Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency

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Call for Artists

Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 5pm CT


Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency Info Session




The Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency is a program of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). This opportunity is for the research and development of new dance and movement work, and provides space, time, and $10,000-$25,000 in funding for selected Chicago dancemakers.

The goals of the Dance Studio Residency Program include:

  • Support the creation of new work in its early stages of development
  • Position the Dance Studio as a community asset for the development of new work
  • Create intersections between performing artists and the public
  • Offer co-learning opportunities for Chicago’s dance community
  • Support a diverse group of artists reflective of the city of Chicago and its cultural landscape

DCASE is now accepting applications for the third cohort of resident dance artists. The link to apply is at the bottom of this page. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at 5pm CT.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to supporting artists and cultural organizations, investing in the creative economy, and expanding access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago.

The Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency is supported in part by a grant from the Walder Foundation. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Walder Foundation National Endowment for the Arts,


Key Points

  • Awards will be for new work in early or middle stage of development.
  • DCASE anticipates awarding at least 5 residencies.
  • Each awardee receives approximately 80 hours of studio space access. Residency hours will be scheduled between November 2024 and June 2025.
  • Selected projects will receive funding from $10,000 - $25,000.
    • Applicants will submit a budget plan.
    • Submitted budgets should prioritize payment to ensemble members and creatives, and focus on research and related creative development costs.
    • Funding is not to be used towards rental costs for other facilities, large capital purchases or any direct costs associated with producing a premiere, an external presentation of the work in development, or other production.
    • Reasonable and necessary commuting costs, including parking, can be included in the budget. This Residency opportunity does not include any parking at the Chicago Cultural Center.
    • DCASE may award less funding than requested.
  • This is not a technical residency. DCASE does not provide technical staff during the Residency, there is minimal access to technical equipment, no theater lighting and no build space for any fabrication.
  • Awardees will provide 3 public engagement activities during the Residency.
    • Two of these engagements will be proposed by the applicants, and the third will be a panel of awardees organized by DCASE.
    • DCASE determines the dates and times of engagements in cooperation with awardees.
    • DCASE can provide a technician during these public engagements.
  • At the end of a residency, awardees will respond to a survey regarding their experience and their project.
  • Because this program funds the development of new work, a final complete work is not an expected deliverable, though it could be an outcome.


Dance Studio Description and Building Information

The Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) can be accessed by multiple CTA train and bus routes and the Millennium Park Metra station. There is no designated parking at the Chicago Cultural Center, but paid parking options can be found throughout the area.

The Dance Studio is accessible and located on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center. The Dance Studio is approximately 42’9” x 36’. The dance floor is a durable multi-purpose floor suited for all movement activity including tap, hip-hop, ballet, modern, ballroom, jazz, flamenco and more. One wall of the studio is mirrored and has a curtain that can be drawn over the mirrors. A 2-speaker PA system and small, 8-channel audio mixer are in the room for audio playback using a mini jack (3.5mm). One wired mic (with mic stand) is part of the room inventory; additional wired mics and stands may be available on request. Ballet barres are available. The room is equipped with three folding tables and folding chairs. An upright piano can be made available.

Current building hours are Sunday-Saturday, 10am-5pm and are subject to change. Requests to use the Dance Studio outside of current building hours will be accepted; however, access to the Dance Studio outside of building hours is limited. Applicants for the Residency will be asked to submit their preferred rehearsal schedule and their flexibility for alternative dates and times. There are no dressing rooms or green room. Storage options are limited: there are small storage lockers in the dance studio that will be assigned to awardees; additional storage space is not guaranteed. Public restrooms are available on the first floor. The Chicago Cultural Center does not have gender neutral or un-gendered bathrooms.


Review Criteria

Applications will be submitted through SurveyMonkey and reviewed by a panel that includes DCASE staff and external reviewers who have dance or live art experience as artists and/or cultural workers.

Proposals will be evaluated on:

  • Quality and feasibility of proposed project. This includes:
    • artistic strength, quality, vision, and originality of the proposed project (if need for Residency is based on early devising or an exploratory process yet to begin, applicant clearly articulates how the Residency will inform the development of new work);
    • alignment of project scale with the resources provided;
    • activity proposed can be carried out within the Residency timeframe;
    • and applicant has submitted a clear and realistic budget for the project that prioritizes payment to ensemble members and creatives and for research and related creative development costs.
  • Quality of opportunity for the public and dance community in proposed activity plans, in particular a range of activities that creatively engage diverse constituencies (examples: general audience for dance; other dance artists; specific neighborhood or community-based audiences) and supports the applicant in developing their work;
  • Potential benefit to artist or organization;
  • Artistic merit demonstrated by a history of quality work and creative investigation; and
  • Demonstrated need for space for a specific project in development or new work concept.
  • Additionally, DCASE’s Dance Studio Residency Program strives for an equitable distribution of support for artists and organizations working and living across the city. When evaluating applications, panelists will be instructed to consider geographic access as one of many criteria to ensure the support of projects created by or serving residents of community areas which have been historically under-resourced.


Eligibility requirements

  • Individuals, companies, collectives and organizations working in dance/movement-based practices may apply.
  • Applicant must have at least a 2-year history of public performance in dance/movement-based work.
  • Applicant must reside/organization must be located within Chicago city limits; proof of Chicago residency is required for application (for individual applicants, a copy of your valid IL Driver’s License, State of Illinois ID or Chicago CityKey will need to be submitted).
  • Individual applicants must be at least 18 years of age (Note: Organizations can propose activities that include artists younger than 18).
  • Individual applicants cannot be full-time students in an undergraduate degree program.
  • Organizational applicants must have an operating budget of less than $250,000. Organizations will submit a recent IRS tax filing to demonstrate operating expenses under $250,000. The submitted document is also used towards verifying the organization’s Chicago address.
  • Individuals and organizations currently funded by DCASE’s Individual Artist Program (IAP) or a CityArts grant remain eligible; however
    • priority will be given to those not currently receiving either an IAP or CityArts grant, and
    • the project submitted for the Dance Studio Residency cannot be the same project funded by IAP or CityArts.
  • Prior recipients of the Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency (2022-present) are not eligible.
  • Artists or organizations with active or current artist residencies with any other DCASE or City of Chicago department-affiliated artist residency, including any “sister-agency” artist residency (ex: Chicago Park District; Chicago Public Library), are not eligible.


What DCASE will provide

  • Dance Studio access, including an orientation
  • Co-promotion of Residency activities (DCASE newsletters, social media, website, on-site signage, etc)
  • Coaching for the development, outreach, and delivery of engagement activities
  • ASL and other accessibility services for select engagement programs to be coordinated in advance with awardees and in response to any audience requests, when applicable
  • Photography for at least one (1) event during Residency (ex: work-in-progress, artist talk), to be coordinated in advance with each awardee.


Dance Studio Drop-In Visitation Dates

For any applicants interested in visiting the Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio (78 E Washington Street) prior to applying, two Drop-In Visitation Dates have been scheduled. No reservation is required. You can drop-in during the appointed times to explore the space and speak with John Rich, DCASE Dance and Theatre Coordinator.

  • Monday, April 29, 4-7pm (this will included an in-person info session from 5:30-6:30pm)
  • Saturday, May 4, 10am-1pm


Information Session Dates

In-person at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. (Dance Studio is on first floor NE side of building; accessible entrance to building is on Randolph St):

  • Monday, April 29, 5:30-6:30pm (this info session occurs during a Dance Studio Drop-In Visitation Date that begins at 4pm)


  • Wednesday, May 8, 12-1pm

Register for an Info Session


Application/Notification Timeline

  • Friday, April 19, 2024 – Application opens
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 5pm, CT – Application deadline
  • August 2024 – Notification of results sent to all applicants


Application Link

DCASE strongly recommends submitting your application earlier than the stated deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted or reviewed.

It is also recommended that you review all application questions before beginning, and that you draft your responses on a separate document and copy/paste them into the application. You will need to complete your application in one session.

Apply Online

If you have any questions regarding the Dance Studio Residency program or the application, contact John Rich, DCASE Dance and Theatre Coordinator. | 312.744.0529