Client Spotlight: DanceWorks Chicago

DanceWorks Chicago (DWC) has provided artistic training and guidance along with financial and emotional support for young dancers and choreographers for 11 years. DWC fosters a diverse next generation of movers and makers, empowering young artists to cultivate their unique voices through skill acquisition and development, collaborations and relationship-building with a global perspective, intense and intentional mentorship, and performances shining a light on dancers and dance.  Dancers are encouraged to explore their technical capability as well as their artistic curiosity in an individualized and personal approach with the goal of nurturing passionate, articulate artists able to make meaningful contributions to the art form and their community.

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Since 2011, DWC has welcomed 6 new board members through the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s On BOARD program. The most recent addition to DWC’s board of directors is On BOARD graduate, Katie Hynan. As a first-time board member, Hynan reflects on the ways the On BOARD program prepared her for her position with DWC. 

“Prior to joining DWC, I had never served on a board. While I had always been an admirer of the arts, I had little knowledge of how small arts non-profits function. Without the Arts & Business Council's On BOARD program, I would not have been appropriately prepared to serve as a board member. On BOARD provided me key knowledge in the areas of finance, legal, tax, and fundraising.”

A member of the management team at Axiom Consulting Partners, Hynan brings a wealth of experience in organizational effectiveness to the DWC board of directors. In her professional work, Hynan has consulted with corporations and nonprofit organizations to refine human capital strategies with a focus on performance and rewards.

DWC’s engagement with the Arts & Business Council spans far beyond On BOARD. A member of The Chicago Community Trust’s SMART Growth cohort from 2011 – 2014, DWC completed the Arts & Business Council’s smARTscope assessment to reveal targeted areas for growth within six key management areas: concept development & planning, board governance, income generation, financial management, audience development & marketing, and staffing & organizational structure. smARTscope, a proprietary assessment tool, allowed DWC to identify a need to focus on growth within their board recruitment efforts and marketing. The organization achieved their goals by developing a strategic plan with clearly defined benchmarks. Co-founder and Former DWC board President Pam Crutchfield reflects that, 

“Because of the time that the board spent together discussing and analyzing the results from the assessment, we became a more cohesive and closer-knit board. We had in-depth discussions of who we are, who we want to be, and who we don’t want to be. That was very helpful in leading us to look at our mission and expand and deepen the way we communicate who we are to the dance community at large.” 

Get to know DanceWorks Chicago! Spring takes off in March with DanceFlight, a sampling of dance to fill your one-hour dance card! Stay afterwards for an informal, post-performance meet the artist session. Think global; dance local! The program will include a new work by French choreographer, Manuel Vignoulle, a premiere by Chicago-based Shannon Alvis, and work by Princess Grace Award-winner Joshua Manculich. Learn more about DanceWorks Chicago and view a full list of their upcoming performances and events on their website