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Columbia College Chicago
Bonnie Brooks

Bonnie Brooks

Bonnie Brooks


Associate Professor

Email: bbrooks@colum.edu
Phone: (312) 369-8350

Bonnie Brooks is a dance writer, dance educator, and arts advocate with an extensive background in dance administration and production. She studied English in her undergraduate work at Wheaton College (IL) and at George Mason University, where she received a Master of Arts degree and served as a research fellow at the Research Center for the Federal Theater Project. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia as Department Chair (1999-2011), she was visiting assistant professor in the graduate program of the World Arts & Cultures Department at UCLA, where she taught contemporary dance issues and practice.

From 1990-1998, she was President and Executive Director of Dance/USA, the country's principal service organization for dance. While at Dance/USA, she oversaw numerous initiatives including the National Task Force on Dance Education and the development of numerous regranting programs including the American Dance Touring Initiative and the California-based Irvine Fellowships in Dance. During the 1980's, she was executive director at the Minnesota Dance Alliance (1985-88), managing director of NY-based David Gordon/Pick Up Co.(1982-85), and worked as a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (1979-82).

Bonnie teaches numerous courses in the Dance Department's curriculum, including Intro to Dance Studies, Cultures and Histories of Dance I and II, Artists and Audiences, and Advanced Topics in Dance.  She travels nationally and internationally as an audience dramaturg, working with organizations such as Merce Cunningham Dance Company (she was Legacy Fellow on the company's final international tour) and Lucky Plush Productions.  In 2012 she spent a week in residence giving lectures at the International Dance and Theater Festival in Lublin, Poland, and she regularly presents papers on a variety of subjects at scholarly conferences including Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance. She sustains an active role in the regional and national dance community, including serving as a board member of the Music and Dance Theater of Chicago from 2000-2005.

Bonnie is currently a board member of Audience Architects in Chicago.  With colleagues from Links Hall and Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, she was a co-founder of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum. She has published articles and commentary in Dance Magazine (New York) and Dance Now (London), and is currently working on several writing projects including a history of the “arts wars” of the 1990s.