Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fund for Freelance Dancers?

So my brain has been spinning this past week with ideas of how to make this injury/recovery process easier. Then last night a friend from class told me there were a few people who wanted to help me but didn't know what I needed - she said maybe we can find someone with a car near me...or start a fund for a car service on days I have to work early, or something.

That sparked me.

Why isn't there such a fund for injured dancers? I did some quick research this morning and found that yes, the big unions (Equity, AGMA) have some sort of emergency relief fund supposedly available to members, and there is a more recent Emergency Fund for Student Dancers that covers full-time students at a few New York City dance schools. And there's NYCB's Dancers Emergency Fund and a similar thing at ABT. And there are a whole slew of foundations for other art forms: music, literature, fine arts...

But for the loads of freelance dancers today - who are not provided with worker's compensation or health insurance - there are no resources. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think so. I'm not really looking for my own benefit at this point - the crutches are almost gone and life is getting easier (even though I won't be able to dance/make money from dancing for at least another 2 months). But isn't there a way to help other dancers who may go through major injuries and surgery like me?

I'm not sure how to go about this - in the past I've researched the process of starting a non-profit and it seems complicated and really time consuming. Time is NOT one of the things going for me at this point. I need to focus on work and getting back to dancing.

But injured dancers struggle. Especially in New York City, it's nearly impossible to get around without being forced to splurge on a taxi now and then. A trip to stay with family costs money (I'm fortunate to have family only a bus ride away in Boston, but others may need expensive plane fare). For those without health insurance it's an even worse financial struggle (again, I am fortunate. I'm still covered under my dad's insurance for a little bit longer). There has to be a way to help?

This is mostly a brainstorm at this point, but any ideas/advice are welcome!


Unknown said...

A few years ago I picked up a flyer of some dancers trying to start a fund like that. I forgot the name and a google search did nothing. Maybe the project stalled. I'll keep looking.

Ella said...
I know of this union through a few freelance writers I know. Not sure if they have dancers in their union, but I would assume they accept anyone who does any kind of freelance.