UPDATE – August 4, 2020
The BFS Board is cancelling all BFS dances through December 31, and until further notice. We will let everyone know as soon as we start planning dances again, but for now, our beloved community-building dance programs are on hold.
In the interim, the board is doing important organizational work, including slightly revising the BFS mission to include the word music as well as dance, which more accurately reflects the scope of our programming. We’re developing new programs and revising existing ones in ways that fulfill our mission and feel safe & satisfying. And, we’re beginning to consider how to celebrate our 15th Anniversary in December. Stay tuned for details!
We are continuing to…
- compile and share “Rays of Sunshine“
- pause our 2020 fundraising efforts
- encourage you to support BFS performers (see our calendar for performer info)
- appreciate when you reach out to us with your feedback, suggestions, gratitude, and heartfelt connection. We miss dancing and making music with you!!
With good wishes to all of our BFS community,
The BFS Board
(Raelin, Margo, Christina, Chrissy, Bruce & Alex)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPDATE – July 14, 2020
The BFS Board is cancelling all BFS dances through October 31.
Stay tuned for Nov 1 onward, and for updates on non-dance events before then. We may focus on events that fulfill our mission and feel safe & satisfying.
See our calendar page for ways to support the fine callers, musicians, and sound providers whose gigs we’ve had to cancel.
Also, we’ve paused our fundraising efforts. (See Fundraising 2020 for more.)
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UPDATE – May 13, 2020
Governor Mills recently issued comprehensive guidelines for Restarting Maine. Most BFS programs can’t happen in Stages 1-3 of that plan, so the BFS Board is cancelling all BFS dances and in-person outreach programs through July 31.
(True, we haven’t yet cancelled dances and in-person programs for August or beyond; once our shoes feel like flying again, we may start with a focus on events that fulfill our mission and fit within the guidelines. Stay tuned!)
~ We’ve heard you appreciate our Rays of Sunshine; we’ll keep them coming.
~ We’re still fundraising — for outreach programming this year and into the future –and– to offset this year’s unexpected shortfall for our basic expenses. (more…)
~ We’re still funding music lessons at the Reentry Center. (more…)
~ We’re putting a spotlight on reaffirming our organization’s mission to bolster the spirited dance community in midcoast Maine, including envisioning some new ways we can achieve that mission.
~ We’re deeply grateful for the emails and words of support you’ve sent to us and for the support you’ve offered BFS performers, especially those whose gigs we’ve had to cancel.
We miss you and send our love.
~ BFS Board (Raelin, Margo, Christina, Chrissy, Bruce & Alex)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
March 14, 2020
It’s time for us to do what we do best — take care of each other.
The Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS) puts it so well. Our traditions are all about creating something beautiful together. Now it’s time for us – together – to take care of each other by taking a break from Belfast Flying Shoes dances.
Given the situation regarding COVID-19, we are cancelling all BFS dances and outreach programs through May 31, including the April 3 and May 1 community dances and contra dances -and- the May 22 English Country Dance. Further, we are cancelling all of the BFS-supported school residencies through the end of June. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will let you know what we decide beyond the end of May.
We are sad to make this decision. Our work for Belfast Flying Shoes is a labor of love: Love of dancing, of music, and most of all, our community– all of you who contribute your dear and sparkling presence to our monthly celebrations and outreach programs. We miss you, and look forward to dancing with you again as soon as we can.
In the meantime, CDSS suggests ways to support organizations and performers.
(a) BFS incurs significant losses when we cancel, in part because our 1st Friday cancellation policy is to offer the booked musicians, callers, and sound providers half of their guaranteed compensation. We also have to pay insurance, nonprofit fees, and various other expenses which comprise the overhead at our monthly dances. We’re grateful for the generosity of the American Legion for not charging rent when we don’t dance, and of those individuals who have declined performer compensation because they have other sources of income. Still, cancelling dances in February (ice storm) and April/May (COVID-19) impacts our organization’s finances.
To contribute to the future of Flying Shoes, send a check to 93 Kaler Rd, Belfast, ME 04915 or click “Make a Donation” on belfastflyingshoes.org (Let us know if you want your donation to support the overall organization or if you want it limited to outreach.)
(b) Performers are affected too. All of the folks we book for dances (musicians, callers & sound providers) are experiencing lost income in these weeks, since ours is not their only canceled gig. To support performers, contact them via their links on our BFS Calendar page. Many are offering online classes or shows. The CDSS website offers additional ways to Send Love to Freelancers.
For information on COVID-19 status in Maine, our New England region, and beyond (including impacts on participatory arts):
- Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention (MaineCDC)
- Maine Arts Commission (MaineArts.Maine.gov) has a COVID Resource Page that lists resources and support for arts organizations and artists
- New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) has comprehensive info with links to regional CDCs.
- US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization
- Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS)
Until our next dances, stay calm, stay safe, and stay in (virtual) touch!
The Belfast Flying Shoes Board ~ March 14, 2020
Christina, Bruce, Raelin, Alex, May, and Chrissy