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Grants and In-Kind Support to Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin Dancemakers in Eligible Counties for Professional Development

Lab Artists Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Chicago Dancemakers Forum
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Illinois: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jasper, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will countiesIndiana: Newton and Porter countiesWisconsin: Kenosha County

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/18/23 5:00 PM CT Save

Grant Description
Grants of $25,000 and in-kind support to Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin dancemakers in eligible counties for professional development opportunities. Funding is intended to promote the growth and artistic fulfillment of local dancemakers by providing time and resources to engage in research, experimentation, and the development of new dance work. Requests will be accepted from qualifying applicants residing in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jasper, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois; Newton and Porter counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

For 20 years, Chicago Dancemakers Forum has responded to the evolving needs of Chicago dancemakers. It is Chicagoland’s only organization dedicated solely to artistic advancement for dancemakers, as well as the largest source of support for local dance artists with an open call process.

The Lab Artists Program is designed for dancemakers at an important juncture in their career and/or artistic trajectory, actively taking risks and experimenting, and poised to invest in their artistic practice with greater depth or scale. Rather than having a fixed approach, the Lab Year is an experiment in itself, responsive to each artist's individual goals, timeline, and changing needs.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Chicago Dancemakers Forum invites individual dancemakers working in improvised, communal, or choreographed forms who identify with the following statements to apply:
- Age 21 or older at the time of application.
- The majority of my dancemaking practice happens in the Chicago–Naperville–Elgin, IL–IN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area (Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jasper, Kane, Kendall, Kenosha, Lake, McHenry, Newton, Porter, or Will County). Note: Lab Artists are asked to gather quarterly in the city of Chicago during the Lab Year.
- I have developed a distinctive trajectory in my dancemaking and am ready to invest in my artistic practice with greater depth or scale.
- I am able to effectively make use of my time for creative experimentation, artistic research, and/or development of new work.
- I can manage a budget of $25K to support my dancemaking and to work with collaborators in an environment of fairness, transparency, consent, and open communication.
- I have the capacity and the time to benefit from, and contribute to, an environment of artistic interchange with a cohort of Lab Artists, and I am in position to make this a priority in 2024.

This 21st year of the program is open to all eligible dancemakers but will prioritize artists that have historically been underrepresented in the program – Indigenous, Immigrant, Trans and Non-Binary, Parent/Caregiver, and/or Disabled Artists.

Additional Geographic Information:,-87.9357495,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x880e45d52692b39d:0x6b0381c80bbacf7a!8m2!3d42.2162567!4d-87.8549755!16s%2Fg%2F11cn6kmd99?entry=ttu

- Lab Artists must reside in the Chicago–Naperville–Elgin, IL–IN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area during the duration of the calendar year of 2024. Applicants with dual-residency will not be considered.
- Students enrolled in degree programs at the time of application are not eligible for the Lab Artists Program.
- Artists previously funded through the Lab Artists Program are not eligible.
- Staff and administrative contractors who have received $5,000+ from Chicago Dancemakers Forum in the 12 months prior to the application deadline are not eligible to apply.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Wednesday, September 6
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom
Host: Anna Martine Whitehead (2018 Lab Artist)

Drop-In OpenOffice Hours (Virtual)
- Monday, September 11, 3:30-4:30pm
- Tuesday, September 12, 9:30-10:30am
- Wednesday, September 13, 5:00-6:00pm
- Thursday, September 14, 12:00-1:00pm
To launch meeting:

Pre-Application Information
- July 6 - September 17, 2023: Open Call for Applications
- July thru September: Info Sessions and Support for Applicants
- Monday, September 18, 2023 at 5pm CT: Applications Due
- October 2023: 10 applicants will be selected as Finalists. Each will receive a cash stipend of $500 and the option of public recognition.
- October 21, 2023: Professional Development Gathering of Finalists
- Early November 2023: The four 2024 Lab Artists will be randomly selected from the pool of Finalists.
- Mid-November 2023: Public Announcement of the 2024 Lab Artists
- January 2024: Celebration and Launch of the Lab Year

Slidedeck from Info Session:

Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Dancemakers will each receive a grant of $25,000 USD along with a year of tailored support.

Term of Contract
Lab Year: January to December 2024

Contact Information
Apply online:

If you have questions about the Lab Artists Program or need support during the application process, please contact Shawn Lent, Programs and Communications Director, via email at

Harris Theater for Music and Dance
ATTN: Chicago Dancemakers Forum
205 E Randolph Dr
Chicago, IL 60601

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