MANNA's annual dance fundraiser has earned $1.5M in the past 25 years - Generocity Philly


Mar. 22, 2017 11:13 am

MANNA’s annual dance fundraiser has earned $1.5M in the past 25 years

The annual "Shut Up and Dance" benefit performance returns April 29.

"Shh ... we're dancing."

(Photo by Kelly Leggett)

When something sticks around for 25 years — be it friendship, wine or performances by the city’s best ballerinas — you can assume it’s doing something right.

MANNA’s annual dance dance benefit, “Shut Up and Dance,” is returning for its 25th year on Saturday, April 29. The event features dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet and will be hosted by Martha Graham Cracker for the second time.

Get tickets

The event was founded a quarter-century ago by dancer and UArts instructor Michael Sheridan, said MANNA Marketing and Communications Director Maris Harmon.

“This partnership has a rich history and came about when Michael Sheridan and cofounders from the PA Ballet were feeling powerless and deeply affected by the AIDS epidemic,” Harmon said. “They wanted to give back to their community in a way related to this very personal and widespread issue, and were connected to MANNA through a mutual friend. They decided to use their art form — dance — to put on this fundraiser.”

MANNA delivers 80,000 meals per month to those living with illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. According to Harmon, last year’s “Shut Up and Dance” performance raised over $150,000 for the nonprofit after expenses — equivalent to 37,500 meals.

All told, the collaboration has earned almost $1.5 million for MANNA in the past 25 years. To what does “Shut Up and Dance” owe its staying power?

As shared by Events Manager Laura Payne, it’s thanks to “the unbelievable commitment of the dancers to put so much time and effort into a one-night-only performance, as well as our incredible supporters who turn out year after year.” Aw.


From our Partners

‘In Search of Meaning: Memory Becomes Us’ makes space for science and art

Recovery after a fire starts with a safe place to stay

Social justice film series No Mud, No Lotus asks you to be part of the dialogue


Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

National Liberty Museum

Administrative Assistant

Apply Now

Career Wardrobe

Program Director

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Case Manager Healthy Families of America Program

Apply Now

This Philly art collective is helping teens deal with mental health issues

Four years in, rescue app Food Connect has grown enough to become its founder’s full-time job

Yes, micro-grants for artists do make a difference


Generocity Philly

12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize

Philadelphia, PA

Next City

Development Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

Program Manager

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity