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  • It’s got rhythm: the Fine Arts Building

Chicago Human Rhythm Project head Lane Alexander has seen the future of dance funding, and it’s tuition-based education. Well, that and collaboration.

Alexander just announced the location and features of the new American Rhythm Center, a cooperative studio and office space he’s been working to establish for several years. The location is a spot that no less than five Reader writers (including me) put on their 2011 Best of Chicago lists: the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan. The ARC’s three new or remodeled studios should be in limited use by late July, in conjunction with CHRP’s annual Rhythm World Festival.

Question is, if you build it out, will they come? Though these spaces will be used for rehearsal by some of CHRP’s eight partners, they’re also earmarked for dance classes. Alexander clearly thinks the public will take an interest. “Making art has become more nourishing than watching others make art,” he says in a press release. That might sound inflammatory to some arts groups, but it’s also good news in the long run. In February 2011, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago published an NEA report showing, among other things, that taking classes in the arts produces arts consumers.

Arts education is also a potential source of income for arts groups, at a time when both ticket sales and public and private contributions are dwindling. ARC’s aim, Alexander says, is to attract “students from Chicago, the U.S. and around the world to study dance in Chicago’s emerging dance corridor.” Make no little plans.