(Please view a message from Dancing Wheels President and Founding Artistic Director, Mary Verdi-Fletcher, above.)
You’ve heard the expression “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Well, this storm doesn’t look like it’s passing anytime soon.
When the COVID-19 storm forced the closure of our schools, studios, theaters and performance venues, it shuttered every source of earned income Dancing Wheels counts on. We have encountered cancellations of performances, artist lectures, residency programs, workshops, studio classes, fundraising events, and our annual gala.
It takes $35,000 every month to keep Dancing Wheels operational which includes retaining our dancers and staff to carry out our mission of inclusive arts for people of all abilities.
And while these revenue opportunities are lost to us, we’ve redoubled our efforts to find new ways of keeping our promise to our students and audiences who have so generously supported us over our 39-year history.
Here's how we've been dancing in the rain:
--- We have created Distance Dancing Online Classes that provide dance programming through Zoom to teach our students and reach a wider audience.
--- We are conducting company classes via Zoom every morning.
--- In the afternoons, we continue to learn and rehearse new choreography for our (one day soon, we hope!) premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
--- We are offering Teacher Certification, our Adult Summer Dance Intensive and our new DW Experience online and in-studio this summer to enrich dance instructors and students.
--- We invited the community to dance with us in a citywide Dancing in the Street event hosted on April 30.
--- Instead of birthday gifts, one of our dancers asked family and friends to donate to Dancing Wheels. She asked that contributions be given to her fellow dancers.
With the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Ohio Arts Council, Toyota, our Board, and a handful of very gracious donors, we are chipping away at the operating losses we are experiencing.
And we are grateful.
But the storm hasn't passed yet.
In order to continue our dedication to inclusive arts for dancers of all abilities, we ask for your support.
With your help, we can continue to cover our expenses in these months of uncertainty with a goal of raising $35,000.
Especially at this trying time for everyone, we so appreciate your generosity and support. No contribution is too big or too small.
Thank you for taking the time to consider a donation to our Dancing Wheels COVID-19 Relief Fund.
More information about Professional Flair, Inc. (The Dancing Wheels Company & School):
Considered one of the premier arts and disabilities organizations in the U.S., Dancing Wheels is a professional, physically integrated dance company uniting the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities.
Our company’s lifelong mission to educate, advocate and entertain through compelling, innovative dance was born of our heartfelt commitment to:
Enhance integration and diversity in the arts with works uniting people of all abilities.
Provide successful, independent and creative role models for those with disabilities.
Erase negative stereotypes about people with disabilities in professional careers, primarily in the arts.
Instill greater understanding and professionalism in individuals of all ability levels.