STATEMENT BY THE FRANKIE MANNING FOUNDATION CONCERNING WORLD LINDY HOP DAY 2015
World Lindy Hop Day was conceived by Sing Lim in her capacity as a member of the organizing team of Frankie 99 and 100, in the run-up to the Frankie 100 birthday celebration in New York and was celebrated for the first time on May 26, 2014 in Harlem, NY as part of the Frankie Centennial event.
After Frankie 100, a selection committee assembled by Sing Lim with participation from members of the Frankie Manning Foundation board (Sing is not nor has ever been a member of the Frankie Manning Foundation board) selected Rome as the host city and Silvia Palazzolo and Ryan Francois as organizers for World Lindy Hop Day 2015. The event was awarded to Ryan and Silvia with the understanding that it would be separately managed, promoted and run as a stand-alone event with the event having sole fiscal and budgetary responsibility.
In August of 2014, World Lindy Hop Day became a separate program of the Frankie Manning Foundation with Sing Lim continuing to lead the effort. Five months later, in January 2015 the Foundation decided to discontinue its official involvement with the program due to capacity issues.
After the Foundation relinquished its involvement, the global World Lindy Hop Day effort (as opposed to the event in Rome) continued under the guidance and leadership of Sing Lim with the support of Mandi Gould, both acting in their capacity as individuals separate from the Foundation.
In the beginning of 2015, Ryan Francois reached out to Sing and Mandi to let them know of his issues with his fellow organizer Silvia Palazzolo and his desire to step down from the event. He ended up doing so and made a public announcement. Silvia at that time confirmed that she would continue on with the event as planned.
On May 11, 2015, Sing and Mandi were made aware of some of the impending problems with the event and spent countless hours on the phone to try to find a way to ensure a successful outcome. They initially pressed Silvia to disclose what was going on. When it became clear that the event was not going to happen as advertised, they pressed for her to announce that the event was cancelled, which she eventually did. Sing and Mandi have been working ever since on behalf of those who now stand to experience financial loss as a result of the cancellation of the 2015 World Lindy Hop Day event.
Sing will be in Rome this week to meet and provide support to the local organizers and the local scene who are putting in significant time and energy to welcome and host those dancers who are still coming to Rome to celebrate.
The Frankie Manning Foundation is dismayed by the recent news that the World Lindy Hop Day event in Rome has been cancelled and is deeply saddened by the frustration, inconvenience, and financial burden this has caused those who were planning on participating, including the instructors and musicians.
Given how things have unfolded and given a series of revelations that have come to light in the run-up to the event, it has become clear that the principal organizer was not in a position to run an event like this and has succeeded in alienating many of the people who were her original supporters and partners.
The Foundation is paying close attention to events as they unfold and strongly urges the principal organizer of the official World Lindy Hop Day event in Rome to work in short order to reimburse the registration fees for all participants who registered for the event as well as pay the artists, teachers and bands any expenses they have incurred and any compensation that was promised them. The Foundation is also trying to find ways to be helpful to the members of the local scene in Rome who have graciously stepped forward to try to create an enjoyable and fun weekend for those people who have decided to come to Rome to celebrate World Lindy Hop Day and Frankie Manning’s Birthday despite the news of the recent cancellation of the official event.
The city of Rome is in no way responsible for any of this. They are about to demonstrate their good will with a quickly improvised series of events for their international visitors. We thank them for their outstanding service to our community!
We hope that despite the unfortunate cancellation of this event, that the Lindy community can come together over the next week (in Rome and in cities all over the world) to celebrate World Lindy Hop Day and Frankie Manning and the music and dance he loved.