Dance, Money, & Success

Event Type
Event Description

NOTE: this session is concurrent with Reign Drop Winker's "Embodying The River Archetype - The Wolfpack" in Studio 200.

Round Robin Discussion: "Dance, Money, & Success"

When thinking about the trajectory of dance curriculum, it is critical that dance programs explicitly acknowledge and prepare students for the financial realities associated with careers in the field. Joanna Furnans shares her 2022 Gibney Journal essay, “More Truths About Dance and Money,” and expands on certain points in the essay, opening the floor for conversation and commentary. Data from a recent survey by Chicago Dancemakers Forum indicates the range of dance budget sizes for individual artists in Chicago last year and the percentages of artists who are self-funding. Furnans also draws on examples from journalism and dance history to show how details of artists’ lives have been removed from the narratives about their work resulting in a perpetuation of the meritocracy myth and/or dismissal of hardship and struggle.

Joanna Furnans is a dance artist, writer, and administrator. Her work has been supported by a MANCC Forward Dialogues Laboratory, a Schonberg Offshore Creation Residency at the Yard, an Institutional Incubator Sponsorship at High Concept Labs, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Program, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Dancers’ Fund, the Chicago Moving Company, Links Hall, and the Walker Art Center’s Choreographer’s Evening. She has danced in the works of various independent artists including Kaz Sherman, Morgan Thorson, Chris Schlichting, Kim Brandt, Laurie Van Wieren, the BodyCartography Project, and Ginger Krebs. Joanna is currently the executive director of Chicago Dancemakers Forum and is a director on the board of Roman Susan Art Foundation. She is the co-founder and co-organizer of the Performance Response Journal, an online platform for writing about dance and hybrid performance in Chicago.

Photos of Joanna Furnans by Ricardo E. Adame (left) and Christine Wallers (right).

About the American Dancing Bodies Symposium

In 2012 a curricular revolution took place at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago recognizing the American dancing body as a rich fusion of techniques originating in Africa, Europe and the United States. More than a decade since this transformation at the Dance Center, the impact locally and nationally has been profound. The 2-day American Dancing Bodies Symposium invites dance educators, enthusiasts, practitioners, scholars, and students to explore together the intersectionality of present-day dance: what's now and what's next in dance, on the stage, in the studio, and in the classroom?

Running Time
80 minutes


The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago

1306 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 369-8330