Texas dance halls are in crisis.

Donate now to help TDHP support historic Texas dance halls through this difficult time.

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Donate now to help TDHP support historic Texas dance halls through this difficult time.

Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most halls to close. During what’s usually their busiest time of the year, when they’re usually bustling with weddings, family reunions, community dances, fundraisers for the volunteer fire department, and festivals celebrating traditional culture and heritage … Texas dance halls stand empty.

By order of the Governor, large gatherings are banned. Any organization that makes more than 51% of its revenue from alcohol sales—including many dance halls—has been classified as a “bar” and ordered closed. The costs to “pivot” to operating as a restaurant, a strategy being used by some actual bars, can’t be justified in low-population rural areas, and many halls have no kitchens. On top of that, most dance halls are either family-owned businesses or run by nonprofit organizations. They don’t make a lot of profit, even in the good times. And these times are not good for dance halls.

They need our help right now.

That’s why Texas Dance Hall Preservation is raising money to help pay for building-related expenses, including utilities (electric, water, and gas) and building insurance. These costs alone can total as much as $2,000 each month … even when a hall is not being used.

With at least 180 dance halls operating throughout Texas, we know this is a big ask. Over the past six months of the federal disaster declared by President Trump, we estimate that individual halls may have racked up about $8,000 apiece for these building expenses alone.

We hear from dance hall owners every day who were financially responsible. They saved for an emergency, but now have exhausted that savings. They are exhausted, too. Many of them dread the annual insurance bills—in some cases, nearly $10,000—coming due in January. That’s why we’re reaching out to you today.

The Texas Dance Hall Relief Fund has been established with a goal of raising $250,000 in just two months. With your donations, Texas dance halls will have all or part of their actual utility and insurance expenses for the past six months reimbursed in December 2020. If you value the Texas music, culture, and heritage that can only be found in a dance hall, please give today and help these Lone Star treasures survive the pandemic.

With your help, we can save Texas dance halls. Thank you for doing whatever you can.