How 1 group keeps dance alive during the pandemic

The International Association of Black Dancers is providing emergency relief for performers across the world who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
3:17 | 08/21/20

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Transcript for How 1 group keeps dance alive during the pandemic
All this week we're celebrating arts and culture. And like the old saying -- dance like no one is watching, but what happens when the music stops? One organization is trying to figure out what comes next after they were hit hard financially amid this pandemic. Here to share how the plan to pick up the pieces so that all make dance again, the international association of blacks in dance, Denise Saunders Thompson, thanks so much for being with us. Can you share with us what the international association of blacks in dance is and out the pandemic affected your mission? Yes, thank you so much for having me this morning. The international association of blacks in dance -- our acrow anymore is iabd -- you're hearing me refer to our organization as such. It's a dance service organization that promotes and preserve dance of African ancestry and origin. We also support artists and organizations through audience development, through advocacy, through funding opportunities. Touring, performances, arts education and so much more. This pandemic has really devastated not only our organization, but the black dance sector in particular. And we have -- had our main event, which is our annual conference and festival postponed until 2022 because of the global pandemic and all of the crises that are happening within our country, not only the pandemic itself but the racial crises as well as the economic crises and our community has just stopped working. The artistic community, the dance community has stopped working. It has affected the economic power of our community. Yeah, that's the real-life effects of this pandemic. How have you guys pivoted to try to support your community? Well, immediately when we started seeing some of the fallout from the lack of work, we re-instituted our emergency fund, and the emergency fund was a fund that was established when the organization was formed to support the community and particularly our artists and organizations within, and we were able to raise right from -- right from the start, with the help of some enormous and just amazing funders, about $175,000 to re-grant back into the artistic community of iabd. We had grants that ranged from $1000 for individuals, to $2500 for arts organizations and we were immediately able to get that funding right back into our artists' pockets, to help them immediately, because they were not working. Without the arts, many of us would not have that creative outlet and that creative outlet is so important to our day-to-day lives And so important to giving people that sense of belonging that we all need. Denise Saunders Thompson, thank thank you so much for being with

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