To All the Dear Dancing Spirits,
STARTING IN FEBRUARY 2017, the Sunday Dance is moving to the social hall of Congregation B’Nai Israel at 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. We (the organizers of Dance Spirit) are looking for as much input from the dance community as possible into making the move a happy, comfortable & successful one. For example: a set-up group has been proposed & would be really really helpful & appreciated.
Benefits of the new Space & Reasons for moving
1) Guaranteed accessibility without reliance on functioning elevator or availability of elevator operator, and without added cost. At the Fitzwilly’s building the elevator costs $15/hour & is only available for human passengers (no equipment) & only available if a willing building-hired operator is arranged for. With a ground floor space people can come & go as they please & equipment can come & go with ease.
2) The fee for the temple space is a flat fee for the event – not per hour. This allows much more flexibility for dance set up & take down, & for the length of the event itself. There is ample storage space available to us at no added charge. SCDT wants to charge us for each hour used (including set up & take down), SCDT also wants a storage fee & a percentage of funds raised at any dance attended by over 40 people.
3) The temple administration has already shown enthusiasm for our event, & a willingness to accommodate, negotiate & work with us on matters of finances, storage, & fund raising events. With a year contract they are charging us their small-group event price. Our attempts to negotiate with SCDT over the last year have been non-productive.
4) The temple social hall has access to an outside space that we can use in good weather.
5) The temple has on-site parking as well as ample street parking.
Concerns and Solutions – Floor Washing and Increasing Room Size
There have been concerns expressed about the cleanliness of the social hall floor & the size of the room. The organizers believe these concerns are valid and can be addressed: Rachel is going to wash the floor before the first February Sunday Dance (February 5th with STEPHEN KATZ), & we will arrange with the temple to have the floor washed every Sunday before the dance .
The temple administration has agreed that we may move the screens dividing the social hall from the sanctuary – this will add a considerable amount of space to what you experienced on our trial Sunday in January.
There has also been some concern expressed at our “abandoning” &/or harming SCDT by moving. We have shown our support to Jen & to SCDT by paying our rent always in a timely manner, by holding a fundraiser for her, by showing up & helping out when asked. We have encouraged our dance community to support her as well. We have been looking (with verbal & written encouragement from Jen herself, ie: “like it or get out”) for an affordable accessible space to move the dance to for a year, & we are moving now, not to hurt SCDT, but to improve Dance Spirit. We wish her nothing but success & hope she can come around to wishing the same to us.
Longer term plans for Dance Spirit
We have been in conversation with the Northampton Center for the Arts about holding Dance Spirit at the new Northampton Arts Trust on Hawley Street (near the Post Office). They are very interested in having us hold Dance Spirit there when the building renovation is completed (2018?)
See more about this project here – http://www.northamptonartstr
Please do communicate with us (Lisa, Prakash, & Rachel) & with each other about how we can make this move as big an improvement to our event as possible.
Yours in the Dance!
Lisa, Prakash, & Rachel