Chicago Human Rhythm Project Awarded $20K NEA Grant

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) to support its citywide festival, Stomping Grounds; its grand finale performance, Chicago Rhythm Fest; the Rhythm World summer festival; and a home season for CHRP's resident ensemble. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and strengthening of communities through the arts.

"The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts," said Chu. "Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer."

"We're honored to receive support from the NEA, which allows us to present new, citywide performances, deepen our engagement with students in arts education programs and continue to facilitate peace through rhythmic expression," said CHRP’s founder and artistic director, Lane Alexander. "We're especially excited to present the third annual citywide Stomping Grounds  festival and its culminating concert, the Chicago Rhythm Fest."  

For 26 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has helped to foster a remarkable revival of American tap dance throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. CHRP’s Rhythm World festival is the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world. CHRP has expanded its work through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for children, teens, adults and seniors.

For information about CHRP programming, visit

CHRP's BAM! percussive dance ensemble (photo by Peter Wochniak).