download (14)The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) is thrilled to announce today its receipt of a $150,000 challenge grant from The Chicago Community Trust, bringing funds raised for CDF’s Breakout Campaign to $650,000 to date, toward an ultimate goal of $1 million. CDF launched the Breakout Campaign in 2014 in order to sustain its Lab Artist program for years to come. CDF Lab Artist Awards are given annually to four choreographers and provide each awardee with artistic and professional development and mentorship, in addition to $15,000 in funding.

Says Chicago Dancemakers Forum Executive Director Ginger Farley: “We are honored and encouraged by the generous and continued support of The Chicago Community Trust as CDF originated as a demonstration program of the Trust’s Excellence in Dance Initiative in 2003. Reaching our Breakout Campaign goal will allow CDF to work even more effectively and strategically to maximize its local impact on the field of dance. We are enormously grateful to the Trust for bringing this milestone within reach.”

Over eleven years, CDF has granted $625,000 to individual artists for research, development and presentation of new work in dance, making it the single largest supporter of new dance development in the Chicago area. CDF is the only organization in Chicago dedicated solely to nurturing artistic advancement for the dancemaking field. Earlier this year, CDF completed a transition from being a fiscally sponsored entity to a fully independent 501(c)(3) organization, naming Ginger Farley as its first Executive Director. In celebration of these achievements, and to inaugurate the four Lab Artists recently selected for support in 2015–16 — Barak adé Soleil, Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver, Benjamin Holliday Wardell, and Sara Zalek — CDF will host its annual Lab Artist Celebration at the Arts Club of Chicago on September 11, 2015. Further details about this unique event and advance tickets are available now, online at

About The Chicago Community Trust

For 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2014, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $150 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to protecting the safety net for those hardest hit by the recession, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at

About the Chicago Dancemakers Forum
CDF strengthens the field of dance in Chicago overall by supporting deep investigation, bold risk-taking, and artistic rigor. CDF provides multi-layered support for Chicago choreographers through its prestigious Lab Artists program, as well as through public workshops, events, and residencies, all with a strong emphasis on artistic and professional development. The CDF Lab Artist Program makes four $15,000 cash grants to choreographers annually, each supplemented by mentorship throughout the research, development, and performance of the grantees’ newly choreographed work.

CDF is led in consortium by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Links Hall, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, University of Illinois at Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

CDF is supported by the following foundations and corporations: The Chicago Community Trust, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Sandbox Industries.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum
Ginger Farley, Executive Director