Help Fund J-DAPA's New Home!

When J-DAPA launched in 2007, founder and owner Donna Tellier, had one goal in mind: to provide a quality education of performing arts to children and adults at affordable prices. Aladdin Jr. opened in November of 2011, setting in motion a slew of successful performances ranging from recitals to full length musicals - and everything in between! Over the past 14 years, J-DAPA has thrived, as has the community of individuals surrounding us. Our company grew from a small after school program to a state recognized non-profit organization. As 2020 rolled in, we were excited about all the year had to offer us as we worked tirelessly on our first performance of the year, Matilda the Musical, which was scheduled to open in early May. 2020 had different plans for us though.

As COVID-19 reared its ugly head, community theatre and dance programs across Rhode Island were placed on hold as government officials did their best to come up with a suitable plan of action. Sadly, J-DAPA faced another unforeseen obstacle. Just months after the world shut down, J-DAPA was forced out of our home of 14 years. While we harbor no anger at anybody, it came as quite a shock to us when we were told to remove our things and find a new place to house the family we had grown over the past decade. And so - the search began!

Finding a new place of business during a global pandemic proved to be tricky. Being as safe as possible, we toured building after building searching for a place that looked and felt right to us. Donna Tellier, and others on staff, have worked relentlessly to find a place that had all of the technical necessities of a dance studio but also embodied the very essence of J-DAPA. For one reason or another though, J-DAPA’s efforts were futile. Often, a space would be just within reach but somehow slip through our fingers at the last minute.

We are delighted to be able to share that, after a year of searching incessantly, we have found a place where we can continue to build our dream. When we look out at our space, we see the endless possibilities spread before us. When we look at our space, we are filled with joy as we imagine the happy memories we’ll make in this next chapter of J-DAPA’s story. When we look at our space, we know that this series of misfortunes has led us to something more exciting than we could have hoped.

With this move, however, will come new expenses. After over a year of our doors being closed, there has been virtually no money coming in. After speaking with contractors, we’ve been able to come up with a few numbers. We’re hoping to raise $15,000.

How would we put your generous donations to use?

  • We’ll need to lay down flooring! This includes both special floors for dancing, as well as sub flooring. 
  • We need to put up some new walls, to give us the space to have multiple classes/rehearsals at one time! Once all of our walls are set and in place, we’ll have to paint them!
  • We’ll need to purchase audio equipment so that our performers and dancers have the highest sound quality for rehearsing! 
  • Storage is a must for us! Not only do we have to store dance equipment, but props, sets, costumes and makeup. We’ll also need to install cubbies so that our dancers have a place to put their shoes and other belongings while taking class! 
  • We’ll also need to purchase renters insurance. This is a boring one, but very necessary!
  • Coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know just how important it is to keep everything pristine. We’ll need to deep clean our building and then keep the equipment and chemicals in stock so we can keep our new headquarters sparkling all year long! 
  • Signs! We’ll need a number of signs to help our old and new members find our new location, promote our company and our new shows! 
  • A waiting area! We’ll need to get some new furniture and a desktop PC for our check in area and waiting room. It’s small, but it’s an important part of our business. When you walk through our front doors, we want you to feel like you’re walking into your favorite place! To do that, we need a few chairs and other little touches to make everything feel like home.
  • ...And so much more!

With this money, we’ll finally be able to open up our doors again! We can’t wait to be able to offer more classes than ever before and continue to bring professional grade performances to local communities! J-DAPA understands that money can be tight and you can’t always open your wallets for every cause, but we ask you to open your hearts and help us spread the word about our efforts to raise funds. Simply sharing our fundraiser helps us to reach more people. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a tight knit group of supporters who have offered their time and skill to help us with the renovations needed within our new space. Our students, performers and employees have been so important to our growth and we can’t wait to fill our new studio with their laughter, music and smiles. Every single dollar counts and we appreciate you! Thank you for helping us make our dream into a reality. We can’t wait to bring you J-DAPA’s next performance.

  • Eric Lopez 
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Victoria Frezza 
    • $100 
    • 13 mos
  • Lauren Markrush 
    • $25 
    • 13 mos
  • Katherine Adrian 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
See all


Aubrey Tellier 
Johnston, RI
Johnston Dance and Performing Arts 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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