• CHANCES presents PLATFORMS: a ten-year retrospective

    CHANCES presents PLATFORMS: a ten-year retrospective

    Big big news y'all! This fall, please join Chances as we celebrate our ten-year anniversary with a multi-venue retrospective featuring the work of over 75 Chances community members, organizers, and allies. PLATFORMS celebrates the Chances community's role in Chicago's art and nightlife scenes, and in contemporary creative and political culture at large. 

    Stay tuned here as we announce art openings, performances, screenings and discussions during our two-month celebration, from September 3-October 24, 2015. 

    Hosted by: 


    Begun in 2005 as an inclusive, welcoming, and alternative queer dance party, Chances Dances is a collective of artists, activists, DJs, and educators who organize parties, build safer spaces, and support local art and activism through direct funding and other resources. 

    Since its founding, Chances has sought to bring together Chicago’s varied LGBTIQ communities by organizing dance parties that welcome people of all gender expressions and racial identities. For the last six years, Chances has channeled profits from its parties into a biannual microgrant for local artists. In 2008, Chances launched the Critical Fierceness Grant, which awards $500 to Chicago-based artists and collectives who identify themselves or their work as queer. In 2012, Chances expanded the Critical Fierceness Grant to include the Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant, which funds projects by queer, feminine spectrum artists of color with $1,000 grants. Through this grassroots funding in addition to our robust performance programming, Chances has established itself as hub of queer artistic activity in Chicago for ten years running. 

    In Fall 2015, the PLATFORMS retrospective will showcase the artworks, herstory, and community-building processes of the Chances community over the last 10 years at several sites across Chicago. PLATFORMS seeks to expand the reach of a long-standing and multifaceted queer collective practice, in which the group can foster meaningful experiences for multiple publics to engage with queer art and politics.

  • The Critical Fierceness Grant is on hiatus!

    Dearest Communities -

    We are in the midst of coordinating a gigantic multisite series of events to unfold throughout September and October of this year. This is taking a huge amount of resources and energy, and as such, we are postponing our biannual microgranting program until further notice. We are hoping and aiming to be back in action with the free dollars for queer arts by this next Winter Cycle (January 2016). Stay tuned for updates! We love you and hope this isn't too much of a let down.

    Hugs, etc

    Team Chances



    A few important updates!

    We had our last monthly night at The Hideout in April. We will be returning to this beloved space and staff in September and October. In the meantime, The Lady Speedstick will keep the queer cuteness alive every first Saturday with Club Soda.

    We have moved Chances at Subterranean to the THIRD SATURDAY of every month! A $5 entry fee goes to support guest artists and DJs and keep the Chances operation alive. SubT will be providing ramps, making the space and upstairs restroom accessible via wheelchair.

    Off Chances is her good old sister self every SECOND TUESDAY at Danny's.

    See you on the floor baby boos!

    Team C/D

  • Congratulations to Po' Chop, Daviel Shy, Anna Martine Whitehead, Nicole Garneau, and caliXta: the 2015 Winter Cycle Critical Fierceness Grantees!

    We are thrilled to announce the Winter 2015 Critical Fierceness Grant & Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant winners! Check it out and keep an eye out for some magical stuff from this incredible lineup of makers and shakers!

    Po' Chop [Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant]

    Focusing on the upbringing of African American children and the conversations that occur between parent and child surrounding the topics of self-identity and racism, Po' Chop's untitled project aims to capture the complexities, challenges, and concerns that encompass raising a black child in America. Through a series of multimedia documented interviews, parents will be asked questions geared towards gaining a better understanding of the reality of raising a black child.  Upon completion, these interviews will serve as the backbone of a multimedia docudrama performance. [Photo credit: VAM]

    Daviel Shy [Critical Fierceness Grant]

    Daviel Shy's The Ladies Almanack is a feature film based on the 1928 novel by Djuna Barnes. Re-told through the theoretical framework of 1970’s French feminism, the film folds together the lives of the characters with the lives of the cast; which includes philosopher Hélène Cixous, poet Eileen Myles, and cult lesbian film star Guinevere Turner and other brilliant artists, poets and revolutionaries of our day.

    Anna Martine Whitehead [Critical Fierceness Grant]

    Memory Loser, choreographed by Anna Martine Whitehead and made in collaboration with Danny Giles and Kashif Powell, is a movement exploration through time and space to those dimensions so unperceivable to us that we only know to call them "darkness." The piece uses ritual, sport, hunger, and confusion to dance in and out of black life and death--finally asking: "Can you feel it?"

    Memory Loser makes its Chicago debut this year, and is included in the forthcoming Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance anthology, produced by Clare Croft and forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

    Nicole Garneau [Critical Fierceness Grant]

    Chances Dances’ Critical Fierceness grant supports Nicole Garneau’s publication of high quality images in the forthcoming book, UPRISING: Public Demonstrations of Revolutionary Practices. The book is the story of how thousands of volunteers in 8 U.S. and 5 international locations worked together to manifest the loving and visionary community we need for revolutionary times.

    caliXta / Isabel Buchanan-Arellano [Critical Fierceness Grant]

    From caliXta: "My project will be a mixed media visual installation, incorporating handmade art and projected visuals on multiple screens, that will explore some of my vision of what world peace might look like. My idea came about because I find that the concept of "world peace" has become very tired, yet is something I find that many crave or dream of in many ways. Thanks to the Critical Fierceness grant, I will be able to make a visual installation that translates some of my own vision(s) into tangible visuals, and transport and inspire people to see their dreams of a peaceful world."

    Its a true honor to be able to support these talented folks! Thanks to the Chances community for making it happen.

    With love,

    Team Chances (Aay, Jackie, Justin, Latham & Rita) & the Winter 2015 Critical Fierceness Board (Ally, Bryce, Erik, Ethan & Oli)


    "We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.

    Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.

    We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.

    Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference."

    --Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr.


    This drink is delicious and warming and supports the work we do! Bottomz up!!



    Join Chances this Halloween as we take over the Legendary Bijou Theater in Old Town for a night of nasty not soon to be forgotten.

    Chances Dances Presents... Snakepit: Medusa's Pussy Palace

    10.31.14 @ The Bijou Theater (1349 N. Wells)


    $20 Presale - $25 at the Door

    *Refreshments are included in the price of the ticket.

    Tickets can be purchased here.

  • Chances at the Hideout is postponed until October 11th!

    Our lovely friends at The Hideout have closed shop to briefly, literally get their house in order: repairs, cleaning, organizing and the like. We will not be having Chances at the Hideout tonight. But we will be back next week to dance and be freaky with you all. Join us next Saturday October 11th. C U THR & THN!!!!

  • Summer 2014 Critical Fierceness Grantees

    Summer 2014 Critical Fierceness Grantees



    HONEY POT PERFORMANCE is the recipient of the Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant for $1000. The grant will be used towards Juke Cry Hand Clapa critical performance and public humanities project investigating the cultural heritage, aesthetics, and material culture of Chicago house music and dance. This multi-phase collaborative project focuses on House music culture as a conceptual ground to explore social practices developed in Black Chicago during the 20th century. The world premiere of JCHC will be presented by High Concept Labs at MANA Contemporary October 3-5 and October 10-12 2014. Following the premiere of the performance in October, Honey Pot Performance will complete several artistic interventions that uplift communities of color, youth, women and queer identified subjects based on the performance work: a community-driven house history and culture website, two publication projects (symposium proceedings and creative process artist book), and a workshop curriculum to be shared with communities. 

    AMANDA GUTIERREZ & DANIEL LUEDTKE each received a Critical Fierceness Grant for $500. 

    Amanda will be using the grant to fund workshop materials and final prints for the exhibition of Pilsen Dérives, a generative and collaborative project which aims to activate a critical review of the historical and urban development of the neighborhood through walk journeys, oral histories, and digital mapping.

    Daniel will be filming an experimental short video about an aging character actor (played by Jail Flanagan) who is losing her sight. This piece addresses the question of how we perform our senses.  How do limitations of the body, ability and illness affect how color, movement and sound are portrayed in words and artwork? 


    Chances Dances and the Summer 2014 Critical Fierceness Board

    Rita Bacon, Davey Ball, Allison Dunn Burque, Precious Davis, Bryce Dwyer, Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, Justin Mitchell, Jeanine O'Toole, Aay Preston-Myint, Oli Rodriguez, Erik Roldan, Amina Ross, Ethan White, Latham Zearfoss