Letter of Inquiry and Additional Information
Letter of Inquiry
Letter of Inquiry
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Letter Of Inquiry is being submitted on behalf of the National Performing Arts Funding Exchange, a till-now all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization located in Washington DC, to learn whether you would consider an operating capital funding proposal for $78,000. This would enable NPAFE to hire two employees who would manage the over 100 choreographer-dancer-filmmaker creators now working with NPAFE to incentivize Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other streamers to fund and broadcast new creations by choreographers and dancers.
Since its founding in 2016, NPAFE’s core mission has been to provide pro bono marketing, fiscal agency, and O1-B visa application services for up-and-coming choreographers and dancers, and to fund new live and filmed dance works especially by women artists.
In 2020, the NPAFE mission expanded to projects meant to increase the audience for dance, especially among Millennials and GenZers. After close collaboration with thoughtful choreographers, dancers, and their film production partners in the US and Europe, in early 2022 NPAFE allocated time and funds to create AAlchemy, a pro bono dance video production initiative specifically designed to grow these audiences.
Since then, AAlchemy has been identifying more US and international teams of choreographers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers specially focused on filming dance immersively – a quite complex production technique. In June 2023, AAlchemy launched the pilot AAlchemy Online stream on YouTube, a platform that these creators and their filmmaker production partners are now using at no charge to showcase new works.
Why this focus? For decades, audiences for dance have been dwindling, a problem that long precedes but has been accelerated by the advent of internet streaming and the impact of the Covid pandemic. The profound depth and breadth of this debilitating trend was identified as far back as 2001 by the Rand Corporation (1), by the NEA in 2008 (2), and many times since, for example quite persuasively by the New York Times in mid-2022 (3).
Today, new audiences for any entertainment form no less dance, especially younger audiences, look to their smartphones for visually-compelling vibrant but brief screen imagery for new experiences. That’s what incentivizes them not only to pay for streamed content but also to attend performances, expensive ticket cost not being a problem (witness the 2023-24 Taylor Swift and Madonna tours) (4).
At the same time, abundant research confirms that Netflix and its counterparts desperately need new audiences; they have the financial and distribution resources to fund dance and are keenly aware of the power of dance to attract new audiences; this is evidenced for example by Netflix’s Dance 100 and Amazon’s mid-2023 announcement about “Etoile” (5).
What Netflix and its counterparts want and will fund are people who can create sensual shortform visual storytelling content in this new format. NPAFE has been building the so-far only international network of choreographers, dancers and their filmmaker partners with the creative and technical knowhow and a verifiable track-record of collaborating together to produce this exclusive and compelling content, both on a cost-effective basis and with the volume and quality that Netflix and its competitors demand.
Your willingness to fund the proposed social media staff positions would substantially increase the capacity for NPAFE to:
- reach more performing artists who will benefit for NPAFE’s free marketing and promotional services, and
- incentivize major streamers like Netflix to fund creations by AAlchemy Online dance artists and filmmakers that will help streamers solve their own – and growing – challenge to keep and grow their own audiences in the highly saturated online streaming market.
Below my signature is more detailed information about NPAFE, AAlchemy, and AAlchemy Online. NPAFE has filed required form 990s with the IRS since 2016; each can be found at https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ using our EIN: 81-1149904. The IRS notes that its form 990 search website is not up to date; should you desire our form 990 for 2021, we will be pleased to provide it. The IRS has granted an extension until November 15, 2023 to file our 990 for 2022; it is being prepared now.
NPAFE values greatly the time and thought that you may give to evaluate this inquiry. I invite you to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or +22.214.171.12476 and we will respond right away to any and all questions, comments, or information requests that you may have.
Very truly yours,
With a geographic scope of service initially in the US and now growing internationally, NPAFE appears to be the only not-for-profit anywhere whose mission is providing free marketing services to up-and-coming performing artists and performing arts organizations, particularly in the field of ballet and contemporary dance. NPAFE’s companion missions are:
- Increasing the global audience for dance especially among Millennials and GenZers,
- Channeling funding to acclaimed and up-and-coming dance artists and their filmmaking teams so they can produce more projects, both live and filmed immersively using Immersion of the Mindtm processes unique to NPAFE, AAlchemy, and its choreographic and filmmaking production partners, and
- Emphasizing support for women choreographers and LGBTQIA dance artists.
NPAFE’s intended beneficiaries are dancers, choreographers, musicians, filmmakers and postproduction teams experienced in producing live and filmed performances, who demonstrate careful use of financial and human resources, and who are capable of long-range planning for projects if funding were in place.
Currently, NPAFE directly supports over 160 dancers, dance companies, choreographers, and filmmakers focused on dance both in the United States and worldwide. This and our past support since 2016 have enabled recipients to successfully employ hundreds more freelance dancers to create and present live and filmed productions to domestic and international audiences.
Coupled with these initiatives is NPAFE’s full tuition support so far exceeding $18,000 for Sofia Naumenko, a now-16-year-old Ukrainian refugee ballet student from Bucha where the Russians first invaded and slaughtered citizens. With our assistance, this European ballet competition winner was first accepted by the Princess Grace Academy in March, 2022 and then by the Hightower Academy for her advanced skills and potential for great success in dance. NPAFE tuition support for Naumenko continues for the 2023-24 academic year.
These and other activities allow NPAFE to build long-term network relationships and opportunities for up-and-coming dance creators that help them solve problems traditionally plaguing the financing of dance:
- Their acclaim notwithstanding, dancers and choreographers lack funding for their projects as freelancers or when they create dance companies of their own.
- Dancers and choreographers readily confirm that they lack the skills to market themselves and that they truly need help with promoting themselves and their projects/performances.
- They need concrete financing for marketing, a gap that NPAFE helps to close by providing free marketing services.
- There is a growing lack of funding available to artists whose focus is on teaching dance to children from low-income families, an NPAFE priority when deciding who to fund.
About NPAFE’s AAlchemy
The story of NPAFE’s new AAlchemy initiative is one of harnessing the power of visual art, of dance and especially of immersive dance filmmaking to attract new global audiences for dance.
The success of “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Dancing With The Stars”, and their spinoffs in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australasia, Japan and China confirms the growing world-wide market, viewership and demand for skillfully curated dance-centric storytelling.
AAlchemy’s “AAlchemy Online” is structured to give these growing audiences the chance to choose their own time and place to escape to the exquisite sensuality of a dancer’s movement that they crave.
It is the first purpose-built co-production house working with international creative partners to meet this market, by co-producing and promoting the work of skilled dance artists and filmmakers with proven track records creating videos – especially short videos – that immerse audiences in the sensuality of storytelling by dance.
In the same way that NPAFE supports performing artists, AAlchemy Online creators retain full ownership of their intellectual property and free and full use of all marketing material created by NPAFE and AAlchemy Online to promote their works. Their existing and new videos are now being featured, uploaded to and presented on a scheduled basis to the AAlchemy Online YouTube channel, coupled with marketing to global audiences to publicize both the videos and their creators.
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