Dance as a Learning Platform

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Funding Received: 2012
Chicago, IL
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
July 14, 2013


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s nine-month residency at 1871 is rapidly coming to an end, but our work with Dance as a Learning Platform is still underway.  Entrepreneurs from 1871 joined us on Wednesday, June 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art for a technical rehearsal of danc(e)volve – our new works festival.  Our final performance experience at 1871 will take place on Thursday, June 27.  Terence Marling, the director of HS2, has conceived the evening as one of co-creation.  Members of 1871 will work with the dancers to generate a new improvisational (yet structured) work.

In the meantime, our series of video learnings is also nearly complete.  We’ve publically posted seven videos on our key topics – Leadership, Feedback, Creativity, Innovation, Collaboration, Team-building, and now Sustainability.  The Emmy Award-winning HMS Media is in the process of assembling our final short film – this time concerning Growth.  We are using footage shot during danc(e)volve, so we hope to make a direct connection between the video and the work that 1871 members saw at the MCA.

Recent Wins

We are actively seeking feedback from 1871 members as we have developed Dance as a Learning Platform.  Recently, Hubbard Street Communications Manager Zac Whittenburg interviewed Phil Davis, the CEO of Rapleaf (an 1871 resident company).  He expressed experiencing great benefits from 1871’s collaboration with Hubbard Street: “My company is at a place where I need to know how I can better manage my employees.  The first learning event really drove home the idea that you need to understand how you give instruction, recognize how flexible you are in that, and hire people who can be successful in that environment.”

Some of our most invested collaborators have come from the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which is charged with managing 1871 – and through them, we expect to see new relationships develop as we move forward.  For example, Una Pipic, formerly with the CEC, has just been named SVP of New Business and Marketing at Edelman.  We’re excited to work with Una in her new role.  At the same time, new companies are constantly being added to the mix at 1871 – so we’re exploring the possibility of repeating a number of our early classroom learnings, giving us the opportunity to fine-tune the curriculum.

We have also begun to actively develop our strategy for the next stage of Dance as a Learning Platform.  We will be condensing 40+ minutes of video footage into a highlight reel to present to potential clients, developing print and on-line marketing materials, as well as creating a pricing structure and sales strategy.  We’ve also made a commitment to Hubbard Street’s Board (and to ourselves) to leverage this investment in a substantial way in FY14 – so we’ve created revenue goals as well.


The past year has been filled with questions and conversations about the role of place in our work – our current contemplation:  How important will ‘place’ be in our future development of Dance as a Learning PlatformAre there ways to further the principles of creative placemaking as we move into the next stage?