Links Hall
3111 North Western Ave
Chicago, IL  60618
Phone:
(773) 281-0824
Fax:
(773) 281-1915
Executive Director:
Ms. Roell Schmidt
Web Site:
www.linkshall.org

History:
Links Hall was founded in 1978 as a non-profit arts organization by three innovative dancer/choreographers: Carol Bobrow, Bob Eisen, and Charlie Vernon. The single studio space was initially run as an artists' cooperative which provided affordable space and community to hundreds of experimental dancers and performance artists who independently created work, taught classes and self-produced performances that sought to push beyond the boundaries of their artistic forms. In 1985 Eisen invited percussionist and improviser Michael Zerang to initiate and present a curated performance series. Zerang functioned as Artistic Director from 1985-89 followed by Jim deJong from 1989-1991. The recordings of the performance series during this period are archived as The Links Hall Collection at the Experimental Sound Studio. Following the closing of MoMing, Chicago's dance and avant-garde performance venue in 1992, Links Hall became the home for many of its former staff members and artists which led to the National Performance Network inviting Links Hall to become a partner in 1998. Bob Eisen retired from the staff in 2000 and dancer/choreographer Asimina Chremos took over as Artistic Director. Under her direction Chremos developed the LinkUP residency program one of the most sought after programs for artistic development by Chicago's emerging dance and performance artists before she departed in 2004. CJ Mitchell was hired in 2004 as the organization's first Executive Director and under his leadership the Artistic Associate Festival program began and Links Hall created its first strategic plan. In 2009 when Mitchell departed, the board search committee re-evaluated the position and renamed it Director reflecting its dual role as Executive and Artistic Director, hiring Roell Schmidt. Schmidt was appointed to the City of Chicago's Cultural Advisory Council in 2011. In April 2013, Links Hall moved from its long-time home in Wrigleyville to Constellation | Links Hall, a two studio, collaborative arts venue, with composer/music presenter Mike Reed in the former Viaduct Theater space on Western Avenue.

Mission Statement:
Links Hall was founded in 1978 as a non-profit arts organization by three innovative dancer/choreographers: Carol Bobrow, Bob Eisen, and Charlie Vernon. The single studio space was initially run as an artists' cooperative which provided affordable space and community to hundreds of experimental dancers and performance artists who independently created work, taught classes and self-produced performances that sought to push beyond the boundaries of their artistic forms. In 1985 Eisen invited percussionist and improviser Michael Zerang to initiate and present a curated performance series. Zerang functioned as Artistic Director from 1985-89 followed by Jim deJong from 1989-1991. The recordings of the performance series during this period are archived as The Links Hall Collection at the Experimental Sound Studio. Following the closing of MoMing, Chicago's dance and avant-garde performance venue in 1992, Links Hall became the home for many of its former staff members and artists which led to the National Performance Network inviting Links Hall to become a partner in 1998. Bob Eisen retired from the staff in 2000 and dancer/choreographer Asimina Chremos took over as Artistic Director. Under her direction Chremos developed the LinkUP residency program one of the most sought after programs for artistic development by Chicago's emerging dance and performance artists before she departed in 2004. CJ Mitchell was hired in 2004 as the organization's first Executive Director and under his leadership the Artistic Associate Festival program began and Links Hall created its first strategic plan. In 2009 when Mitchell departed, the board search committee re-evaluated the position and renamed it Director reflecting its dual role as Executive and Artistic Director, hiring Roell Schmidt. Schmidt was appointed to the City of Chicago's Cultural Advisory Council in 2011. In April 2013, Links Hall moved from its long-time home in Wrigleyville to Constellation | Links Hall, a two studio, collaborative arts venue, with composer/music presenter Mike Reed in the former Viaduct Theater space on Western Avenue.

Current Program:
Links Hall fulfills its mission as a performing arts incubator through residency programs, artist-curated festivals and cabarets, the apprentice producer program, fiscal sponsorship program, artistic exchanges, co-presentations, low-cost space rentals, direct grants to artists, workshops, and as one of 71 presenting and visual arts partners in the National Performance Network. Links provides artists with the space, time and support to take artistic risks and leverages its position in the Chicago community and nationally to open doors for independent artists. As The Boeing Company stated in its decision to start funding the organization in 2005, if Links Hall did not exist, someone would have to invent it because of the vital role it plays in Chicago's cultural ecology. Links is unique as an independent, artist-led incubator who supports artists across all performance disciplines, at all stages in their careers.

Grants Since 2007:
YearProgram AreaAmount
2013Arts & Culture$13,500.00
2011Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2010Arts & Culture$20,000.00
2010Arts & Culture$8,000.00
2009Arts & Culture$15,000.00
2009Arts & Culture$5,500.00
2008Arts & Culture$25,000.00
2008Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2008Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2007Arts & Culture$25,000.00