Chicago Dancemakers Forum To Honor Choreographers Receiving Artist Awards At 2019 Awards Celebration And Benefit

2019 Lab Artist Award Recipients (Photo Courtesy Chicago Dancemakers Forum)

(Chicago, IL) – Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates the ten 2019 Awardees: Anjal Chande, Keyierra Collins, Reginald Cosper Jr. aka Sirr Tmo, Jane Jerardi, Mitsu Salmon, Vershawn Sanders-Ward, Marceia L. Scruggs, Darling Shear, Connie Shiau, and Nejla Yatkin. The 2019 Awardees will be recognized on Thursday, July 11, 5:30pm at The Arts Club of Chicago during Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2019 Awards Celebration and Benefit.

The evening will include a cocktail reception, an awards presentation featuring videos by Wills Glasspiegel and Brandon “Chief Manny” Calhoun, and live performances by 2015 Lab Artist Benjamin Wardell (The Cambrians), 2010 Lab Artist Meida McNeal (Honey Pot Performance), and Khecari — 2008 Lab Artist Jonathan Meyer and 2009 Lab Artist Julia Antonick.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2019 Awards Celebration and Benefit is supported by Lead Sponsors: Jill & Richard Almeida, Goldman Sachs and Sandbox Industries, as well as Event Sponsors: Ann & Richard Tomlinson and Adrienne & Pete Foley. The Event Host Committee (in formation) is comprised of Pam Crutchfield, Ginger Farley, Jennifer Fortner, Sandi Cooksey and Todd Clark, Lizzie Leopold, Bill Melamed & Jamey Lundblad, Jennifer Roche, Jessica Seet, and Peter Taub.

Tickets for the event are available now.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum is the only organization in the city dedicated solely to nurturing the artistic advancement of dancemakers. Since its inception in 2003, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has granted over $1 million to artists and is the single largest, local source of support for the city’s dancemakers which has an open call for applications.

2019 Greenhouse Award Recipients (Photo Courtesy Chicago Dancemakers Forum)

In 2019, Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Lab Artists program provides each of six artists $15,000 complimented by mentorship during a period of in-depth research and exploration as they develop new work. The 2019 Greenhouse program provides each of four artists $4,000 for the development of new work over a three month period, each with support of a mentor who is awarded $1,000 for their participation.

Executive Director Ginger Farley shares, “We are so pleased and honored to shine the light on the 2019 Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees at this event and to celebrate them with the Chicago community of artists, audience members and supporters. We are also eager to spend the year learning with and about them as they explore and create.”

Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees vary in age, gender, race, and dance discipline. They work in tap, butoh, burlesque, Chicago Footwork, dance for the camera, Bharatanatyam, voguing, classical Japanese, African, contemporary, and more. Collectively they represent the spirit and power of new dance in Chicago. Among the past awardees are notables Lane Alexander (American Rhythm Center), Carrie Hanson (The Seldoms), Kevin Iega Jeff (Deeply Rooted Dance Theater), Hema Rajagopalan (Natya Dance Theater), and Julia Rhoads (Lucky Plush Productions). Other CDF artists, such as Ayako Kato, Barak ade Soleil and Jamal ‘Litebulb’ Oliver, invest in constant artistic exploration specific to their non-traditional paths and goals.

Lab Artists and Greenhouse Artists have shown their work in venues ranging from intimate community spaces to major theatrical venues, throughout the US and across the globe. Many have received prestigious grants and awards subsequent to their Lab year; these honors include the United States Artists Fellowship, “Bessie” New York Dance Awards, MacArthur International Connections Exchange Grant, MAP Fund grant, and National Endowment for the Arts Award. Lab Artists and Greenhouse Awardees also represent and serve as ambassadors for Chicago’s many communities of dance artists.


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