research and resources


See Chicago Dance is here for you in these unprecedented times. Anyone in the dance community (both members and non-members) should reach out to us anytime for guidance, support, direction, or just to talk. If you aren’t sure what to do, or what’s next for you or your organization, you are not alone.  We are here to help however we can. Email or call our offices at (312) 846-6357 and we will direct your call to a staff or board member that will help with your concerns.



COVID-19 Arts Resources

SCD's Health Month Series, Taking Care of Your Mental Health: Erica Hornthal, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy, leads a discussion (via Zoom) on mental health for dancers during the pandemic.

Arts for Illinois: A collaboration between the state, City of Chicago, and members of the philanthropic community to support the statewide creative sector during the COVID-19 crisis.

Arts Relief Fund: Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource.

The National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act: The NEA will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19.

Dance/USA Resources Related to the Coronavirus: Dance/USA is working with the Performing Arts Alliance and ArtsReady to provide a number of resources regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our field.

COVID-19 Freeland Artist Resources: This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community.

Unemployment Benefits Finder: Database of unemployment filing info based on geographic location, including updates on COVID-19 amendments

Candor Hiring Freeze List: Live crowdsourced document lists all the companies who are actively hiring versus on hiring freezes. Please note this isn’t specific to the arts and entertainment industry but does have a number of creative industry employers on it.

Chicago Artist Relief Fund: Created by Chicago-area artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to support our colleagues in the greater Chicago arts community who are experiencing financial repercussions due to pandemic-related cancellations.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts Brief Service Response Center: Provides general advice by telephone on issues relating to cancellations. The Response Center is open for individual artists and managers of arts organizations affected by the Coronavirus crisis

How PPP Forgiveness Can Turn a Loan Into a Grant: The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan fund is officially tapped out (for now), but if you were able to secure a loan through this program for your freelance business, it is important to know how forgiveness of this loan will work on your 2020 tax return.

Actors Fund Emergency Assistance: Services include emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care, secondary career development and more.

Springboard for the Arts: Principles for an ethical cancellation.

Panel: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic (ASL & Captioned): Join HowlRound plus a group of artists, arts administrators, and others from around the US on Monday 16 March 2020 who discussed how COVID-19 is impacting freelance artists (those who identify as independent contractors) from all disciplines and where artists can look for support in this complicated moment.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants: The program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.

Association of Performing Arts Professionals: APAP is monitoring the spread and impact of the Coronavirus on a daily basis and working with other field leadership organizations to gather information, share resources, and advocate for the field.

Chicago COVID-19 Mutual Aid Volunteer Sign-up: This list is being compiled by Chicago organizer Kelly Hayes to share with groups that are doing mutual aid work around COVID-19 in Chicago.


Artsearch: The essential search for careers in the arts.

Forefront: The premier resource for networking and education, information and knowledge, and leadership and advocacy on behalf of philanthropy and nonprofits in Illinois.

Foundation Center: An online database (both free and with subscription) that allows grant searches by state, funding focus, etc.


Day of Dancer Health 2019: Online resource for information in connection with See Chicago Dance's Day of Dancer Health 2019, including handouts on anxiety, sleep hygeine, basic nutrition tips, and a master exercise guide. Day of Dancer Health, a health & wellness community event for professional dancers, was developed by Dance/USA's Task Force on Dancer Health. 2019 Sponors include Chicago Dancers United - Dance for Life and The Drucker Center - The Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls.


The Dancer’s Fund: The Dancers’ Fund provides financial assistance (grants) to dance community professionals dealing with critical health issues creating a significant financial, emergency, or catastrophic hardship. Although this program was created in response to the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the dance community, our mission has now broadened. The fund offers assistance in, but not limited to, the following areas: housing, utilities, insurance, medication and travel.

Designed to help qualified individuals meet their financial obligations while dealing with their health issues, The Dancers’ Fund is available to Chicago-based, professionally trained working dancers and those whose primary source of income is derived by serving the dance community. This includes, but is not limited to: dancers in a professional dance company, choreographers, dance company full-time administration/production/technical personnel, full-time dance instructors, freelance dancers, musical theatre chorus dancers, and full-time class/rehearsal piano accompanists.


UIC Health and the Arts Program: Diagnosing, treating and preventing arts-related disorders among people working in all aspects of the arts.

The Dancers’ Resource: Recognizing that the situations faced by injured dancers are all-encompassing in terms of both life and career, the program was started to create a support system that addresses the needs of dancers.


Service Organizations
Arts & Business Council of Chicago: A&BC-Chicago supports arts groups by strengthening the management of their organizations through educational programs like workshops and forums, and business services linking the for-profit sector.

Chicago Artist Resource: Offers comprehensive resources for dancers’ professional development and frequently updated directories of local opportunities and facilities.

Dance/USA: Dance/USA sponsors council meetings for member artists and groups to meet and discuss current issues and trends in the field, to network in a peer-to-peer, collaborative environment.

Pentacle: Collaborating with performing artists to design and provide unique and robust programs of support at critical stages in their careers.

Fractured Atlas: Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

Arts Alliance Illinois: Illinois leading voice for the cultural sector and creative industries. Through civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity initiatives, they promote the value of the arts and give voice to a creative state.


TechSoup: Connecting your nonprofit, charity, or public library with technology products, plus the free learning resources you need to make informed decisions about technology.

Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN): Membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals. Helps nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively with webinars, access to new research and industry reports and IT trainings.


"Mapping the Dance Landscape in Chicagoland" (2019): In 2002, Dance/USA published a groundbreaking study about Chicagoland’s dance community. Seventeen years later, Candid, Sustain Arts, and See Chicago Dance came together to update the data to reveal the opportunities and challenges facing dancers, dance organizations, and the sector as a whole. 


"Public Funding for Art: Chicago Compared with 12 Peer Regions" (2014): Supported in part by Arts Alliance Illinois, and with the cooperation of several local arts agencies, including Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special events, and of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.This study compares the direct public dollars received by organizations and artists in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Diego, and San Francisco from 2002-2012.


"Building New Audiences for Dance" (2014): With support from the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, See Chicago Dance (formerly Audience Architects) retained CBWhite to enhance understanding of current dance patrons through a market research survey. The survey analyzes and investigates motivations and barriers to attendance for 1,400 dance ticket buyers in the Chicago area. The significant findings can help dance organizations tailor and target their marketing tactics and campaigns.


SMID Study Report (2005): Serving Dance in Chicago: A Planning Process for Small to Mid-sized Companies and Independent Artists.