Serving Dance in Chicago

Serving Dance in Chicago:
A Planning Process for Small to Mid-sized Companies and Independent Artists


by Suzanne Callahan with Brooke Belott
May 2005
Funded by The Chicago Community Trust

The documents below report on a planning process that was designed to study and respond to the needs of the Chicago dance community for service provision, with a focus on Small to Mid-sized companies and Independent artists in Dance (referred to as SMID, in this study). The Planning Process was co-directed by three artists whose companies and ways of working fall into the categories of independent and small/mid-size: Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Productions, Eduardo Vilaro of Luna Negra Dance Theater, and Ginger Farley, independent artist. It also benefited from the advice of a steering committee and the Dance Advisory Committee to the Chicago Community Trust.

Final Report (2 MB PDF)
This document states the purpose of and methodology for the study, followed by the findings from the extensive research that was conducted, including:

  • the rich discussion from four focus groups of artists about their careers and needs
  • interviews with service providers in Chicago and New York
  • a comparative document of services available to artists in Chicago
  • the names of advisors and artists who participated
  • the consultant's talking points for next steps

Executive Summary (374 KB PDF)
This document summarizes the full report.

Comparative Document of Services Available to Artists (359 KB PDF)
This Comparative Document includes:

  • a description of each major service area offered by all of the above organizations
  • eligibility and membership requirements, if known
  • contact information
  • in some instances, fees involved

Information was gathered in fall 2004 by a review of printed and online materials, followed up by interviews with most service providers in winter 2004-05; subject to change.