(Photo via Flickr user Cari, used under a Creative Commons license)
Dance marathons aren’t anything new when it comes to raising money while having some fun at the same time — take Penn State students, who recently raised over $10 million in the fight against childhood cancer at their 45th annual THON charity event.
So why not try and take the same approach with fundraising for your organization, particularly when your organization is all about promoting contemporary performance?
That’s the idea behind the first-ever FringeA-Thon, a 12-hour outdoor dance party that will be raising money to support FringeArts, the host of the annual Fringe Festival. It’s going down May 20 from noon to midnight at the Blue Cross RiverRink.
Here’s how the fundraising will work: Anyone who registers to dance (either by themselves or with a team) will be prompted to create a fundraising page through CrowdRise where the initial event registration fee of $25 will go toward their individual page. They’ll then start raising money by asking friends and family to donate to a suggested goal of $300. Come May 20, all that’s required is to just #DanceYourArtOut for 12 hours.
But participants aren’t just raising money for FringeArts alone — 75 percent of however much they raise will be given back to them (if they’re artists) or whatever nonprofit they’re a part of.
Nick Stuccio, president and producing director of FringeArts, said the organization very recently added the idea of participants being able to fund for themselves or their own orgs through the event. He believes it’s a statement about the city’s arts and culture scene being able to band together against the possibility of a “bleak” future for the arts, especially with the threat of the National Endowment for the Arts losing funding in the proposed federal budget.
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“We can do it as a group, as a sector, and that will be far more powerful than any event we can do ourselves,” Stuccio said.
With six DJs spinning beats throughout the day and Bearded Ladies Cabaret founder John Jarboe emceeing, FringeA-Thon is as much about the dancing as it is about the fundraising. There’ll be local professional dancers teaching some of their moves, pop-up dance performances, dance competitions and like any great feel-good movie, a choreographed dance finale for everyone to take part in.
Stuccio likens the event’s celebration of community to the wedding scene in “The Deer Hunter,” one of the longest wedding scenes in any movie that shows the fun people have at the reception.
“To me, people dancing at weddings is where we’re most human — it’s non-verbal and we’re being creative,” he said.