By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The venerable Philadelphia Dance Company (“Philadanco”) has a $20,000-plus problem: a broken furnace that has left its studios without heat.
So, the organization has turned to crowdfunding in hopes of solving the problem. And their the dilemma shows how vulnerable even a successful arts organization can be.
Philadanco founder Joan Myers Brown recalls she was in her University City office one day last week when the indoor temperature started dropping.
“I called the gentleman who takes care of my heating, and he found a big hole in the furnace,” she says. “So, we’ve been using electric heaters, trying to figure out how we’re going to repair a heater that costs $20,000. And that definitely isn’t in my budget for this year.”
With the company’s forty-fifth season just underway, amid ongoing classes and other activities, Brown wondered if she would have to close. She says she didn’t even think about asking for help from the city’s big charitable foundations — which, she says, have abandoned the company.
But she decided to ask individuals for help, through the web site Indiegogo. And she found a silver lining.
“The people that have responded have been very supportive and very generous, and they all say they love Philadanco. So that’s a positive,” Brown says.