Ginger Farley Appointed Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s First Executive Director

[Chicago, IL] – The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is delighted to announce the appointment of Ginger Farley as its first Executive Director.

A Chicago-based dance artist and advocate for more than 35 years, Farley has previously served as CDF’s project director and as a member of its consortium, comprised of representatives from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Links Hall, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, plus independent alumni of its Lab Artist granting program serving in rotation. Under Farley’s leadership with a diverse group of arts administrators providing key guidance and support, CDF is securing a 501(c)(3) designation in Illinois for greater flexibility in operations, and increased capacity to receive and distribute contributions.

Currently its single largest program, CDF’s Lab Artist grant has since 2003 supported ascending choreographers in Chicago with $15,000 cash awards annually — plus a full year of mentorship, artistic and professional development support — toward new work in dance. 2014 Lab Artists J’Sun Howard, Ginger Krebs, Adam Rose and Ahmad Simmons will each present their CDF-supported original works in performance in the coming months.

Forty-five CDF Lab Artist alumni include Chicago Human Rhythm Project founder Lane Alexander, Lucky Plush Productions artistic director Julia Rhoads, Kevin Iega Jeff of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Hema Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre and, among its inaugural group of awardees, Farley herself. More than 80% of these alumni are still based primarily in Chicago, are active in the field, and many have garnered national and international audiences for their work.

Says Ginger Farley: “For more than a decade, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum has been supporting the creative development of independent choreographers. I’m thrilled and honored to continue this impactful work and to lead the organization in building partnerships and cultivating new opportunities, toward a stronger, more expansive and vibrant future for dance in Chicago.”

CDF’s current call for Lab Artist proposals was released on January 1 and its next group of grantees will be announced in June 2015.

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About Ginger Farley
Ginger Farley has worked in Chicago as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and as an advocate for live and performing arts since 1978. Farley received a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist award in its inaugural year, 2003, after which she then served as project director and consortium member. In 2015, Farley then became the first Executive Director of the organization.

From 1978–88 an early company member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Farley also taught technique classes for 20 years at its public facility, the Lou Conte Dance Studio.

From 1988–2004 she served as part-time faculty at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and from 1996–2001 she directed her own company, The 58 Group, with colleague Cameron Pfiffner.

During her service as a consultant to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation on its Small Theater and Dance Program, Farley participated in the “Excellence in Dance Initiative” at The Chicago Community Trust, leading the way on a study of small, midsized and independent dance artists in Chicago. Farley serves on the Performance Programs Committee at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, on the advisory committee for the School of Theater and Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago, on programming committees at Links Hall, on the advisory board for Arts in Sacred Places, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Arts Alliance Illinois.

Farley also practices dramaturgy, and mentors emerging artists through a program designed with colleague Bryan Saner called “The Art of Rehearsal.” She lives in Chicago with her husband Bob Shapiro and, between them, they have six kids and three grandkids.


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