Sybil Shearer Studio

Organization Type

After several years of working closely with the Ragdale Foundation, the SYBIL SHEARER STUDIO AT RAGDALE is underway in Lake Forest. The MSF gift of 1.5 million dollars is significant at a time when arts funding is floundering, and makes it possible for the development of both the dance studio and an adjacent composer's studio. Woodhouse-Tinucci Architects and Goldberg General Contracting are hard at work, and we expect the Studio to open in the Fall of 2021. As part of the Ragdale artists’ community, it will provide an inspiring space for new creativity in dance and movement – a living legacy of Sybil Shearer and Helen Balfour Morrison.

A documentary film committee, chaired by Liz Kidera, has commissioned Bob Hercules and Media Process Group (MPG) to create a short film about the work of Sybil, Helen, and the dance studios. It will premier as part of the opening of the new Sybil Shearer Dance Studio at Ragdale, Fall of 2021.

The roughly 2,500 square foot new building will house both the Sybil Shearer Studio and a new composer’s studio. The Sybil Shearer Studio space will boast a 30’ x 50’ sprung wood floor, flexible lighting options, and audio-visual equipment. Both studios will be accompanied by private sleeping spaces with full bathrooms and be fully accessible. The composer’s studio will have a thick acoustical curtain, and provision will be made for containing sound in the Sybil Shearer Studio as well. Additionally, large windows will enable Ragdale resident artists to experience the feeling of being immersed in nature as Shearer did in her original Northbrook studio.

RAGDALE is a nonprofit artists’ community located on the former country estate of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. The Ragdale campus is located on the verdant 5-acre historic grounds, not far from Lake Michigan and approximately 30 miles north of Chicago.

Ragdale’s mission is to embolden creative exploration and achievement by giving courage to and providing a setting establishing a culture of excellence, generosity, and inclusivity. Typically, 200 residencies and fellowships are offered annually to creative professionals of all types, representing a cross-section of ages, cultures, experience and mediums. While residents do pay a fee to attend, the actual costs of a residency are about 95 percent subsidized by Ragdale’s annual fundraising.


Sybil Shearer Studio

1230 North Green Bay Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045