34 3Arts supporters
$5,088 raised of $4,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on June 17, 2022
    • 127% contributed

I come from a lineage of brilliant movers, from my grandfather Sam Boyd down to my parents Donald and June Boyd. With this new documentary film, The Set, I will celebrate my father’s 50-year journey as a Chicago Stepper by sharing his personal account of this dance form and the socio-economic context in which it was born, how the dance has evolved, and the personal pain and joy that was inherited through the culture.

About This Project

As a child, I remember stepping being a fabric of our lives. On the holidays, it was a slippery moment taking place in between laughter and loud conversation. Auntie and my cousin, stepping. Dad and sister, stepping. Mom and dad, stepping. I love leaning into these nurturing memories, sitting with family members to ask how this dance came to be. I want to aid in the preservation of this unique history and technique for the present and for future generations by adding a comprehensive documentary to the library of visual and oral stories that exist. 

My goals with this project, in collaboration with my father, are to develop a new documentary film called The Set, which will highlight and preserve the stories and traditions from the Chicago stepping culture. Our hope is that the documentary will connect the moving pieces of Black history in Chicago, celebrate longtime steppers, carry on the tradition of stepping in a new generation, be a teaching tool in dance education departments and libraries, encourage the creation of stepper sets in more unconventional venues, and be an engine to nurture relationships.

Last year, I began researching for the film, including taking courses in filmmaking and collecting stories and studying library archives. Funds from this campaign will help support the next phase of the project where I will record in-person interviews with important figures in stepping culture with the help of a lighting and sound team; document stepper sets; and begin the post-production process toward a fully-finished film. The film will begin its most intense phase of production in late June and will begin post-production in August of this year. We hope you will join us for the premiere, scheduled to take place in late November 2022.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    A virtual hug and shout out via social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    A personal thank you card with a selection of images from the documentary footage ($45.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    A specially curated playlist of the most classic songs for stepping ($100.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $200
    Invitation to a steppers workshop led by Donald Boyd, plus your name recognized in the film credits and the curated playlist above ($175.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $300
    Tickets for you and a guest to attend the world premiere of the film screening, plus all of the above ($225.00 is tax deductible.)

D'onminique Boyd Riley

Make a Wave Artist

Having contributed to the field of dance in varying roles as a performer, student, educator, healer, community member, arts administrator, programmer, and dance writer, D’onminique Boyd Riley has a well rounded perspective of the arts. D’onminique’s dance artistry involves the …

View D'onminique Boyd Riley's profile
  • Update 1: Thank you!
    Posted on May 03, 2022


    Thank you so much to everyone that has donated to "The Set!"  We are already 32 percent funded and the love is continuing to flow! I'm sharing this powerful quote by Sonia Sanchez that keeps me connected to the pulse of this project "Your history deserves your heartbeat."  Be well and I look forward to staying in touch!

    Update 2: Almost There!
    Posted on May 18, 2022


    Sending so much gratitude to all of our supporters who have been moved to make contributions!  We are 98 percent funded and its because of you! <3

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Karl Riley

    • June Boyd

    • Irina Zadov

    • sonya coore

    • Deborah Heard

    • M Merritt

    • Maisha Boyd

    • Karonica Carney

    • Sharmain Perry

    • June Boyd

    • June Boyd

    • Dana Black

    • Jeanne Lieberman

    • Martina Martina Dees

    • Douglas Carrington

    • Pamela Crutchfield

    • Raquel Monroe

    • Julie Englander

    • Maisha Boyd

    • Rashayla Marie Brown

    • jeremy nedd

    • carolyn Carolina

    • Sydney Chatman

    • safiya porter

    • Joseph Proctor

    • Barbara Boyd

    • Aymar Jean

    • Kristen Lyons

    • Deana Thornton

    • Jazmine Harris

    • Amber Wiley

    • Matt Dreesen Dreesen

    • Sirita Render

    • Sadira Muhammad

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council