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News + Events

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation produces its own events and also collaborates with other organizations in the arts and humanities including Chicago Film Archives (CFA), Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Ragdale Foundation, Link’s Hall, the Newberry Library, and the Chicago Dance History Project. MSF also funds Grants and Special Fellowships.

Find out the latest news on our Facebook page, and here, on our website. Join our mailing list to receive occasional updates on current events.

Download the Morrison-Shearer Foundation Newsletter: “Sharing the Legacy: News from the Morrison-Shearer Foundation”.


AYAKO KATO – Sybil Shearer Fellowship at Ragdale: 2024

AYAKO KATO Sybil Shearer Fellowship at Ragdale: 2024 Photo: William Frederking   During her residency fellowship at Ragdale, Ayako Kato will be working on ETHOS IV: Degrowth/Cycle/Rebirth, an evening-length piece created to shift focus from human-centered, capitalistic ways of being to a more symbiotic, nature-centered way of being. It will be premiered at the…
December 22, 2023

Arts Club of Chicago Event Features Ray Johnson’s Link to Sybil Shearer

On Thursday, September 15, Jenny Harris, COSI Research Fellow for Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago presented a talk on her research into the fascinating connections between the seminal Pop Art figure, Ray Johnson, and Sybil Shearer. Her investigation was inspired by the acquisition of a…
September 15, 2023

Sybil Shearer Honored by John Neumeier and the Hamburg Ballet

In the fall of 2022, Scott Lundius, MSF’s executive director, discovered that the Hamburg Ballet would perform in Chicago at the Harris Theater in 2023 as part of a special tour celebrating John Neumeier’s 50th anniversary as its artistic director. Lundius called the Harris Theater’s CEO, Lori Dimun, setting off…
June 29, 2023

Phil and Ann Ponce Purchase and Preserve the Historic Morrison-Shearer Home

“We’re thrilled to be here!”, writes Ann Ponce. “Phil and I have loved every second of this adventure and we are so grateful that the Foundation gave us the opportunity to live in and restore this historic property.” The summer of 2023 was a momentous season for the Morrison-Shearer Foundation…
June 1, 2023

John Neumeier in Conversation

Milwaukee-born JOHN NEUMEIER has been the Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet since 1973. Yet his dance career and formative training took place in mid-century Chicago, most notably with modern dancer Sybil Shearer and the Stone-Camryn Ballet. This video documents a conversation between Mr. Neumeier and dance scholars…
May 18, 2023

Art Institute of Chicago Purchases Ray Johnson Moticos and Ephemera from the Foundation

It was an astonishing find in the attic of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation back in 2013. There it was; a pristine collection of Ray Johnson “moticos” tucked inside their original envelope with the postmark December 30, 1955. With this discovery, the exciting times of Sybil Shearer and Helen Morrison’s connection to…
February 12, 2022

A Space to Create

A Space to Create is a visually stunning, poetic and complex sixteen-minute film that tells the remarkable story of Sybil Shearer and Helen Balfour Morrison. As artful as the work of these two artists themselves, the film itself is in motion and exquisitely complements the visuals of Helen Balfour Morrison…
December 31, 2021

Space to Move

Join us on September, 18, 2021, for this FREE EVENT on National Dance Day, as we celebrate the opening of the Studio House of Dance and Music, The Sybil Shearer Studio. The 2,500 square-foot new construction offers accessible, state-of-the-art spaces for dancers, choreographers, and musicians, and enhances our ability to promote dance in…
September 18, 2021

The Sybil Shearer Studio Opens at Ragdale

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation marked the opening of the Sybil Shearer Studio in the new Studio House of Dance and Music with “Space to Move,” a celebratory event held on National Dance Day, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The event featured a promenade-style dance performance directed by Kristina…
September 18, 2021

The Sybil Shearer Studio Opens September 18, 2021

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation mark the opening of the Sybil Shearer Studio in the new House of Dance and Music with “Space to Move,” a celebratory event on National Dance Day, beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18 (rain date 6 p.m., Sunday Sept. 19). This event…
August 31, 2021

Through the Morrison-Shearer Foundation, dance maverick Sybil Shearer continues to enrich Chicago dance

Chicagoland’s dance community has an important and enduring friend in dance maverick Sybil Shearer and the Morrison-Shearer Foundation. The Foundation, established in 1991, perpetuates the legacy of dancer/choreographer Shearer and collaborator/photographer Helen Balfour Morrison as an inspiration for new creativity in the arts by providing grants, the Sybil Shearer Fellowship…
June 4, 2021

Morrison-Shearer Foundation Names Scott Lundius New Executive Director

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation (MSF) has named SCOTT LUNDIUS as the new Executive Director effective immediately. Lundius will serve as the program and grant manager, ambassador and day-to-day point person for the foundation. His appointment comes at an exciting time for MSF following a recent restructuring of the board and as…
June 4, 2021

Please join us June 16 as we gather to celebrate dance, conversation, and music under the stars at Ragdale

Monthly Ragdale Ring Events on June  16th, July 15th and August 19th, lead up to our opening celebration of the Sybil Shearer Studio on September 18th ! We hope to see you there!  
May 16, 2021

MSF Names Alida Szabo New Board Chair Replacing Carol Doty, Shayne Bullen Named New Vice Chair

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation (MSF) has named ALIDA SZABO as its new Board Chair, succeeding CAROL DOTY who, after retiring from the Morton Arboretum, joined the MSF Board in 2002 and has served as its Chair since 2006. “Carol is leaving some big shoes to fill, but having served on the Foundation Board prior to…
March 31, 2021

$1.5 million grant supports construction of studio named for, inspired by famed Northbrook dancer

Construction paused recently to celebrate work on the new Studio House of Dance and Music, home to what will be the new Sybil Shearer Studio on the Ragdale campus in Lake Forest. In December, Northbrook's Morrison-Shearer Foundation provided a $1.5 million grant to the Ragdale Foundation to support construction of…
March 31, 2021

Celebrating the Construction of the Studio House of Dance and Music

The Groundbreaking event at Ragdale for the construction of the Studio of Music and Dance/Sybil Shearer Studio at Ragdale was a long awaited and exciting day! The Chairman of the Ragdale Board who led the event, and our Board of Trustee members who attended, are: Barbra Shumann, Treasurer Brian Schaeffer,…
March 16, 2021

Our People

More than once in its evolution, the Morrison-Shearer Foundation has been fortunate to have just the right person appear with the very talents we need at that moment. In November, 2011, we were nearing the end of our five-year Strategic Plan and needed to find a new Foundation Manager. We…
December 31, 2020

The Sybil Shearer Studio at Ragdale

After several years of working closely with the Ragdale Foundation, the Sybil Shearer Studio at Ragdale is underway in Lake Forest. The MSF gift of 1.5 million dollars is significant at a time when arts funding is floundering, and makes it possible for the development of both the dance studio and an…
December 31, 2020

Leaving Her Own Legacy, Carol Doty Retires

After serving MSF as a Trustee since 2002 and Chair since 2006, it is poignant to be making my last report to you before my retirement at the end of this year. I met Sybil in 1993, not through dance, but through our mutual interest in Jens Jensen and The Clearing, his…
December 15, 2020

MSF Launches a New Website

Another longtime project is the new MSF website, launched in November, 2020, thanks to our graphic designer, Amy Jeppsen Stern, along with Carol Doty, Sue Boléa, and Corinne Pierog. Besides calling attention to current Foundation activities, the site is intentionally deep in content about Sybil, Helen, and their legacies. Until now, research…
November 20, 2020

Sybil Shearer Autobiography, Volume III

Sybil Shearer Autobiography, Volume III NOVEMBER, 2020 The publication of Volume III of Sybil Shearer’s autobiography, Without Wings the Way Is Steep: The Reality Beyond Realism, is another major project that was finished this year. This volume is about Sybil’s later years alone in Northbrook (1985-2004) as critic, writer, and Anthroposophist. In…
November 20, 2020

From the MSF Archives — Portraits from Helen Balfour Morrison’s ”Great Americans” Collection

In preparing to send our gift of Helen Balfour Morrison’s portraits of GREAT AMERICANS to the Newberry Library, we found negatives from which we’d never seen prints. Among them was this photograph of CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT (1859-1947), who played an essential role in gaining the right of women to vote. Just now, as…
February 20, 2020

Toby Nicholson featured Winnetka Living Magazine

Rare is the performer who doesn’t seek the spotlight, but beyond rare is the performer who instead devotes his life to sharing his talent, creativity and showmanship freely, with love and kindness, to generation after generation of children. Yet Winnetka is blessed to have just such a performer in Toby…
November 20, 2019

Newberry Library visits The Foundation in Northbrook

On November 13 MSF was pleased to welcome two new visitors, LIESL OLSON, Director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry, and JESSICA FRIEDMAN, PhD student at Northwestern University. Both are planning to publish work that includes Sybil Shearer — Friedman as part of her dissertation, and Olson as part of…
November 13, 2019

Preservation, Tradition and Innovation from Sybil Shearer through the Present

MSF and THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY OF CHICAGO co-sponsored the well-attended “Preservation, Tradition, and Innovation from Sybil Shearer through the Present” on June 13. Moderated by Hedy Weiss, noted performing arts critic for Chicago and national media, the program featured three panelists with film highlights. Panelists were Jan Bartoszek, founder and artistic director…
June 13, 2019
Nancy Watrous, Chicago Film Archives

The Morrison Shearer Archives

This year all of our major archives were placed in institutions where they will be cared for and be accessible for study. The Helen Balfour Morrison Collection and the Sybil Shearer Collection were gifted to the NEWBERRY LIBRARY and were featured in The Newberry Magazine, Spring/Summer 2019 issue. The Morrison…
April 10, 2019