I wanted to talk to you about a worthy cause that I think we should all support if you can. As you know I live in Austin, Texas, home of the Longhorns, state capitol, and Keep Austin Weird. While looking at a copy of Oprah’s magazine last year, I came across an article about a school here in Austin that I knew nothing of. The school was called Ballet Afrique.
She even caught the attention of Oprah’s magazine editors for an article written at the end of last year.
Ballet Afrique is a professional performing arts company for those who love dance and have a true gift for dance. The dance company employs ballet, modern, and African dance. Ballet Afrique is comprises of two companies that include a student academy: Ballet Afrique Contemporary Dance, the Umoja Youth Company, and the Ballet Afrique Dance Academy. The main goal at the dance company is to reach out to those who don’t normally have access to the arts. Which now a days that is a lot of us, because these are the programs cut first and the ones that no one attempts to keep alive. This school makes every effort to break the barriers of financial difficulty, language, physical, or mental barriers that these families may face.
The school was founded in 2008 by China Smith; who has taught dance in Austin area schools for over fifteen years. She teaches 115 students, more than half of whom are on scholarships and those that do pay are charged 40% less than the average dance academy. They now face the difficult task of raising money to find themselves a permanent home. The school has had to relocate at least three times since being founded because of issues with the buildings that they were renting.
Here is some video on the school and what they want to give youth.
So here is where we can come in and help African-American youth to continue to experience the arts. China is trying to raise $25,000.00 to build a permanent home in East Austin. She is currently renting a space in Highland Mall which is under new management and she is unsure what the future holds.
She has begun a fundraiser on the site Indiegogo.com
to raise money for her building fund. You can visit the site to see a video about the school, its owner, and students. You can donate in increments of $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, $2500, $5000, $10,000, and $25,00 for you big spenders. Each donation no matter how big or small gets a gift from the school. Also, remember donations can be used as tax write-offs. So why not give to a worthy cause that also benefit you.
If we do not start exposing our children to art again, we will see more of the horrible negative things that we watch on the news everyday. Again you can visit indiegogo.com
and search for Ballet Afrique, campaign to build a permanent home to make your donation.