BENEFITING: JEAN APPOLON EXPRESSIONS INC
What we believe: At JAE (pronounced "Jigh-yay"), we believe that the arts are an indispensable service to our community and the world. Unfortunately our society does not always value dance in the same way as it values say a package delivered to your door, a doctor's visit, or an architect's plan and subsequent build out. Like other professionals, our dancers have studied, trained and sacrificed to be great at what they do. Just like an architect charges for all of the time that he/she puts into preparing a design and delivering a product, our time, effort and talent are of tremendous value when we put in countless hours in the rehearsal studio to give a knockout performance and deliver quality educational programming in the community. Like architects, we are building our ideal environment within our company and surrounding communities. We believe dance is the way to make a better future together as a global society.
What we do: JAE's Haitian contemporary dance company embodies artistic excellence and also reflects the people who live in Boston and surroundings, including over 80,000 inhabitants of Haitian descent and hundreds of thousands of the Caribbean diaspora. JAE performances build a sense of community by bringing people from all backgrounds together to appreciate a specific artistic expression rooted in Haitian culture. JAE promotes tolerance, cultural understanding and a healthy community by tackling difficult themes and by giving voice to the diverse manifestations of humanity through live performances by a professional dance company.
Why we do it: JAE's overarching mission is to preserve and advance Haitian folkloric dance as one of the world's precious cultural resources for the benefit of Haitians and all people. The specific goal of JAE's Boston-based Haitian contemporary dance company is to present Jean Appolon's choreography at the highest artistic level and to promote understanding of Haitian culture, tradition, history and contemporary issues.
Why this campaign: Our dancers asked to take the matter into their own hands with this campaign. With Crowdrise, they are their own fundraisers--raising funds for the budget items that relate directly to the service they provide as dancers (dancer stipends and performance payments, costumes, rehearsal space, etc.). And as an extra incentive, JAE agreed to give each dancer a 20% commission on whatever they raise--no strings attached.
The numbers: Here's an idea of some of the numbers and costs involved with supporting a JAE dancer:
-Right now our Company dancers receive a stipend of $136 per month and $1225 for the year. This means that our dancers receive about $5 for each hour they rehearse. We'd like to at least double this with your support!
-Our Apprentice dancers currently don't receive stipends. With your support, we'd like to be able to pay our Apprentices at least $50 per month to help out with transportation costs of getting back and forth to rehearsal.
-When our Company dancers perform they typically receive about a $100 per performance and our Apprentices receive $50. With your support, we'd like to at least double this!
-Our dancers rehearse on average about 7 hours per week. Rehearsal space costs on average $20 per hour or $160 per week.
-For our new production, Angaje, each dancer will have a set of 3-4 costumes. Each costume costs between $40 - $80.
This is just a small peek into the true costs of being a professional dancer with a fierce company like Jean Appolon Expressions. When JAE performs at an event or sells tickets, we recoup about 40% of the true cost of putting on the performance. JAE is working hard to become a sustainable, thriving dance company based in Boston that is able to monetarily compensate our dancers for the true value of the services they provide.
More about JAE's Boston company: Led by Artistic Director Jean Appolon, JAE is a company of eight dancers and four musicians that has performed both at major venues such as Boston’s Paramount Theater and in city parks and community spaces in free performances accessible to the public. JAE also has performed at many colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Lesley College and Wheaton College. JAE has been fortunate to share the stage with celebrities such as Danny Glover, Henry Louis Gates and Edwidge Danticat, and to collaborate with community partners such as Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) and Central Square Theater.
Thank you for joining our dancers in their mission to give back to the community they live in and to make a livable wage from the art form they love.
JAE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization. All contributions to JAE are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.