HARRIS THEATER LAUNCHES ADA 25 CELEBRATION; 2 New High-Capacity Elevators; 1,200 Access Tickets Underwritten for Community Partners; Chicago Premiere of AXIS Dance Company – 2 Performances

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2 New High-Capacity Elevators

1,200 Access Tickets Underwritten for Community Partners

Chicago Premiere of AXIS Dance Company – 2 Performances


CHICAGO – The Harris Theater is humbled to open their 2015-16 season with AXIS Dance, the premiere physically integrated dance company consisting of artists with and without disabilities. Not only is this the first performance of the new season, but this company will kick off both the new MIX at SIX series and the popular Exelon Family Series with performances on Thursday, October 8 at 6PM and Saturday, October 10 at 2PM, respectively.


AXIS Dance Company has become one of the world’s most acclaimed ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Since their founding in 1987, they have won seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, acknowledging exceptional creative achievements in the performance and presentation of dance. The Company has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, and, this year, received a Leadership Grant from the prestigious Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. AXIS collaborates with top choreographers and composers to create completely new and innovative performances.


During their time between performances, AXIS Dance Company will conduct a physically-integrated dance workshop at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on Friday, October 9. Using creative movement, improvisation and modern dance techniques, AXIS dancers will introduce the exciting art form of physically-integrated dance for people with and without physical disabilities. Participants will include youth from RIC’s inpatient pediatric floor, as well as members of the Caring for Kids program (an Access Tickets partner since 2010). All participants and their families will have the opportunity to attend the Exelon Family Series performance the next day at the Harris through the Access Tickets Program.


The Harris is honored to present these performances in a continued commitment to inclusivity and accessibility as an official ADA 25 Program Partner. The Harris will also present the Juilliard Orchestra in their Harris Theater debut and their first Chicago appearance in 10 years, led by Emmy Award-winning violinist and conductor, Itzhak Perlman, treasured by audiences throughout the world for his remarkable artistry and his irrepressible joy in making music. Perlman contracted polio at age four, and is a passionate advocate for accessibility in our cultural institutions and public spaces.



As an official ADA 25 Program Partner, the Harris Theater is undergoing many physical and institutional changes to further its reach for patrons. The Theater will demonstrate its institutional commitment to inclusivity through deepening the impact of its Access Tickets Program in conjunction with ADA 25. The Access Tickets Program provides underwritten performance tickets and enrichment activities for children and families dealing with disabilities and other life challenges. Since the founding of the program in 2009, the Theater has seen a 20% increase in patrons with disabilities attending performances. In partnership with ADA 25, the Theater will identify 3-5 new health and human service organizations with which to partner to provide the uplifting benefits of the performing arts. Throughout the AXIS Dance Company engagements alone, Harris Theater will be providing more than 300 underwritten tickets through the Access Tickets Program.


In addition to programmatic and institutional commitments to this mission, this year, the Theater will be undergoing major physical improvements. The Harris is in the process of constructing two new, high-capacity elevators in order to more efficiently accommodate patrons entering from Upper Randolph Drive, as well as serve the 20% increase in patrons with accessibility needs who attend performances as a result of the Access Tickets Program. The Theater plans to unveil its newly constructed elevators in December 2015.


Rendering of new high capacity, high speed elevators and more efficient stairwell construction; estimated completion by December 2015


Heading into this season the Harris Theater hosted a disability awareness training for its 35 resident companies, internal staff, and peer organizations. Led by JJ’s List, an organization committed to disability-aware marketing, customer service and employment, the training addressed the language, etiquette, and best practices for serving patrons with disabilities. More than 20 individuals participated, representing 12 arts and culture organizations across the city of Chicago.


The Harris Theater looks forward to better serving all of its patrons and continuing to bring world class companies and performances to its stage.


See AXIS Dance Company at Harris Theater:

AXIS Dance Company

MIX at SIX performance – October 8, 2015, 6PM


MIX at SIX is the Harris’ first ever happy hour performance series featuring six after work performances throughout the season. Beginning at 6PM, these performances see renowned artists from around the world performing fast-paced, one-hour performances after work. Enjoy signature cocktails from Harris Theater and food from Chicago’s most in demand food trucks, available for purchase on Lower Randolph outside the lobbies. By purchasing a subscription, you can enjoy all six performances for $50 – just over $8 per performance.


MIX at SIX subscriptions for the full series are available now for $50; single tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org or call 312.334.7777.


This performance is made possible with support from Paul S. Boulis, Lead Sponsor, and Sunny and Gery J. Chico, Community Engagement Sponsors.


AXIS Dance Company

Exelon Family Series performance – October 10, 2015, 2PM


The Harris Theater today announced the performances of its popular Exelon Family Series for the 2015–2016 season.  Established in 2008, Exelon Family Series programs provide unique learning opportunities for families to experience world-class performances at the Harris, at affordable prices. These one-hour performances, designed for children ages 4-12, take place on Saturday afternoons at 2pm. Educational materials and discussion questions are provided at each performance to deepen families’ experience at the Theater. This year’s series will explore themes of different abilities, understanding cultures and world music, and the natural world. This program will include an audience interaction and Q&A with the company.


Subscriptions are available now starting at $30; single performance tickets are $12. To purchase tickets, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org or call 312.334.7777.


This performance is made possible with support from Sunny and Gery J. Chico, Lead Sponsors.


  • •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change. •••


The Harris Theater gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, the Eat to the Beat and Mix at Six Series Presenting Sponsor. Additional support has been provided by Crain’s Chicago Business, Eat to the Beat and Mix at Six Lead Corporate Sponsor.


The Harris Theater gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Exelon, the Exelon Family Series Presenting Sponsor.  Additional support around the Exelon Family Series performances has been provided by Sunny and Gery J. Chico, Shana and Peter Ellis, and Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols.


The Northern Trust Company is the Harris Theater’s 2015–2016 season sponsor. United Airlines is the Official Airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater’s season hotel partner. The Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on The Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.


Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater’s mission is to partner with a wide array of Chicago’s performing arts organizations supporting their initiatives for artistic growth and development. Its continuing efforts help build infrastructure and long-term sustainability for many of its resident companies.


Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.


Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater’s multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.


The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by The Crown Family, Jay Franke and David Herro, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.


The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.


The Harris maintains a strong emphasis on community engagement through enrichment activities and their Access Tickets Program, in which the Harris Theater partners with health and human services agencies and community organizations to provide underwritten performance tickets for individuals facing illness, disability and challenging life circumstances. Since 2009, the Theater has provided over 8,800 tickets to children and families, representing 25 neighborhoods across the city of Chicago.


To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525-seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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