Zephyr and SITE/less receive Chicago Community Development Grant
Zephyr and its space SITE/less, in association with Bridge NFP and Workman Studio, are thrilled to announce that SITE/less has received a Community Development Grant award in the amount of $70,911 from the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, one of only eight arts organizations and 61 total organizations selected in this third round from an overall pool of more than 1,600 applicants. Zephyr is an experimental dance company that pushes the art form’s boundaries. SITE/less, located at 1250 West Augusta Boulevard in Chicago, aims to rethink the connection between movement and architecture and deepen the relationship between the viewer and the venue beyond the typical model.
The Chicago Recovery Plan is a citywide effort under Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to catalyze a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Using federal and local funding sources, the CRP is making grants available for private investment projects based on community-driven priorities established through the 2022 City budget process. Public funding is intended to foster thriving and safe communities, as well as support an equitable economic recovery.
At the award announcement ceremony, Mayor Lightfoot said, “Every facet of the arts and culture community was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working diligently to make sure that we reconstruct the arts and culture community in our city. …We know how important these spaces are in building togetherness. …We found it important to acknowledge all eight of these awardees for their resilience and creativity not just in their artistic products but in their ability to navigate all of the challenges that the pandemic put in their path.”
Zephyr Director and SITE/less Co-Director Michelle Kranicke commented, “Having to temporarily suspend performances at SITE/less in 2020 only 19 months after opening was extremely challenging to the institution and the artists. We are ecstatic about the faith the city has shown in SITE/less, both as a cultural institution showcasing time-based art forms and an important member of the West Town community, as well as the city’s faith in the arts and culture community as a whole. We will use this award toward much-needed improvements in the performance space, and we look forward to robust seasons for years to come.”
Zephyr is an experimental dance company that has had a strong artistic presence in Chicago for more than 20 years. Zephyr pushes to the edge of the discipline to question current trends in dance making and the reduction of the art form to its most quantifiable, easily recognized patterns. In April 2018, Zephyr Director Michelle Kranicke and architect David Sundry opened SITE/less, an experimental architecture, movement and research center that seeks to rethink the relationship between the typical model of most performance venues and how the organization of those venues inevitably limits and conditions the curatorial practice. SITE/less does not exist in a traditional “finished” state, but rather continues to evolve and grow with time, functioning as an incubator, a laboratory, a physical structure, a dance and a place where distinct art forms can speak directly to each other. In addition, SITE/less aims to facilitate connection with the public and promote social interaction by creating an atypical arena hosting non-art events, such as community meetings and pop-up dinners.