In spring of 2020, as the US began to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, the TDHP Board of Directors met and voted to adjust our Preservation Grant Program in response to the inevitable dance hall revenue concerns. In previous years the Preservation Grants have funded grants up to $2,500 for “brick and mortar” repair and upgrade projects. With the April decision, TDHP increased the maximum grant amount to $5,000. Knowing that halls were, in most cases completely shut down, TDHP wanted to offer increased support to halls to address larger maintenance and repair issues. This would also give TDHP the opportunity to support employment of local contractors during this difficult time.
In our Fall grant round, TDHP distributed $20,000 in funds to six halls throughout the state in grants ranging from $2,000 – $4,850. Hermann Sons Dallas, Anhalt, Twin Sisters, SPJST #1, La Bahia Turnverein, and KJT 35 (Ennis) addressed issues including dangerously out-of-date wiring, plumbing issues, drainage problems and air conditioning upgrades.
Funding for two of the projects, Anhalt and Twin Sisters, came from our Jim Cannon Memorial Fund. This special fund, established to honor and remember Texas dance hall supporter and lifelong fan Jim Cannon, has provided $25,000 in preservation grant funding in his memory. Donors Jane and Peter Nicholson have ensured that their friend Jim’s memory lives on with their generous contributions to this fund.
THDP Preservation Grants are available to non profit halls, with two grant rounds per year. Our Spring 2021 round will also include grants of up to $5,000 for eligible member halls, and $2,500 for non member halls, with a total of $20,000 available for qualified projects. Our grant program allows THDP to directly assist nonprofit halls in the ongoing repairs and maintenance necessary to keep these buildings vibrant and safe for everyone.