Beat goes on for Rhythm Project
Juba Award recipient Susan Oppenheimer, originally of Highland Park, and CHRP board member Sharon Rossmark of Northbrook. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:02AM
The Event: More than 200 guests helped Chicago Human Rhythm Project launch its 23rd season with “Jubalee.” The annual gala benefit was celebrated on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Stage in Millennium Park with veteran journalist Bill Kurtis acting as Master of Ceremonies on Oct. 29.
The evening’s inspiring performances featured CHRP’s resident ensemble BAM!, Kalapriya’s Indian folk dancing, “Chicago’s top footworkers,” the FootworKINGz, and a special appearance by Emmy-award-winning Ted Levy, one of America’s premier tap dance artists.
The world’s first year-round presenter of American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts, CHRP also supports world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs.
Cause célèbre: “There are no small things that happen. It’s very small with limited resources and yet what Chicago Human Rhythm Project is able to pull off is huge,” said honoree Susan Oppenheimer who has been involved with the organization since 2006.
Vice-chairman Amy Bacon Volpe commented on what a difference a year makes. This time last year CHRP was desperate to find a permanent home.
“And we’ve found it!” said Volpe of the educational and rehearsal facilities CHRP established this Fall in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. The new American Rhythm Center was created to be used as collaborative, affordable and sustainable space alongside other leading Chicago arts and cultural organizations.
“We know that education — for kids and adults — will actually sustain an organization through lean times,” said CHRP founder and director Lane Alexander who has worked to keep his organization flourishing in the current economic climate.
“Come and support tap and see what kind of a wonderful art form it is. It’s worth your money,” said Oppenheimer.
The Bottom Line: The event raised $200,000 for Chicago Human Rhythm Project.~.