Community Accessibility: getting & giving a lift

Hello BIDA community of the internet! It’s been a little while since our last update on our fundraising for the wheelchair lift. 

Here’s a recap: 
We are raising money to install a lift at our dance’s hall. The hall is excited about having their space become more accessible. Currently the only way in is down a very long flight of stairs, with some more outside stairs and heavy doors as well, or to get assisted through a back entrance with fewer stairs. It’s really not ideal. However, lifts cost money! Most things do. The hall was open to our organization’s proposal to raise this money for the benefit of all the groups that use the space. (Here’s our first blogpost on this: ). 

So! Where are we now in this process? And what’s next? 
We’re selling punchcard style passes that will act like tickets to future dances. Dancers are welcome to still pay along the sliding scale, and buy a card for 10 dances at that rate. 

So, to clarify, because I’ve gotten quite a few questions on this: you’re buying Future You months and months worth of dances. Or Future Whomever! Give a card, get a card. Spread that love. This isn’t a donation, just needing money upfront, in order to make big construction happen. (It can also be a donation, of course! We will happily take your money, and transform it into building infrastructure) 

We have currently sold $3080 in pass cards, and had another $195 given as donations. That’s awesome! 

And — we need to get to $25,000 total for this to be a reality. That’s a still big number, but — if we can sell a little over 200 of these cards for an average price of $10 a dance ($100 card)… we’ll be there. 

Why is this important? 
Isn’t BIDA a dance organization? Is this….relevant? I’ve gotten these questions too, and I want to take a moment to go into it and answer! BIDA’s recurring events are dances, yes! Dancing is a beautiful celebration, and a chance to be joyful and connected to each other and to move and thrive. It’s very much a part of what we do. 

We also strive to foster community and growth; we want to mentor upcoming musicians, callers, sound engineers, and dancers alike; we want to encourage a diverse and intergenerational community.  We want our events to be financially and logistically accessible. We want to provide resources and opportunities back to the community. These are all part of BIDA’s mission as well, and together these goals create the gathering of people and music and movement and harmony. 

Someone’s ability to independently manage a full flight of stairs does not correspond to their level of interest and love for all these things. If for whatever reason you need a lift to access the hall — maybe you break a leg, or are post-op; maybe you live your life this way and it isn’t a change — we believe you should be able to, to come and join everyone in your community, to make music, to see your friends, to be here. A lot of the burden of access is invisible, for so many people. BIDA feels this is a priority for us. 

Thank you all for your help! 

If you feel so inclined to act now, you can do so! Mention in the memo that this is for the wheelchair lift (not Beantown Stomp, which we're also currently getting money for) and send $$ to Jeff: