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Help me use dance to spread awareness about the hidden dangers of asthma and provide resources to mitigate them!
Help me use dance to spread awareness about the hidden dangers of asthma and provide resources to mitigate them!
111 backers pledged $20,492 to help bring this project to life.

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$20,492

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"As above, As Below," commissioned by the Bronx Museum. Photo: Argenis Appolinario
"As above, As Below," commissioned by the Bronx Museum. Photo: Argenis Appolinario

UPDATE 9/20/18: 85% FUNDED!

Thanks to you all we are so close to achieving our goal!! I have assembled the For C.J. Team and we can’t wait to start working on the initiative!!

We have FIVE DAYS left to reach $20,000!! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD and help us a create a world without asthma-related deaths.

Save the date for our Live Facebook and Kickstarter event: September 25 at 7pm!! RSVP HERE.

Love,

Dava

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Help me achieve my mission to use dance as a platform to spread awareness about the hidden dangers of asthma and provide resources to mitigate them through the For C.J. Initiative – dedicated to my nephew, C.J., who died from an asthma attack in 2017. $20,000 will fund four For C.J. Initiative events at $5,000 each. Please make your tax-deductible donation of $50 or more today!

My name is Davalois Fearon. I am a Bessie award-winning, critically-acclaimed dancer and choreographer and one of Dance magazine’s Up-and-Coming Black Artists to Have on Your Radar. I am also the Founder and Artistic Director of New York City-based Davalois Fearon Dance (DFD), a company created with the mission to push both artistic and social boundaries.  

I took action after C.J.’s death, by researching asthma fatalities, which led me to discover alarming levels of systemic medical and environmental negligence. Though resources to prevent asthma fatalities are available, people like myself and my nephew weren’t aware they even existed until it was too late. This heartbreaking revelation motivated me to be part of the solution, in the hope of saving lives. To achieve this, the For C.J. Initiative will bridge the gap that exists between some individuals with asthma and organizations such as the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

"Consider Water." Photo: Argenis Appolinario
"Consider Water." Photo: Argenis Appolinario

The For C.J. Initiative will address systemic medical and environmental negligence through a twofold approach that incorporates arts and community. I will create a dance piece, titled For C.J., that celebrates C.J.’s life and tells his story through movement, live music, and visual arts. Also, I will organize asthma awareness events that feature excerpts of For C.J., followed by panel discussions about asthma and various environmental and medical resources.   

These events will be held in with the support of organizations such as RestorationART, the Bronx Council on the Arts, Pentacle Dance Works, and local asthma organizations in each location that For C.J. is performed. This combination of art and community will not only honor the life of my nephew but will draw people together so that we can build a support network, provide resources, and help prevent more unnecessary deaths

Morgan Anderson in "Lift Up" at Warwick Summer Arts Festival. Photo: Argenis Appolinario.
Morgan Anderson in "Lift Up" at Warwick Summer Arts Festival. Photo: Argenis Appolinario.

Goals  

  • Produce an excerpt of For C.J. as part of the RestorationART ChoreoQuest Residency on October 20, 2018 
  • Use audience feedback, concerns, and revelations after the ChoreoQuest Residency to produce a work-in-progress performance in the spring 2019 
  • Conduct two associated asthma awareness events 
  • Reach my stretch goal of $80,000 to make this a multi year project with a nationwide reach. 

Outcome 

  • Create a thought-provoking high-caliber dance pieces with visual imagery that is fluid, yet detailed and assertive. 
  • Increase awareness of the dangers of asthma. 
  • Empower communities to demand better medical care from their providers. 
  • Encourage engagement in local government to improve regulations that do not require doctors to provide asthma assessments.
"Consider Water." Design/Photo: Andrew Lee Imaging
"Consider Water." Design/Photo: Andrew Lee Imaging

Why are you fundraising?

The For C.J. Initiative is a very personal project borne out of an obvious yet unfulfilled need. It is my third arts and community project and my most ambitious to date. I foresee costs of $80,000 and a period of three to four years to fully realize the project, given the amount of research and artistic development it demands as well as the organizational partnership building I will need to undertake to have a national reach.  

My initial fundraising goal of $20,000 will get the project underway. This amount will support: the development and production of an excerpt of the work as part of the RestorationART ChoreoQuest Residency in October 2018, the first performance in spring 2019, and the associated asthma awareness events. The more money we raise, the more awareness we can build by carrying the project beyond the first year.  

In the past, I have only secured funding to create dance pieces and have done the associated community-level work without additional funding. This has limited what I have been able to accomplish, and has taught me that I must fundraise to support both dimensions of a project and must secure organizational partnerships at the beginning stages of a project. These partnerships provide a stable framework that will maximize the artistic and social impact of For C.J.

"Time to Talk" at the Met Breuer. Photo: Andrew Lee Imaging.
"Time to Talk" at the Met Breuer. Photo: Andrew Lee Imaging.

 Mission & History   

Choreographer Davalois Fearon brings high energy and tenacious virtuosity to all her work. - Melanie Greene, Dance Magazine   

I founded Davalois Fearon Dance (DFD) in November 2016 to collaboratively create, perform, and teach a versatile body of work that draws from my richly diverse movement vocabulary, and to cultivate the next generation of dance artists. My choreography has been lauded by critics as “fearless” and “electrifying” and is often driven by the aim to confront difficult issues and prompt contemplation. I also make use of multimedia elements that carry audiences on a thought provoking, audiovisual journey of ideas. Recently, I was commissioned by the Bronx Museum to produce a site-specific work entitled As Above, As Below.  
DFD, which debuted in 2017 at the prestigious Joyce Theater as a part of the American Dance Platform, has been presented nationally and internationally – including in New York City, on Broadway at the New Victory Theater and at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as across the US and in Kingston, Jamaica. The company has received support from the Bronx Council on the Arts Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Fellowship, and Artist for Community and the Arts Fund Grants. Additional foundational support has come from the MuKha Arts & Science Foundation and the Mayer Foundation.

"Davalois holds audiences in the moment, promising to deliver a bold engagement... through a combination of choreographed entrancing movements and improvisational inspiration." - New Jersey Herald  

"[Fearon is] a woman who excels at whatever she sets her mind to doing. - Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody, "Time to Talk" Premiere at Mabou Mines 

 "Fearon's movements are both gymnastic and natural, as the dancers combined crouching and running with sudden bursts of dynamic, leg-thrusting energy." - Mary Cargill, DanceViewTimes, "Consider Water" Premiere at the Joyce Theater

Photo: Piotr Redlinski, The New York Times
Photo: Piotr Redlinski, The New York Times

 ALL donations over $50 are tax deductible!

Risks and challenges

I am deeply invested in the success of For C.J., as are my company and my community. The only obstacle is access to resources. Running a dance company in today's economy is extremely challenging. The non-profit sector has always fought funding challenges, because we are driven by service, not profit. But, the more funding I receive, the more communities I can reach.

My expertise in translating social issues into movement that sparks contemplation and learning means that, even if I don't run an asthma organization, I do know how to use dance to spread awareness about asthma-related issues that most concern me. Any funding received will allow me to work on securing more performance opportunities for For C.J., each coupled with an asthma awareness event. I have learned to be resourceful and can make a lot happen with a little, so if I do not receive all the funding I need, I will scale the project accordingly but will continue this mission to honor my nephew. I am committed to this project through blood and passion, which will ensure its success.

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Funding period

- (30 days)