Chicago-based, internationally celebrated dance-theater company Lucky Plush Productions is seeking to grow its Board of Directors. Our current small, but hard-working board is smart, friendly, passionate about the arts, and, in our own humble opinion, a lot of fun. We are launching a new board structure in which members have the flexibility to engage in specialized ways with minimal board meetings and governance.

“A brand of movement-based theater that can be comfortably called, without exaggeration, genius” –New City

Julia Rhoads_Abraham Berkman 250.jpg



Lucky Plush was founded by Julia Rhoads, Chicagoland native turned member of the San Francisco Ballet who went on to major in history at Northwestern University. Lucky Plush creations provoke an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is recognized for its layered choreography, moving content, surprising humor, and socially relevant storytelling. The company takes on complex ideas and themes while remaining intimate and, most importantly, accessible.


Since 2000, Lucky Plush has created 30 original dance-theater works including 14 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented work in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. In 2016, Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance solicited its first local commission from Lucky Plush. Lucky Plush is the first and only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, while Rhoads has received fellowships and awards from the Herb Alpert Foundation, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Cliff Dwellers Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, and the Jacob K. Javits Foundation. She also received a 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for initiating Creative Partners, a nonprofit shared staff model.


Lucky Plush_Rooming House_Alan Epstein_3684.jpg

“Indefinable moments of beauty, wit, and fire” with “the manic, careening energy of a screwball comedy” –Chicago Tribune

Lucky Plush_Rooming House 4_Benjamin Wardell.jpg


In its eighteenth year, Lucky Plush’s financial health is stronger than ever. The company’s budget has grown slowly, but steadily from $?? to $320,00 in fiscal year 2018. Due in part to the 2016 MacArthur Award, the company holds a considerable reserve of $200,000 which is conservatively invested and operates as a safety net. Last year, Lucky Plush received gifts from over ? individuals and ? foundations, with 60% of the budget in foundation, state, and federal grants. Funding sources are far from guaranteed, which is why growing a strong, connected board is a critical part of Lucky Plush’s next chapter.


Board expectations

Members champion Lucky Plush’s work, act as the company’s ambassadors, and introduce Lucky Plush to new audiences. They attend one in-person board meeting each year, one annual fundraising gala, and local performances (two runs each year). They lend their talents to the company in areas including artistic, governance, finance, fundraising, marketing, networking, advocacy and planning, and may join committee meetings per their individual interests and skills. Board members support Lucky Plush’s efforts to meet all financial and audience-related goals. Lucky Plush administration presents board members with quarterly financial statements followed by an optional question-and-answer phone session.


  • Full Board members make an annual contribution of between $250 to $1000 in board dues based on individual capacity. Asked to raise additional funds from their networks in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Volunteering is encouraged but not required. The length of commitment is two years.

  • Auxiliary Board members contribute $50 in board dues and approximately 25 volunteer hours annually. They may attend the annual fundraising gala as volunteers. The length of  commitment is two years.

“Paradoxical, tongue-in-cheek, subversive, and, best of all, great fun.” –Chicago Reader


The Many Ways You Can Support

Please check all that suit your interests and abilities

Team Plush Fundraising support

🙿 Identify new corporate sponsors

🙿 Help with development messaging

🙿 Recruit your FB friends to support your Lucky Plush peer to peer campaign

Team Plush Production Support
🙿 Support production team during home season
🙿 Wash costumes after performances; repair costumes and props


Team Plush Worker Bees
🙿 Copy edit

🙿 Volunteer at shows (merch, collect donations, subscribe patrons)

🙿 Gather audience quotes

🙿 Stuff envelopes for campaigns


Team Plush Creatives
🙿 Support graphic design for print and digital artwork
🙿 Support photography and video projects

Team Plush Party Planners
🙿 Plan decorations and flowers

🙿 Solicit donated goods and services

🙿 Oversee / chair an auction

🙿 Write announcements and speeches

🙿 Plan the paddle raise


Team Plush Marketplace
🙿 Share your corporate engagement ideas
🙿 Conduct national field research (venues, presenters)
🙿 Research individual donors

🙿 Implement your digital advertising and data collection expertise

Audience Cultivation Cohort
🙿 Upload ideas for audience engagement & fundraising

🙿 Create your own Fan Page
🙿 Tell two friends/Bring two friends
🙿 Help us get the word out about shows, local and national


We’re predicting lots to celebrate in the coming years and we hope you’ll join us!