(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts, together with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, is excited to announce a grant of $25,000 from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to support the Chicago Regional Dance Development Initiative.  


The Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) is part of NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP), which provides professional growth for dance artists in regions across the U.S. through programs including a ten-day dance lab designed to help dance artists clarify goals, develop strategies, hone public presentation skills, and strengthen partnerships between artists and presenters. Leadership support for Chicago RDDI has already been secured from the Reva and David Logan Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Recently, a national panel selected 12 artists to participate in the Chicago Dance Lab who represent a broad range of career stages and dance disciplines including: African, butoh, burlesque, contemporary, dance on film, improvisation, interdisciplinary, and tap, representing multiple neighborhoods across the greater Chicago area. The Chicago Dance Lab will take place July 29–August 9, 2016, along with additional workshops and events open to the Chicago dance community in 2016 and 2017.

“The response from multiple Chicago-area funders to this three-year initiative has been very gratifying, and this grant moves us closer to our funding goal,” said NEFA deputy director Jane Preston. “Together with our strong partnership with Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the enthusiastic participation from Chicago’s dance artists and supporters, this initiative will create a stronger local dance community with enhanced national connections.”

“The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has a long history of deep support for Chicago’s dance artists. CDF is honored to be working with NEFA to bring this impactful stimulus to Chicago and grateful that the Driehaus Foundation is supporting it,” said Chicago Dancemakers Forum executive director Ginger Farley.

Since 2004, NEFA's RDDI dance labs have been held in the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Bay Area, New England, and Minnesota. 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. Learn more about NEFA’s RDDI. Learn more about the Chicago RDDI.

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, the French American Cultural Exchange, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. 

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.

About Chicago Dancemakers Forum
The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is a catalyst for innovation and a means to increase dynamic interaction among Chicago’s dancemakers. CDF provides multi-layered support for choreographers by making cash grants, presenting public workshops and events, and offering professional development and residency opportunities for choreographers. CDF is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely nurturing artistic advancement and new dance development for the dancemaking field. By focusing on the creative process CDF cultivates artistic exploration and growth for individual artists, fueling the field of dance in Chicago overall. CDF is a not-for-profit organization. www.chicagodancemakers.org.


Ann Wicks | NEFA | 617.951.0010 x534
Victoria Bradford  | CDF | 337.794.8222