MacArthur Awards for Creative & Effective Institutions

Lucky Plush Productions

Chicago, Illinois | 2016 Award Recipient

Reinventing contemporary dance through storytelling and humor

Lucky Plush Productions creates a hybrid form of dance theater that blends nuanced dialogue, lush choreography, and unexepcted humor. It has built a national reputation for work that is thought provoking and relatable.

Lucky Plush is committed to moving the dance field forward through risk taking and innovation. It collaborates widely with performance arts groups and presenters, and it consistently hires and collaborates with the city’s most highly sought-after talent. Its approach to both its artistic work and its organizational structure emphasizes creativity. In 2009, well before it was a regular practice, Lucky Plush began inviting audiences into the creative process by building a website where people could comment, donate material, and engage in conversations about the work’s content.

Cinderbox 2.0, 2012

In addition to its artistic innovation, Lucky Plush demonstrates remarkable savvy in employing responsible administrative and financial practices. It led the effort to establish Creative Partners, a collaborative effort with Eighth Blackbird and Blair Thomas and Company to provide for a shared full-time development staff to drive growth and generate new resources.

Lucky Plush is the first Chicago dance company that the Harris Theater for Music and Dance has both commissioned and fully presented. By weaving together storytelling, contemporary dance, and physical theater, along with plenty of humor, Lucky Plush is the only Chicago dance company creating original work that extensively tours, performing in more than 40 venues, nationally and internationally, over the last five seasons.

Lucky Plush Productions will use its $200,000 MacArthur Award to increase its reserve fund; it will use a small portion for technology upgrades and marketing.

Grantee Profile: Learn more about Lucky Plush Productions

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