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Chicago Dance and Music Alliance records

Identifier: Dance-MS-CDAMA

Scope and Content of the Collection

Administrative materials, development information, financial records, membership files, photographs, audiovisual, and publicity materials related to the Chicago Dance Coalition, the Chicago Music Alliance, and their merged organization the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance. Additionally, there are event materials for the Ruth Page Awards, later known as the Chicago Dance Awards. The Chicago Dance and Music Alliance also includes digital data items.


  • Creation: 1980-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1983 - 2000



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Chicago Dance and Music Alliance records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Chicago Dance and Music Alliance records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance

Chicago dance and music advocacy organization.

The Chicago Dance and Music Alliance (CDAMA or CDMA) started in 2001 when the Chicago Dance Coalition and Chicago Music Alliance merged. Chicago Music Alliance Executive Director Matthew Brockmeier oversaw the transition, and continued on as CDAMA’s first leader. CDAMA served over 150 organizational members, providing direct services to members engaged in all genres of dance and music in the Chicago area, acted as an advocate on their behalf, and disseminated information about their activities to the general public through program initiatives. Member organizations ranged in size from those with budgets over $50 million annually, to community-based organizations operating on a few thousand dollars a year and individual members. Services included professional development and networking opportunities, nonprofit governance, and directories of member performances and community resources. The organization was active until 2008.

The Chicago Dance Coalition (CDC), first incorporated in 1981 as Chicago Dance, Inc. and then in 1984 as the Chicago Dance Arts Coalition, a 501 ( c ) 3 broad-based membership organization, advocated for, enhanced interest in, and provided accessibility to dance and dance related issues in the Chicago area. To coincide with that mission, the CDC represented all genres of dance and all types of dance activities, such as training programs, audiences for dance performance, performing artists and organizations, and recreational dance. The CDC advocated for dance in public and private sectors, often collaborating or partnering with other Chicago area organizations in the process. Additionally, the CDC offered direct services to dance producers (fee and non-fee based) to assist in their unique needs and enhance accessibility to dance arts. Through it all, the CDC saw itself as a cultural resource, a leader and catalyst for new and important developments in Chicago and Illinois dance.

In 1986, CDC started the Ruth Page Awards, an annual event recognizing individuals and organizations for their contributions in the dance field. The awards included categories such as Artistic Achievement of the Year, Outstanding Contribution of the Year, and Lifetime Service to the Field. This event continued through 2001, and after a year hiatus returned as the Chicago Dance Awards.

Founded in 1984 by 38 not-for-profit music organizations including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Music Alliance (CMA) served the music community with programs and services in advocacy, education, marketing, and management skills training. Additionally, like the CDC, CMA educated public and private sectors about live musical performances in the Chicago area and collaborated with other organizations. CMA’s membership included performing musicians, music educators, music organizations, and people interested music.


38 Linear Feet (84 boxes, 3 record cartons, one oversize box, and loose materials)

3 Linear Feet (VHS, open reel tapes, and audiocassettes)


Records of the Chicago Dance Coalition, the Chicago Music Alliance, and the merged Chicago Dance and Music Alliance. Includes administrative, financial, and photographic materials as well as audiovisual and digital data items.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Chicago Dance Coalition Records, 1980-2000
Boxes 1-43
Series 2: Chicago Music Alliance Records, 1983-2001
Boxes 50-90
Series 3: Chicago Dance and Music Alliance Records, 1999-2005
Boxes 91-94
Audiovisual materials
Audiovisual boxes (restricted)

Collection Stack Location

3a 50 7-9


Gift, Emily Herr, 2009.

Processed by

Catherine Grandgeorge, Samantha Smith, and Kathryn Antonelli, 2017.



  • 190 items were deaccessioned.
Inventory of the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance records, 1980-2005, bulk 1983-2000
Samantha Smith and Catherine Grandgeorge
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-01-17: Audiovisual materials have been permanently removed from the collection for preservation. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States