Jenai Cutcher, tap dance, red shirt, william frederking

Jenai Cutcher is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Chicago Dance History Project, a growing digital archive of original and collected research. Under her leadership, CDHP has interviewed 177 individuals, produced 37 public events, and digitized over 8 terabytes of archival material including programs, photographs, and performance footage from the past seven decades.


Cutcher’s creative practice includes dancing, choreographing, teaching, and researching histories of dance to present in a variety of media. She has performed nationally and internationally with tap dance artists such as
Brenda Bufalino, Michelle Dorrance, Barbara Duffy, John Giffin, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, Katherine Kramer, Max Pollak, and Lynn Schwab and her own choreography has been presented throughout the country.


Jenai has written articles for several dance publications including Dance magazine and The Village Voice, papers for presentation, three dance books for children, and Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance. Her feature-length documentary, Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, explores the work of the women who resurrected and revolutionized the art of American tap dance and continue to pioneer the field.


Cutcher is the 2019 recipient of Chicago’s esteemed Ruth Page Award. She has a BA in English and MFA in Dance, both from The Ohio State University.


Sometimes she brings her tap shoes to her CDHP interviews.

Jenai Cutcher

 Executive & Artistic Director


Maggy Fouché

Grant Writer

Maggy Fouché is a long-term supporter and advocate for Chicago’s arts community. A native New Yorker, she graduated from the University of Southern California with an MBA in marketing. Her professional experience includes consumer marketing positions with companies such as Redken Laboratories and Alberto Culver,.
Maggy joined the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as Marketing Director where for twelve years she oversaw marketing campaigns for iconic programs like Grant Park Music Festival and Chicago Summer Dance, and venues like the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park. She then went on to Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and worked as a grant writer for Giordano Dance Chicago.


Maggy’s volunteer roles included Board Chair for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, where she helped secure new sources of corporate and foundation support. Maggy served a six-year term as Vice President of the board of See Chicago Dance.


Sean Rafferty

Digital Media Specialist

In addition to editing video for CDHP, Sean Rafferty films and edits videos for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Midwest Event Solutions. He has produced videos for arts organizations including the Brevard Music Center, Winifred Haun & Dancers, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project, and South Chicago Dance Theatre. In his free time, he enjoys taking in as much wonderful Chicago performing art as he can and relaxing at home with his wife, dancer Mandy Milligan, and his two cats, Berlioz and Cleo.

Board of Directors

Elizabeth A. Liebman, Chair

Sarita Smith Childs, Cheryl Cornell, Jenai Cutcher



CDHP's Fall 2021 interns are currently enrolled in or are recent graduates of

Columbia College Chicago,   
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and
University of Chicago.


Austin Niño, Lara Sachdeva, Laki Rajan, and Lexi Pape 

Production, Archives, Communications and Media