Chicago Dancemakers Forum hosts Awards

Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2018 Lab ArtistIn May, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum announced the six recipients of the 2018 Lab Artist Awards – Jenn Freeman, Joanna Furnans, Ayesha Jaco, Nico Rubio, Rob Welcher and Anna Martine Whitehead. Each of them will soon be recognized at the 2018 Awards Celebration and Benefit on July 12 at The Arts Club of Chicago.


As a Lab Artist, each award winner receives a cash grant of $15,000, as well as mentorship and collegial exchange throughout a year of artistic exploration. 


The Chicago Dancemakers Forum, now in its 15th anniversary year, fuels the field of dance by stimulating and nourishing the artistic and professional development of Chicago’s individual choreographers. Since inception, the 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. 


Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2018 Lab ArtistChicago Dancemakers’ Lab Artists program is unique in its emphasis on an extended period of creative research. The Lab Artists are selected for the quality of their work, the distinctness of their vision, and their potential for artistic growth. Each of them has identified a unique path of artistic inquiry for the year that will lead to the creation of a new dance. By engaging leaders in the field in dialogue with the artists, the Lab Artists program fosters excellence, innovation, and connectivity in the field of dance.


Executive Director Ginger Farley says, “Chicago Dancemakers Forum celebrates its 15th anniversary by making grants to six Lab Artists again this year. The artists chosen for this award have exciting contemporary voices; they work across the breadth of dance disciplines, which define a rich array of artistic and human perspectives which is unique to Chicago and our time. We look forward to spending a creative year with them.” 


Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2018 Lab ArtistThe 2018 Awards Celebration and Benefit that will recognize these award recipients is set for Thursday, July 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at The Arts Club of Chicago, located at 201 E. Ontario, Chicago. Learn more about the 2018 Lab Artists at


Photos: Jenn Freeman (top) as captured by Carrie Meyer; Nico Rubio (left) as captured by William Frederking; and Rob Welcher (right) in a still from Scrappers.