Dance halls in Texas are an important part of our state’s history, as well as our present and future. As immigrants formed communities, these gathering spots typically served many functions such as town hall, church, and social club. As the years go by, the survival of dance halls has been determined by those who were willing to adapt and keep them going. Often, bar sales from monthly dances and concerts are the only means of financial support.
Due to COVID-19, most of our historic dance halls have been closed for seven months and now need help, as they have continued to pay their utility bills and building insurance. With no end in sight for making revenue, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is looking to provide assistance alongside other Texans. From October 20th through November 30th, 2020, Texas Dance Hall Preservation is raising money to aid dance halls in paying their bills. 100% of donations made will go directly to the 32 dance halls who submitted applications. The calculated amount needed is $250,000 for all sites to keep the lights on! All donations are tax-deductible.
Photo: @dandottaviano via Twenty20
Keeping a dance hall open is not a frugal task. Of the dance halls who talked to Texas Dance Hall Preservation, annual spend is typically $5K–$10K for insurance, $8K for utilities, and $6K for property tax. Additional operating expenses can push up the total to around $40,000 per year. Unfortunately, the Governor’s mandate which allowed bars to become restaurants and re-open is not applicable to most dance halls as they cannot meet the strict qualifying rules and/or cannot afford the State and TABC licenses plus further associated expenses.
Photo: @mirkomacari via Twenty20
If you would like to donate, visit www.texasdancehallrelief.org, text “donate” to 979-271-5227, go to https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/texas-dance-hall-relief-fund, or send a check to: Dance Hall Relief Fund c/o Texas Dance Hall Preservation 3005 S. Lamar Blvd, Ste D-109 #315, Austin, TX 78704. Short on cash? Share this noble fundraiser on social media today. Your generosity is greatly appreciated today, and for future dancers of Texas!