k grant from Logan Foundation; MacArthur Foundation grants $75k toward the challenge.

(9.18.15 Editor's Note: The RFP to participate is due 11.2.15. Workshops are planned to assist applicants. Read about the process.)

With a $200K challenge grant from The Reva and David Logan Foundation and a $75,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts is initiating plans for a 10-day dance lab in Chicago, related professional development, and a showcase for dance artists. 

The dance lab is part of the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) of NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP). The RDDI provides professional growth for dance artists in regions across the U.S. through a 10-day dance lab designed to clarify goals, develop strategies, hone public presentation skills, and strengthen partnerships between artists and presenters. NEFA will engage a cohort of national dance leaders to work with Chicago dance artists in an immersive curriculum. Since 2004, dance labs have been held in the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Bay Area, New England, and Minnesota.

Together with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, NEFA has hosted exploratory meetings, establishing the interest of the dance community and how a Chicago lab would be specifically tailored to meet their needs. Additional key planning partners include Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Audience Architects.

"We are truly excited by this opportunity to fund this extensive initiative--the process of which we expect to be both meaningful for the artists and collaborators, and transformative for dance as an art staple in ChicagoLand," said Richard Logan, President of The Reva and David Logan Foundation. "We look forward to witnessing some fabulous outcomes.”

The Chicago Dance Lab is projected to occur in the summer of 2016, with post-lab activities following in the fall and winter. A city-wide dance showcase would follow in the fall of 2017 and would feature the lab artists as well as other local artists, along with regional, national, and international dance presenters. The project would culminate with grants to support residencies, presentations, or other projects with lab and showcase artists. 

“We are very excited that this generous challenge grant from the Logan Foundation has already leveraged significant support in the form of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. This advances NEFA’s partnership with Chicago’s dance community through significant investment in realizing a multi-year RDDI program,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards.

Outcomes for previous lab artists have included national funding, commissioning of new and collaborative projects, national and international festival residencies, and extended engagements and partnerships with presenters. More information on the previous RDDI labs can be found on NEFA's website.

NEFA launched the National Dance Project in 1996 to encourage the creation of new dance work to share with audiences in communities throughout the U.S.  Since then, the program has distributed more than $28 million in grants and remains one of the most significant sources for dance funding in the U.S. NDP has reached over 3.6 million audience members in all 50 states, Washington D.C, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NEFA's National Dance Project is generously supported with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with funding for special initiatives from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French American Cultural Exchange. 

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies.

NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.

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CONTACT: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534