Deeply Rooted Launches Capital Campaign for New Dance Center
Deeply Rooted Productions, the umbrella organization for Deeply Rooted’s Dance Education programs and Special Projects and operating in conjunction with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, is officially launching a $15.6 million capital campaign to build the Deeply Rooted Center for Black Dance and Creative Communities (Deeply Rooted Dance Center). With more than $13 million raised to date, Deeply Rooted needs to secure an additional $2.4 million to complete the campaign.
The 33,270-square-foot facility, to be located at 5339 S. State Street, will transform a vacant property in the Washington Park State Street Corridor into a premier training and presenting space that will serve as an international home for Black dance and a thriving network of dance partners. The state-of-the-art space will include dance studios, a black box theater performance and rehearsal space, a costume and set design shop, offices, meeting rooms, and green spaces for community gatherings, including a garden. The opening is projected for late 2024/early 2025.
“The Deeply Rooted Dance Center will respond to the need for artists to have a space in which they can see themselves authentically and connect intergenerationally to the shared experiences of others within the dance community—locally, nationally, and globally,” said Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer. “Deeply Rooted’s professional company will flourish in such an environment as they teach, choreograph, and mentor young dance students, who in turn will see themselves manifested within each company member daily in rehearsals and other activities.”
Since the Reva and David Logan Foundation and the Arts Work Fund provided initial funding for this undertaking in 2018, the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, key foundations, and private donors have provided crucial support, leaving Deeply Rooted with a $2.4 million gap to complete the necessary funding:
- The Chicago Department of Planning and Development awarded Deeply Rooted $5 million—the highest amount awarded in this round of grants—as part of its Chicago Recovery Plan in the Community Development category.
- Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity approved $3 million as part of the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital program.
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Mayor’s Office of Equity & Racial Justice, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events awarded Deeply Rooted $500,000—the maximum grant—as part of the Together We Heal Creative Place Program.
Most recently, Deeply Rooted has received national support in a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to build upon the organization’s artistic vision and dance legacy, invest in staff capacity and infrastructure, and support the growth of its funding base and organizational visibility.
“We envision the Deeply Rooted Dance Center as an international cultural destination and multi-generational community hub,” said Executive Director Makeda Crayton. “Among our goals are to expand opportunities for artists and access to arts experiences on the South Side; contribute to the economic revitalization of the Washington Park community; develop youth for careers in the arts and beyond; and increase programs, revenue, and audiences for South Side-based dance and community organizations.”
“Representation matters,” Clarke-Springer said. “It’s a wonderful feeling when you discover something that shows you the world’s possibilities. The Deeply Rooted Dance Center will aim to further this goal as we continue to plant seeds and deepen our roots on Chicago’s South Side.”
For more information, visit deeplyrooteddancecenter.org.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling. Through its uncompromising pursuit of excellence, Deeply Rooted demonstrates the transformative power of art and beauty through performance, dance education, and cultural enrichment in Chicago and on the world stage. Deeply Rooted is rooted in traditions of American and African-American dance, storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices. For information, visit deeplyrooteddancetheater.org.