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Building Europe's first dedicated dance space that is gender-neutral and fully accessible, by and for London's LGBTQ & allied community
Building Europe's first dedicated dance space that is gender-neutral and fully accessible, by and for London's LGBTQ & allied community
863 backers pledged £36,388 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£36,388

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Classes with Irreverent Dance provide a safe, supportive and fun space for London’s LGBTQ and allied community to move and socialise together.

We understand that the complexities of experience, bodies, and gender don’t always fit into simple binaries - and our 500+ students agree. But for all our hard work, we’ve had to operate in hired spaces where our ideals are not always catered to.

The time has come to get our own premises - we've found the perfect place and we need to raise £30k by 12 November to pay the deposit and fit it out as Europe's first gender-neutral community dance studio.

Successfully funded! STRETCH GOALS:

We hit our initial funding target on Saturday 8 November, in the middle of a dress rehearsal for our annual Showcase performance the next day. Thank you all so much for helping us push past the funding barrier with days to spare! Now, amazingly, we can start to look at stretch goals.

If we raise…

£32,000 - SUCCEEDED! 

We’ll be able to set up proper membership management software for our new studios, letting us keep secure track of all our students’ details and any special requirements alongside their class bookings. This will also mean our students have a proper bookings/membership system they’ll be able to access, storing details of their classes and performances so we can make sure everyone is getting the right information.

£35,000 - SUCCEEDED!

We’ll be able to build additional changing cubicles in the changing rooms, to give people more privacy when they’re getting changed for classes. This is really important for many members of our community, who may not feel comfortable dressing and undressing around other people. We’ll also be able to extend the ballet programme above Grade 3 and increase our pointe courses from once-a-year to an ongoing opportunity. At the moment we have quite a few students who’ve progressed all the way from Grade 1 up to pointe classes with us, and without sending them off to mainstream ballet classes, there’s no more we can realistically teach them. An extra level of funding would mean we could afford to create a syllabus for Grade 4 and more advanced classes.

£38,000

We’ll be able to build additional storage in the studios, allowing us to start accumulating stage backdrops and props, staging items, staging deck and extra chairs, allowing us to transform the studio into a mini cabaret space for evening events

£40,000

We’ll be able to set up a small shop in our reception area, selling things we know our students find hard to get anywhere else like plus-size ballet tights or gender-neutral base-layer dance clothing. This will include a swap shop - not all our students can afford to buy new, and for someone with a pair of tap shoes gathering dust, it would be great for everyone if we could facilitate proper kit-swaps.

Can you help us hit these new targets? Please keep sharing the link and keep making noise - the finish line is in sight and we'd love to be able to offer our amazing students even more...

Tell me more about Irreverent Dance

Not everyone who wants to learn to dance is young, skinny, graceful, cis-female and gives a toss. In fact, most of us aren’t...

If you’re atypical in any way, learning to dance can be a nightmare. Be it ballet, hip hop, or any one of our growing number of hosted styles, you want to give it a go but you’re worried you wouldn’t be able to keep up; you’ll get stuck in the kids’ class, or you’ll look like an idiot in your oversize t-shirt and those sweatpants that haven’t seen the outside of the flat.

Irreverent Dance is designed for adult beginners and doesn’t take itself too seriously. We aim to have you feeling better about yourself when you leave the studio than when you arrived; week on week. Our studio is a LGBTQ-friendly, body-positive space and our sociable classes frequently roll on to a nearby pub/park for a quick post-dance catch-up before we all head home.  

In many ways, Irreverent Dance isn’t really about dance at all. It’s about individuals reconnecting with their bodies; sticking two fingers up to society’s prejudices about gender behaviour, beauty, and identity; and gathering our messy, hard to define, WIP-selves in a space where that imperfection is not only tolerated, but celebrated.  

I like to think that, as a group, we are dragging amateur adult dance classes back to what they should be ; a fun, physical, sociable space that has absolutely no business undermining your body, identity, or your self-esteem. We Promise.

As part of creating this Kickstarter, we asked a few of our students to talk about what Irreverent Dance means to them - let them tell you about why we matter:

How will the money be used?

Our costs can be rounded and broken down into 10 broad categories. We need to raise the whole sum to achieve these aims. If the Kickstarter does not reach its goal we will not receive a partial sum, as it could not be spent effectively.

  1. £14, 600: Deposit & legal fees

  2. £1,200: Fitting (gender neutral) changing and bathroom facilities

  3. £800: Fitting a small kitchenette

  4. £6,650: Kitting out a high standard studio with professional floor and curtained mirrors

  5. £400: Installing suitable sound and lighting equipment

  6. £500: Installing suitable heating /  air conditioning

  7. £650: Furniture for reception and seating area, including lockers

  8. £900: Equipment for the studio, including mats, barres, and space for bags

  9. £3,000: General decor & partition walls

  10. £2-7,000: Fulfilling the rewards. Variable.


Why do we need a building?

Irreverent Dance has worked for over 2 years to build an inclusive movement community of students and teachers who understand that the complexities of bodies and gender don’t always fit into simplistic binaries. But for all of our hard work, to date we’ve still had to operate in studio and social spaces where our ideals are not always catered to.

Here are our ‘top 5’ reasons getting our own space is important.


  1. Wheelchair accessible, gender-neutral dance spaces don’t exist.Not only does this make finding venues to teach in an exercise in over-compromise but we think this is fundamentally wrong. We’d like to show that they can exist, should exist, and in a way that is profitable and well attended.

  2. Our own space means an increased programme of classes. We seek to offer a broader range of courses, to repeat popular courses on different nights / weekends to better suit your schedule, to schedule more ‘one off’ workshops, private classes and ‘intensives’, and to use this freedom to host guest workshops from specialised teachers.

  3. Our space can double up as a venue for some socials. Much like finding venues to teach in is complex, finding safe(r) spaces to socialise in can also be problematic. With the advantages of it not being an alcohol or food oriented environment, not being open to strangers who may not share our ideals, and already being accessible with gender-neutral facilities, our studio will allow for social time, too.

  4. Maintaining our own space is more cost effective in the long run. Irreverent Dance has grown organically far beyond the expectations of the original idea. It has, in many ways, outgrown its resources. Our options financially are either to reduce our schedule and to rotate out some classes and teachers, or to go for this ‘step change’, acquire our own premises, and continue to grow. 

  5. We don’t believe that being an ‘alternative’ dance studio is an excuse for unprofessional practices. Some students will have noticed that we are frequently at the mercy of the organisations we hire through with room changes, late openings, and other administrative hiccups. While our own space will doubtlessly have its own teething problems, we hope that being self-sufficient will mean we are better able to run an organisation we can all be proud of.

Limited-edition rewards

Amongst the (growing!) list of rewards available, here are the remaining limited-edition choices. It's also worth saying that all rewards include things like 'your name listed on our website as a backer' or 'your name on the wall of our studio' - this does, of course, always mean your name of choice. We're not going to hold you to a name that appears on your bank account just because.

On with the rewards!

£50 or more
Everything from the £20 pledge level plus an unframed print of Stuart Taylor aka Chainbear's beautiful Irreverent Dance illustration. Created especially for us, this shows four diverse dancers together in a studio - a t-rex, a penguin, a kitten and a robot. We love it <3
£100 or more
As above, but with a framed and personally signed print of Stuart's Irreverent Dance illustration.

£150 or more
Everything from £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises - great for those classes that always book up quickly) plus spend an hour with founder and trainee movement psychotherapist Amanda to define your own personal movement profile. Like a Myers-Briggs test for your body, you'll explore your preferred movement patterns, learn what this means for you, and get tips on how you can develop your movement to facilitate mental/emotional change.

£150 or more
Everything from £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises) plus get Irreverent Dance to run a lunch hour takeover at your office! We'll run a dance movement class suitable for all ages and abilities - head into your afternoon with colleagues energised and smiling.

£200 or more
Perfect for dance teachers. As well as the £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises), set up a two hour workshop for you and up to nine colleagues on creating safer spaces and gender-free teaching, run by Irreverent Dance teacher Lilith; take home an info pack on gender and on gender-free teaching.

£200 or more
Gift special! Is your friend a huge fan of Irreverent Dance and our classes? Did they point you at our Kickstarter? Feeling generous? We'll send you the £50 level rewards (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises - it's up to you whether you keep those perks for yourself or pass them on!) plus a beautifully-packaged gift voucher just in time for Christmas, valid for a whole term of classes. Plus we will add your name and your friend's name onto the wall of our new studios.

£200 or more
Everything from £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises) plus explore The Chemistry Of Cocktails - Dr Suze Kundu will take 50 people on a scientific journey, from champagne bubbles to the shape of glassware; a whirlwind adventure from Absinthe to Zinfandel and discover exactly why it is sometimes better to shake it, and not stir it. Plus your name on our wall.

£200 or more
Great for our keenest students. Everything from £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises) plus get your very own locker at our new studios. There will be very few of these, because space limitations - it may even be that the Kickstarter-reward lockers are the only ones (we can't be sure yet). Plus your name on our wall!

£500 or more
Ooh, personal choreography! This one will net you everything from the £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises) but - most excitingly - you'll work with one of the Irreverent Dance teachers to create and learn your own piece of personal choreography. If you're wondering about the first dance at your wedding, civil partnership or commitment ceremony, this would be great - but you could also plot a choreographed dance for you and your friends (fancy unexpectedly breaking out your moves in the club when 'your' song comes on?). Hey, you could even take inspiration from the regular Dance Your PhD contest.

£500 or more
Ever wanted to be immortalised in a dance step? This reward gets you everything from the £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises), your name on our wall, plus we will create an actual dance step in your honour, name it after you, and send you a video of some us performing it just for you. Plus, you'll get to have drinks with our founder Amanda and talk through her vision for Irreverent Dance's future, why she created it, how she's brought the organisation so far and why it's so important to her.

£600 or more
Taxidermy special! Margot Magpie, anthropomorphic taxidermist, will give a mouse taxidermy workshop for you and up to 14 friends with all materials included. Her workshops introduce students to the process and techniques behind basic taxidermy, learning how to skin, prep, preserve, mount and position the animal. Students can choose to pose their mount in a naturalist setting but they will also be introduced to the art of anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics to animals, plants or non-living things. The mice used for her workshops are always ethically sourced. You'll also get everything from the £50 Funder reward (VIP ticket to our opening party plus priority booking for our first year in our own premises).

£1000 or more
Choose your £500-level reward (a dance step named after you and drinks with founder Amanda? Or a custom piece of choreography?) and hire our new studios for an evening to host your own event - perhaps a private party, a dance, a work do, or even a public event. We'll talk to you about what your event is (drop us a line if you're not sure whether what you're planning is suitable).

Risks and challenges

Right now, as an organisation, the main risk we face is failing to change - which is exactly why we're running this campaign! Without a permanent premises, we're spending more and more money on hiring studio spaces across London every night of the week, and our next step would need to be scaling back what we offer instead of expanding it. We really don't want to do that.

Regarding the building itself - is it fit for purpose? Are there any problems? We have two professional experienced surveyors working with us and we hope that will avoid any nasty surprises.

Like any organisation, we've thought carefully about whether we can afford the rent once we're in - although we plan to offer daytime and weekend hire, our budget works even without these and we should be able to meet the rent even if we were to only offer a slightly expanded programme of evening dance classes.

If there are any unexpected costs, we'll make sure to keep our community fully updated - we prefer to be as transparent as possible about what we're working on. We're confident that (unless unexpected costs spiral into thousands!) we will raise the funds needed - whether through fundraising drives via our amazingly supportive community of dancers, or whether through using our board's experience in the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors to apply for grants and funding to see us through.

Our priority is to build on and maintain the creative, fulfilling and joyful space we've already made for hundreds of people, and we are absolutely committed to making sure that happens, no matter what.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    Your name of choice on our website, listed as a supporter | Monthly update from ID founder, Amanda, on our premises adventure | Video tour of our new studios once we're open

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    225 backers
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    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    Everything from £5 reward plus: passworded access to an online 15 min taster beginners’ ballet class - watch and practise with it as often as you like.

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    30 backers
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    Pledge £20 or more About $32

    Everything from £5 reward plus: Special ID Kickstarter booklet | ID tote bag | ID button badge

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    165 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $48

    GEOGRAPHICALLY-CHALLENGED: Everything from £5 reward plus: Personalised thank you video from the founder and community | Passworded access to our ID dance tutorial for Beyonce's Single Ladies - learn the steps in your bedroom then show off in public!

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    48 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $80

    Everything from £20 reward plus: VIP ticket to our opening party | Priority booking for our first year in ID premises

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    97 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $80

    Everything from £20 reward plus: an unframed print of Stuart Taylor aka Chainbear's beautiful Irreverent Dance illustration.

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 12 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £100 or more About $161

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    Personalised 1hr yoga/relaxation session for you (either alone or with up to 11 friends/colleagues) with Irreverent Yoga teacher Catherine

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £100 or more About $161

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    A fire/glow performance from Irreverent Circus teacher David Zephyr Breeze - birthday parties, house parties, weddings/civil partnerships, Christmas celebrations; choose from poi, staff, double staff, buugeng and more.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £100 or more About $161

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    A unique pencil portrait of you by portrait artist Amber Dernulc

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    £
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $161

    Everything from £20 reward plus: a framed and signed print of Stuart Taylor aka Chainbear's beautiful Irreverent Dance illustration.

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 5 backers
    £
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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About $241

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    A three-hour personalised shopping trip and style consultation with fashion expert and blogger Lipstick Lori

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    £
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $241

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    Irreverent Dance will run a lunch hour takeover at your workplace! Get your colleagues moving and laughing in a special dance movement class, suitable for all ages, abilities and grumpiness levels.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About $241

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    Elly, professional dressmaker and our resident wardrobe mistress, will run a three hour workshop guiding you and a friend through the basics of clothing alterations - bring a few items of clothing you'd like to alter and find out how!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $241

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    Spend an hour with Amanda to define your personal movement profile; discover what your movement says about you and learn how moving your body can change your thinking.

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    Limited 5 backers
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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About $241

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: delightfully British afternoon tea with Zoe Margolis, aka Girl With A One-Track Mind. A couple of hours to pick her brains on writing, publishing, blogging, feminism, sex and relationships, films or anything else you come up with!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £180 or more About $289

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: a bespoke framed original artwork from Stuart Taylor aka Chainbear of the dancing animal of your choice! We'll contact you after the Kickstarter closes to find out what you'd like him to create for you.

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $322

    **Ideal for dance and movement teachers**
    Everything from £50 reward plus: 2 hr workshop for you and up to 9 colleagues on creating safer spaces and gender-free teaching, taught by Irreverent Dance teacher Lilith | Info pack on gender and gender-free teaching

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    Limited 2 backers
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $322

    **GIFT SPECIAL** Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: A beautifully packaged gift voucher (in time for Christmas!) for one term of dance classes | Your name or dedication of choice plus your friend's name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 21 backers
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $322

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: Your very own locker for a year at our new studios - keep all your dance gear ready for your next class | Your name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Limited 7 backers
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  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £200 or more About $322

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    A multimedia (collage/pen/ink) portrait by portrait artist Amber Dernulc | Your name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    £
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  21. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £200 or more About $322

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: The Chemistry of Cocktails: lecture/workshop with Dr Suze Kundu of Imperial College (for you and up to 49 friends/colleagues) | Your name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $804

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: Work with one of the Irreverent Dance teachers to create and learn a custom piece of personal choreography - the first dance at your wedding, civil partnership or commitment ceremony? | Your name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Limited 0 backers
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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $804

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus: We will create and name a dance step after you, and send you a video of us doing it! | Drinks with Irreverent Dance founder Amanda & talk through her vision for the future | Your name or dedication of choice on the wall in our new studio

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    Limited 6 backers
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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge £600 or more About $965

    Everything from £50 Funder reward plus:
    A dedicated private taxidermy workshop with anthropomorphic taxidermist Margot Magpie for you and up to 14 friends (usually £60 per head, all materials included)

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    Limited 2 backers
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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,608

    Everything from £500 VIP Funder reward plus: Hire our new studios for an evening to hold your own event (in consultation with the ID team) - work drinks? A social dance? Your birthday party?

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    Limited 1 backer
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  26. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About $8,038

    HERE COMES THE CAVALRY: Everything from £1000 reward plus: standing monthly hire (weekday, 1 hr, for the first 6 months) | ID cabaret-space named after you/your organisation | corporate sponsorship option (inc your logo included on all ID publicity for the next year and inclusion in mailings to the community; we will work with you to find the most effective ways to do this)

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)