Yeah yeah I know you've donated to Haiti and Chile and it's a recession, and the world is slowly crumbling around us. BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT! Mars needs tap shoes! Or at least Tanzania does.
So I have this friend. She's a great theater person, excellent director, actress, dancer. A few years ago she gave it up after meeting a person at a corporate event who wanted to save the world. So she's doing that. Her name is Noel Carmichael. She is running Industrial Revelation. www.industrialrevelation.org
She and her team are combating malnutrition by manufacturing a food called Plumpy'nut. You can read all about it on that site.
However being in Tanzania she finds herself surrounded by poverty and she has some free time due to the general pace of the society. She wants to start an afternoon tap class to help keep kids off the street.
Her email is quoted below. In short if any of you have access to old or used or cheap tap shoes. let myself or Noel know.
Lighting Designer, NYCwww.HGLightingDesign.com
We work in the dark - We do what we can- We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of our art. -Henry James
Begin forwarded message:
> From: noel carmichael <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: March 13, 2010 6:14:22 AM EST
> Subject: Call me crazy
> But I have an idea.
> You see, many times here I look around and I feel kind of powerless to help people. I am constantly trying to rack my brain to figure out what skills I have that I can share with people. I have helped neighbors in many ways- improving their english, basic computer skills, small business loans with help developing business plans, talking about the importance of brushing your teeth and eating fruits and vegetables... all sorts of things. But recently a need has appeared here, that I know I have the skills to fill. And I just need some technical assistance. Which is why I am writing to this select group of people who might have the tools to help me.
> There is a severe lack of things for kids to do in their after school hours here. There aren't structured, creative activities. Mostly, kids just hang around in their neighborhoods, playing in the streets. And as they get older, this idleness, of course, brings its own problems (drinking, drugs, teenage pregnancy... you get my drift). Anyway, these kids need something positive to DO. And recently I have come across a bunch of kids who would really like to learn how to tap dance! Now this is something I can do!!! I have found a relatively cheap venue here to teach in and I will do the teaching for free. However... there doesn't seem to be anywhere in East Africa for one to buy tap shoes...
> Here's where you come in. I don't need any money. What I need is to use your connections, networks, whatever ideas you have to find a way to get tap shoes sent here. Maybe dance schools or theatres that have old pairs? Maybe a tap shoe maker or dance troupe that would like to donate shoes? Maybe we have to outright buy them, but we can brainstorm ways to get the money. Whatever the case may be (I don't mind writing proposals or wearing corporate sponsorship).
> There is a small community theatre here, the board of which has already told me that if I can get the tap shoes, they will pay for the shipping. My approach is two-pronged: I will teach classes at a small fee for the community theatre and its members, who tend to be foreigners living here or upper class Tanzanians. Then, I plan to take the money I get from those classes to provide classes to the poorer kids who wouldn't normally have access to an opportunity like this. The money would be used to rent a venue and provide transportation, perhaps a snack or something- whatever will make it feasible for them to come.
> I am still working on figuring out how many kids (or maybe even adults) are interested, to get a sense of how many shoes I would need. I also have a lot of work to do to figure out the exact constraints on the poorer families and how I can make a class accessible to their children.
> Please share any ideas you have or spread the word out to others that you think could help.
> I hope some of you are interested!
> Much Love,