The idea for the Frankie Manning Foundation came about during the planning stages of Frankie’s 95th Birthday Festival when Frankie was still alive.
The vision for the Festival was to bring the global Lindy hop community together in order to celebrate the life and birthday of Frankie Manning and to help promote and bring attention to the music and dance Frankie loved.
The organizers of the Festival decided that any revenue generated in excess of expenses would go to a fund for the purposes of promoting the Lindy hop around the world. In the months prior to his death, Frankie learned of, and endorsed the plan to establish a fund for Lindy hop in his name.
All revenue in excess of expenses generated from the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival went to form the Frankie Manning Foundation.
The foundation continues to be housed as a fiscally sponsored project within the Houston Swing Dance Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to the promotion of swing music and dance in Houston and beyond. The Frankie Manning Foundation is directed by an independent advisory board.
The mission of the Frankie Manning Foundation is to carry on the work and the spirit of Frankie Manning in spreading the culture and joy of the Lindy hop.
In order to fulfill its mission, the foundation focuses on the following core pillars:
1. Ensuring the Stories of Frankie Manning and the Savoy Ballroom Are Appropriately Preserved and Presented
Presentations of panel discussions on Frankie Manning and the Savoy Ballroom
Preservation of Frankie’s personal collection of historically significant memorabilia and artifacts in research institutions, cultural centers, and libraries
Establishment and maintenance of video archives
2. Building, Connecting, and Supporting the Lindy Hop Community
Supporting programs for youth, Black dancers, international dancers, and developing communities
Raising funds for our elders and community needs
Hosting, co-hosting, and supporting events and celebrations
Presenting panels, talks, and media
3. Preserving and Presenting the Full History of the Lindy Hop
Supporting cultural and academic research
Supporting documentary films, articles, and books
Frankie Manning and the originators of the Lindy Hop will be well known to dancers and non-dancers everywhere. The Black history, culture, and values of Lindy Hop and related authentic jazz dances will be preserved and shared.
Lindy Hop will be danced all over the world to live big band music.
Black Lindy Hoppers will be welcomed, valued, well respected, and well represented in the global Lindy Hop community. They will play a central role in the ongoing preservation, continuation, and evolution of this cultural art form.
Everywhere that Lindy Hop is danced, on the dance floors and off, people of diverse backgrounds will treat each other with respect, care, and warmth. The Lindy Hop community will create spaces free from all forms of systematic oppression including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, ageism, genderism, ableism, and homophobia.
Frankie Manning’s vision of the Lindy Hop as a catalyst for equitable and positive change, whether personal or societal, will be realized.