PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Pictured: IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES at Teatro Vista, a Saints grand recipient. Photo by Joel Maisonet.
The Saints, Chicago’s Volunteers for the Performing Arts, have announced $125,000 in grants to 28 performing arts groups in the Chicago metropolitan area for 2016. The grants, ranging in amounts from $1,000 to $7,500, were awarded to theater, dance, and music organizations. Over the last two decades, the Saints have given almost $800,000 to many different performing arts groups.
Among the many projects funded are commissions of new works, enhancement of performance spaces, and the purchase of various kinds of technical equipment. The selection committee evaluated a total of 120 proposals. Awardees range in size from relatively new companies to some well-known brand names in Chicago performing arts. Funding for the grants comes almost exclusively from the annual membership dues of the over 2,400 members of the Saints.
The recipients of the 2016 Saints grants, in alphabetical order:
AERIAL DANCE CHICAGO—for Ghost Stories, a Halloween-inspired evening of aerial dance dealing with the supernatural.
AGUIJON THEATER—The predominately Spanish-language company will receive a overhaul of their lighting equipment for their space in the northwest Cragin neighborhood.
ATHENAEUM THEATRE—The venerable Lakeview performance space and community center where the Saints office is located will have a new digital projector system for their mainstage.
BABES WITH BLADES—The women and stage combat oriented company will create a box office and concession area outside the City Lit Theater space at Edgewater Presbyterian Church.
BIG NOISE THEATRE COMPANY—The Des Plaines company will use the Saints money to costume this fall’s production of Seussical The Musical.
BRIGHTSIDE THEATRE—The Naperville company will be receiving updated sound equipment for their space at Melley-Swallow Hall on the North Central College campus.
BROWN PAPER BOX CO.—The company specializing in “engaging, innovative – yet simple – theatre” will use their Saints grant to produce the Chicago premiere of Now. Here. This., a new musical from the creators of [title of show] in July at Rivendell Theatre.
CERQUA RIVERA DANCE THEATRE—The company that combines dance with music and visual art is using their grant to pay artists for its three-year project American Catracho, the creation of artistic director Wilfredo Rivera.
CHICAGO CHORAL ARTISTS—The choral group celebrating its 40th anniversary will hire professional musicians to accompany their season of three concerts.
CHICAGO DANZTHEATRE ENSEMBLE—will have new lighting equipment for their performances at Andersonville’s Ebenezer Lutheran Church.
CHICAGO JAZZ ORCHESTRA—Chicago’s longest-running jazz Big Band will have new equipment.
CITADEL THEATRE COMPANY—The Lake Forest-based company (which turned Equity last year) gets a new sound system.
DEAD WRITERS THEATRE COLLECTIVE—will buy power tools for set construction.
FILAMENT THEATRE ENSEMBLE—The Portage Park company gets a new sound system.
HALCYON THEATRE—The Albany Park company will develop a visiting company program.
IDLE M– USE THEATRE COMPANY—will add lighting equipment for their shows at Edgewater’s new Edge Theatre.
LAKESHORE PRIDE MUSICAL ENSEMBLES—will buy new sousaphones for the Freedom Marching Band
MAIN STREET OPERA—The Saints grant will pay for the royalties for the July performances of the Gian Carlo Menotti opera The Consul.
NORTHBROOK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA—will replace 35 year old music stands.
NOTHING SPECIAL PRODUCTIONS—will hire a costume designer for their upcoming production of Gayspolitation.
ORACLE THEATRE—The innovators of “Public Access Theatre” will have new projection and lighting equipment.
PEGASUS THEATRE CHICAGO—The long-standing company will produce a new musical adaptation of Charles Johnson’s novel Middle Passage called Rutherford’s Travels, written by David Barr III and artistic director Ilesa Duncan.
RED CLAY DANCE COMPANY—The South Side Afro-contemporary dance company will use their Saints grants for paying for artist and costumes for a new work.
REMBRANDT CHAMBER PLAYERS—The classical chamber music ensemble will pay for commission fees, musician stipends and production expenses for two of next season’s concerts.
SIDESHOW THEATRE COMPANY— will fund their Freshness Initiative new play development program.
TEATRO VISTA—Chicago’s pioneering Latino company will have a new video projection system.
TUTA THEATRE CHICAGO— a computerized lighting board.
TWO PENCE THEATRE CO.—Will create an intimate Jacobean parlor for audiences to enter in during their production of Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure this summer.