Financial Goal: $10,000
Dear friends, family, and community supporters,
Thank you for taking the time and energy to review our campaign!
BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance is a contemporary dance company of womxn and non-binary performers that captures and communicates universal human encounters through dynamic, purposeful movement. BodyStories brings a wealth of cultural arts activism experience into each project we create with community partners.
In Fall 2020, Artistic Director, Teresa Fellion, acquired a converted 1900 dairy barn in Jefferson, New York with the vision of utilizing this property to further BodyStories’ goals to promote equity and social justice through dance research, performance, the arts, community programs, and wellness programs. Since then, the company has taken over operations and enhancements of this refurbished barn, converting the structure into a three-story, multifunctional arts facility. Through the development of Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center (MAR+RC), BodyStories has begun to engage the local Jefferson community while serving New York State, national, and international artists through performance, community engagement, education, and accessible, low-cost art space and programming. MAR+RC strives to serve as an immersive, multicultural healing ground and platform for marginalized communities including people of color, indigenous communities, LGBTQIAP+-identifying persons, and people with disabilities.
When visiting the Center, artists-in-residence, students, and community members can expect a rural atmosphere with scenic mountains, thriving wildlife, and overall natural beauty across the property’s nine acres of land. Since its official opening in June 2021, we have been thankful to host several successful events at the Center, including three BodyStories seasonal Dance Intensives, a yoga retreat, three artist residencies, three dance workshops, two performances, and a monthly class series, but there is still much work to do to fully achieve the mission of this facility.
Education and dance residency programs are already up and running at MAR+RC! Creators across disciplines within the performing, literary, and visual arts are invited to participate in our programs. Offered programs currently include a robust artist-in-residence program, ongoing performance and public engagement programming steered by resident artists, an annual performance series by BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, dance classes for adult and youth students, community gatherings, and health & wellness retreats.
Visitors and artists-in-residence currently have access to three functional art spaces at the Center including the second-floor main hall, a large multi-purpose room, and a third-floor dance studio. Residents also have access to MAR+RC’s amenities, including a fully equipped stainless steel kitchen, office space with desks and a library, and an outdoor deck. Phase One renovation plans include renovating the lower level, creating individual bedroom spaces, gathering rooms, and more bathroom facilities for overnight guests, as well as adding a first-floor visual artist studio. The creation and renovation of these spaces will allow us to serve a larger number of artists concurrently in comfortable and private housing accommodations and expand our residency offerings.
With 2022 campaign funds, we plan to accomplish three renovation projects:
1. Lower-level renovation ($2,025)
The lower level of MAR+RC will hold 10-12 private guest bedrooms, an artist studio, kitchen amenities, bathrooms, and a lounge area. The renovation and construction of this level will expand the Center’s offerings to artists-in-residence and provide comfortable housing accommodations for multi-day visits.
With the generous assistance of participants from Zen Phoenix Yoga and Kinesis Dance Project, we have successfully cleared out the lower level to prepare for a full-scale renovation. This Spring and Summer, Teresa began the mapping process for these renovations and we have already begun to dive into the process! The outside walls, insulation, and installation of new windows are underway, and soon it will be time for the rest!
2. Furnishment of individual bedrooms and bathroom amenities ($5,475)
When guests stay at MAR+RC, we want them to feel at home! All new private bedrooms will be furnished with one bed, a dresser, a nightstand with lamp, and door mirror. Each guest will also have access to additional lower-level bathroom facilities containing three showers and toilets. Bathrooms will be equipped with essential toiletries and towels. These housing facilities will grant visitors a dedicated, private space to rest and relax amongst the business of their retreat or residency. It is our goal to provide modern, functional, and comfortable furnishings for each room that our guests will enjoy returning to at the end of the day!
3. Begin a scholarship fund and fund for artist residencies! ($2,500)
A scholarship fund will help sponsor students with financial needs to attend BodyStories classes, intensives, informal showings, and performance opportunities. We are proud to help members of the community experience arts and wellness programs and perform dance.
Help contribute to our residency program funding! This fund will allow us to provide low-cost residency space so artists can have the time to develop their work, enhance creativity, and create meaningful dance and art. At the end of each residency, artists will have the choice to share work devised during their stay with the local community through an informal showing.
Your donation today will have a direct impact on fostering a strong art community, not only within upstate New York, but beyond, including NYC-based, national, and international artists! Focused on equity and accessibility, we strive to break the barriers toward the practice and performance of art, providing a space where all are welcomed.
Please consider gifting a tax-free donation of $25, $50, $75, $100, or any amount today to support the further development and ongoing mission of Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center! Any amount is helpful, and we appreciate all of your love & support!
If you have any questions or would like to work with us in the future, feel free to reach out to us via email.
Teresa Fellion and the BodyStories Family
Choreographer & Artistic Director of BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance
Managing Director of Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center