Friday, September 13, 2019

A Gathering to Address and its Impact on the NYC Dance Community


This event has already occurred. Enjoy event details below, and stay tuned for photos and additional resources. 

When: Friday,  September 13, 2019, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Gibney: Agnes Varis Center for the Performing Arts, Studio X. 280 Broadway, New York, NY, 10007

Register for the Conversation: FREE. Registration is required. (Registration is now closed.)

Accessibility:    Gibney is an accessible venue. Wheelchair ramps and elevators are available via the 280 Broadway entrance. Please note that this is a shared entrance with the New York City Department of Buildings. To access the elevator, attendees may be asked to provide a valid photo ID and go through building security, including a
metal detector. All restrooms are gender inclusive and wheelchair accessible. Studios and rooms are lit by fluorescent lights. ASL Interpretation and Audio Description will be provided at this event. We will not be able to provide child care or health care for this event. If you require reasonable accommodation, please contact Christopher Núñez at least two weeks prior to the event via email at or call 212-966-4452 (voice only).

About: On July 31st, 2019 Attorney General Letitia James announced an investigation into, an online fundraising platform that has failed to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to New York charities. The investigation, being conducted by the Attorney General‘s Charities Bureau, is based on more than 100 complaints from individuals and organizations. The claims of unpaid contributions range from $200 to over $100,000 (Attorney General’s Press Release, July 31st, 2019, Attorney General James launches investigation into opened in 2004 and offered nonprofit organizations a free online platform through which to process credit and debit card donations online. Impacted organizations include many dance companies over the past several months.

Join Dance/NYC’s Executive Director Alejandra Duque Cifuentes and a panel of business and legal specialists for an open forum discussion on the current impact the NY Charities downfall might be having in the NYC dance community. We aim to offer a space wherein participants will share their experiences, ask questions, present ideas, and chart a path forward.  

Any organization owed money by NY Charities is urged to contact the Attorney General's Bureau of Charities here.

For news coverage and more details please visit:.




The following resources were provided by the attendees to the town hall. The intention is to share tools and platforms that have worked for different Organizations affected by the's downfall to continue with their fundraising efforts. 

Fundraising and Donations Platforms for Nonprofits

Bidding for Good provides a unique online auction platform, where nonprofits, schools, consumers and businesses converge to create dynamic and exciting fundraising events and ultimately, to raise more money for the causes we care so much about.

CauseVox is a fundraising tool that is easy-to-use, designed for nonprofits, and community-driven, and to help you use them to raise money for your cause.



Network for Good is a hybrid organization—a nonprofit-owned for-profit. Network for Good’s nonprofit donor-advised fund uses the Internet and mobile technology to securely and efficiently distribute thousands of donations from donors to their favorite charities each year. 


Paypal is the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, PayPal Smart Connect or account balances, without sharing financial information.


FirstGiving offers a web-based fundraising and donation management software primarily for smaller nonprofit organizations. 



JustGiving provides online tools and processing services to enable the collection of charitable donations. helps makes it simple to accept electronic and credit card payments in person, online or over the phone.


Givelively helps nonprofits of all sizes take advantage of the digital fundraising movement by dramatically improving the giving experience for everyone – nonprofits and donors alike.


Donorbox is an online fundraising software allows individuals and nonprofit organizations to receive donations over the Internet. ... Their fundraising platform is used by charities, churches, mosques, schools, animal rescue organizations, political campaigns and other causes.


Ecwid is an e-commerce solution for small and midsize organizations that enables users to set up an online store on any website or social site. The solution is cloud-based and it can integrate with existing websites without affecting design.



Each year, millions of people use GuideStar information to make decisions about nonprofits and the work they do. Donors explore charities and issues they want to support. Nonprofit leaders benchmark their organizations against their peers. Funders research grantees. We strive to provide the highest-quality, most complete nonprofit information available.

Click & Pledge is An All-In-One Online Fundraising Platform For All.



FJC A Foundation for Philanthropic Funds is a public charity that provides total management of charitable giving.


Ticketing and Fundraising Platforms for Nonprofits

Ovationtix is an all-in-one ticketing solution designed to increase revenue and fan engagement for athletics organizations.



Eventbrite is a U.S.-based event management and ticketing website. The service allows users to browse, create, and promote local events. The service charges a fee to event organizers in exchange for online ticketing services, unless the event is free.

Brown Paper Tickets has been helping venues and event producers sell tickets for more than a decade.



The following recommendations were provided by our panel of specialists and attendees to the town hall. The intention is to share some steps the impacted Organizations have taken after the downfall. 

  • Contact your Attorney General and file a complaint. Charities that wish to submit a complaint can do so on the Attorney General's website, via an email to, or by calling the designated hotline at 1(800) 771-7755. 
  • Communicate with your donors timely. Make a clear and specific note on your website informing your donors about and offer a replacement plan.
  • Check the Black List for Organizations that have lost their 501(C)(3) status in the IRS website.
  • Exercise caution with public attack on social media, websites or press. 
  • Contact institutional funders and explain your situation. They could help with emergency funds or grants.
  • Contact your Insurance Company, they may cover some of the financial loss. 



  • Amy A. Lehman, Director of Legal Services, Volunteer Lawyers For The Arts 
  • Marie-Louise Stegall, Director Of Development, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
  • Richard J. Caples (Co-Facilitator), Executive Director, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes (Co-Facilitator), Executive Director, Dance/NYC (Facilitator)

Panelist Biographies:

AMY A. LEHMAN comes to the practice of law after a career in the arts. She was a professional ballet dancer for many years in Canada, Sweden, and the US, before returning to school to get her bachelor’s degree from NYU in theater history and dramatic literature. Having been inspired to go to law school by her desire to help other artists, she studied copyright, trademark, media law while at University of Michigan School of Law, where she served as an editor on the Journal of Race and Law, and as president of the Entertainment, Media and Arts Students Association. Through VLA and her own practice, she has gained experience advising clients in non-profit corporate governance, negotiating and drafting contracts and license agreements.  Her primary practice has been general commercial litigation, including matters involving art law, media law, employment, intellectual property, constitutional law, real estate, insurance, contract disputes, torts, and as well as other disputes. Amy is a trained mediator with extensive experience working with VLA in the MediateArts program and is on the panel of mediators assigned to resolve cases for the Southern District of New York. Amy is a member of the Entertainment Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association and was selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2014, 2016, 2017 and New York Metro Super Lawyers 2018 and 2019. Photo courtesy of Amy A. Lehman.

MARIE-LOUISE STEGALL is a strategic development executive who has worked for top cultural organizations and consulting firms for over 25-years, helping nonprofits with strategic planning and all aspects of fundraising. Prior to joining Chamber Music Society, she served as Director of 92Y Time to Build Campaign and before that directed capital campaign planning and execution for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts David Geffen Hall Campaign. Stegall was Director of Development at Fractured Atlas, where her targeted work on board relations resulted in a two-fold increase in board giving, building a sustainable annual fundraising program. Earlier in her career, Stegall served as Senior Consultant for Dunch Arts, a New York-based leader in management consulting for arts and cultural organizations, and served for a year as Interim Executive Director for Ballet Hispanico, following four years as Director of Development and External Affairs. From 2002 through 2006, Ms. Stegall served as Director of Development for The Joyce Theater Foundation. She held development positions with Symphony Space, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, and launched her career in fundraising at the School of American Ballet. Ms. Stegall currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for HB Studio. Photo courtesy of Marie-Louise Stegall.

RICHARD J. CAPLES is the Executive Director of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, now celebrating its 51 st year. For 35 years, he has provided the resources that have facilitated Lubovitch’s creation of more than 70 of the 110 new dances created for the company and has produced more than 1,500 performances seen live by more than a
million people in more than 20 foreign countries and 30 American states. He has served on the boards and on panels of various national and regional arts organizations and currently serves on the boards of the Lubovitch company and Doug Varone and Dancers. He was educated at Yale (BA, special honors), Johns Hopkins (MA), and Cornell (JD). After practicing law in New York City with Shearman & Sterling, in 1983 he was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Fe Festival Theatre. In 1984, he returned to New York and joined the Lubovitch company in his present capacity. In 2010, Dance/USA (the national service organization for non-profit professional dance) presented him with the Ernie Award
in honor of his service to the field of dance. Photo courtesy of Richard J. Caples.

ALEJANDRA DUQUE CIFUENTES (Co-Facilitator) is an immigrant, activist, artist, producer, and educator. With more than 10 years of production and stage management experience in theatre and dance, she has toured nationally and internationally with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Bandaloop, Dancing in The Streets, The Foundry Theatre, and Columbia University School of the Arts, among others. As a teaching artist, Ms. Duque Cifuentes taught children and adults of all ages how to express themselves through theatre and movement practice in over 100 New York City public schools and through community theatre programs. In 2011 she founded Theatre That Transcends, which taught local, underserved communities how to express themselves and address community issues through the art of theatre. As an activist, she plays an integral part in advancing a more equitable arts and cultural ecology by working on measures to increase access, justice, equity, and inclusion within dance for disabled artists, immigrant artists, and artists of color in the five boroughs of New York City. Ms. Duque Cifuentes is a member of the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, Women of Color in the Arts, the Children Museum of Manhattan’s Dance Portal Advisory Board, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Curatorial Advisory Team at Gibney, and she is an advisor for the Latinx Artists Retreat, an annual convening for Latinx cultural producers across all artistic disciplines and fields. She was born in Medellín, Colombia and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Columbia University School of General Studies. Photo credit: Alejandra Duque Cifuentes by Jo Chiang.

@DanceNYC    #townhall    #nycharities

Dance/NYC's diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are made possible with leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dance/NYC convening is also made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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New York City Cultural Affairs logo National Endowment for the Arts  logo New York State Council on the Arts logo

Dance/NYC seeks partners and speakers with a variety of viewpoints for its events with the goal of generating discussion. The inclusion of any partner or speaker does not constitute an endorsement by Dance/NYC of that partner's or speaker's views.

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