The Dancers’ Fund

Financial Assistance for Chicago-area Dance Community Professionals

The Dancers’ Fund provides short-term financial assistance to dance community professionals facing critical health issues which result in a significant financial emergency, or catastrophic hardship. Although this program was originally created in response to the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the dance community, its mission has now broadened. The Dancers’ Fund offers assistance with, but is not limited to, costs associated with medical needs such as physician encounters, medical testing, and medication. Additional assistance may be provided for home health care, housing, utilities, insurance, and other basic needs when medical circumstances adversely impact the applicant’s ability to work in the dance profession and, in turn, hinders their ability to pay for these necessities.

Designed to help eligible applicants meet their financial obligations while managing critical health issues, The Dancers’ Fund is available to Chicago-area professionally trained working dancers, as well as those whose primary source of income is derived from employment in Chicago’s dance community.

Eligible Applicants include, but are 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
  • Full-time class/rehearsal piano accompanists

It is essential for applicants to demonstrate all of the following:

  • Eligibility (defined above)
  • Evidence of a critical health issue
  • How the critical health issue impacts upon their ability to maintain work in the dance community
  • The financial hardship for which the applicant is requesting assistance

How the Fund Works

The Dancers’ Fund is a temporary assistance resource and is not intended for long-term or recurring support.  Grant awardees may reapply after twelve months following a prior Dancers’ Fund grant, however such grant requests will be considered only on a case-by-case basis and where extraordinary circumstances exist.

The grant is paid directly to the collector. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis by a committee comprised of the executive director and board members of Chicago Dancers United. The board reserves the right to alter, amend, modify and change the purpose, categories of assistance, limitations on assistance, eligibility and documentation at any time.

Chicago Dancers United does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.

The application is available here: Dancers Fund Application. For additional information or if you have any questions, contact Kesha M Pate at