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Chicago Community Trust Excellence in Dance Initiative Records

Identifier: Dance-MS-Dance Initiative

Scope and Content of the Collection

Material related to the Chicago Community Trust’s Excellence in Dance Initiative consisting of administrative files, consultant files and miscellaneous informational publications and reports.


  • Creation: 1999-2007



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Chicago Community Trust Excellence in Dance Initiative Records are temporarily restricted as of July 2021.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Chicago Community Trust Excellence in Dance Initiative Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Background of Excellence in Dance Initiative

The Excellence of Dance Initiative, created by the Chicago Community Trust in 2001, was a short-term research and advocacy project designed to strengthen the Chicago dance community. Its purpose was to learn more about the issues and needs of the area dance field, to study the impact of past giving in dance, and to identify and develop some demonstration projects that might be funded by the Trust.

Overseen by Chicago Community Trust’s senior advisor Sarah Solotaroff, with the information generated from reports of the firm Callahan Consulting for the Arts and the firms of Carol Fox and Associates and Slover Linett Strategies, the Excellence in Dance Initiative’s activities were composed of several elements. One was to implement a dance mapping project which would document the size and scope of existing dance activity in the Chicago area. Another activity was to convene an Advisory Committee composed of members of the city’s dance community to assist in identifying fundable projects, especially in the creation of new works, in the education of young talent, and in audience development. Also, through the years of the Initiative there was increasing recognition of the need to serve dance communities that would not receive grants, so this led to the Planning Process for Small to Mid-sized Companies and Independent Artists in Dance (SMID) which documents services available to artists and small groups. An audience development project, with initial support from the Trust, coincided with the SMID report.

By 2005, the Trust had shifted its arts grant-making priorities to concentrate on arts education. Therefore, the function of its specific initiative focusing on dance funding came to an end, though several projects continued to seek support from other donors and foundations, such as the one aimed at audience development.


1.2 Linear Feet (3 boxes)


Administrative files, consultant files and a collection of background information and publications relating to the field of dance and specifically to the activities of a short-term initiative developed by the Chicago Community Trust which had the aim of strengthening the field of dance in Chicago.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1999-2007
Box 1
Series 2: Consultant Files, 2001-2006
Box 2
Series 3: Informational Files, 2001-2007
Box 3

Collection Stack Location

3a 48 1


Gift of the Chicago Community Trust, 2008.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2008.

Inventory of the Chicago Community Trust Excellence in Dance Initiative Records, 1999-2007
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/17/2011: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States