With roughly 35 percent of their door-to-door collections in, organizers are about $3,000 closer to financing the World Folkfest, Springville, Utah.
The money, added to one corporate and several mailed-in donations, gives them about 20 percent of the minimum funds they will need to pay for the festival."We haven't gotten all the collection boxes back yet, so we're not sure what the total will be," George Frandsen, festival general director, said Thursday. "The tally so far, combined with funds raised earlier, brings us up to about $12,000."
Frandsen said it will take between $60,000 and $80,000 to finance the international dance festival.
"Our main thrust will be to get corporate sponsors," he said. "Geneva has donated $5,000, and we are negotiating with a few other businesses."
Teddy Anderson, executive director of Springville's Arts Commission, said the door-to-door collection drive will be extended through the end of April.
"Our volunteers are great, but they are busy people. The extra time will give them a chance to do a better job. You have no idea what a huge job this fund-raising drive is turning out to be. It takes a lot of time."
She added that some areas of Springville had not yet been assigned to canvassers.
"We have about 90 volunteers. Besides collecting money, they are asking people if they would like to house dancers. We are getting everything ready for the festival."
Festival financing has been in doubt since March when the Springville City Council turned down organizers' request for $35,000 seed money. The city agreed to support the festival with services, such as the loan of police, sanitation and parks personnel.
"We made a definite decision to go on with the festival anyway. We have had to cut way back on things like advertising. We don't think it will hurt anything. We might have spent a little too much last year," Anderson said.
"We were about $16,000 short last year, so we need to clear those debts too. Those people will be the first paid with money we make this year."
Anderson said organizers are hoping the festival will grow slowly and steadily over the next few years.
"If it is well managed and does not grow too fast, it should be successful. It will have to survive on its own merit. If we can get through this year, we should be OK."
Anderson said 640 dancers entertained about 3,000 spectators nightly during last year's festival. Dance teams from 12 countries have committed to attend the third annual festival Aug. 17-24.
"But we will probably gain some teams and lose some before August. Last year we had problems with the group from Sardinia. Three musicians made it out, but the rest of the team had passport problems. It is always exciting dealing with people from foreign countries.
"But no matter what, this year's festival will go on. The decision has been made," she said.