The idea for the Frankie Manning Foundation came about during the early planning stages of Frankie’s 95th Birthday Festival when Frankie was still alive.From the outset the organizers of the Festival–Buddy Steves, David Jacoby, Tena Morales, and Elliott Donnelley–decided that the Festival would be a non-‐profit and an all-volunteer endeavor.
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.
After some initial discussion and brainstorming, the team decided that any revenue generated by the event in excess of expenses would go to a dedicated fund that would be directed by Frankie Manning for the purposes of promoting the lindy hop around the world. The intention was to honor Frankie with the announcement of the new fund on the occasion of his 95th birthday.
In the months prior to his death, Frankie learned of – and endorsed – the plan to establish a fund for lindy hop in his name. Before he passed away he made it clear that, after he was gone, Judy Pritchett, his long time companion, and Chazz Young, his eldest son, would be the ones to represent him with regards to all matters relating to the fund.
After the completion of Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival all revenues in excess of expenses generated by the Festival went to form the Frankie Manning Foundation and it was decided that until the foundation grew to a significant enough size to merit establishing a separate non profit that it would be housed within the Houston Swing Dance Society as a fiscally sponsored project.
Read more about the FMF’s history and background in this blog post.
Fund Structure, Governance, and Accounting
The Frankie Manning Foundation today continues to be a project of 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. Although HSDS has its own board of trustees, the Frankie Manning Foundation is directed by an independent advisory board thatcurrently consists of the following five individuals: Chazz Young (Frankie’s eldest son), Judy Pritchett (Frankie’s long time companion), Cynthia Millman (Frankie’s biographer) and Buddy Steves, Elliott Donnelley, and Mandi Gould. At this time, all funds received and disbursed by the Frankie Manning Foundation are tracked and accounted for by the Houston Swing Dance Society, separately from all other HSDS programs and activities.