THANKS Giving Week 1!

Have you been keeping up with Monkeyhouse's THANKS Giving on Facebook?  Every day from November 1st through the end of the year Monkeyhouse is thanking one person (or group!) who has helped through our first thirteen years.  There are a wide variety of people who have intentionally or inadvertently pushed, lifted, poked or gently nudged us into the organization you see today.   Here's your chance to meet just a few of those folks!  If you come across someone you know, be sure so say thanks!  And keep an eye out for them at the next Monkeyhouse event!  Here is a summary of week one!  (If you want to keep up every day, take a minute to "like" us on Facebook for regular shows of gratitude!)

Jon Keith (self portrait)
JK Photo - Jon has been capturing choreography for Monkeyhouse for the past few years. It’s been great fun to watch his non-Monkeyhouse photographs begin to capture choreography too! JK Photo has a shiny new website that includes info on how you can hire him to capture your next big event! Thank you, Jon, for all that you do for Monkeyhouse!

LuAnn Pagella - Where to begin? LuAnn opened her doors to Monkeyhouse on day one when we were rehearsing for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and has been a rock for many of us personally and professionally ever since. LuAnn is the director of Impulse Dance Center in Natick where Karen and Nicole first met seventeen years ago, where Sarah Friswell, Sarah Feinberg, Nicole and many of our interns over the years (including Rosie, Laila, Elyssa, Ashley, Leah, Gaby and Remy) were once students and where Karen, Nicole and Sarah Friswell were/are members of the faculty. Without the support of this amazing woman many of us never would have had the chance to work together at all. From the bottom of our hearts, Monkeyhouse Loves You, Lu!

Joan Panek - Without Joan it would not have been possible to create Monkeyhouse. Long before there were any dancers in the studio, Joan enthusiastically brainstormed ways to build this organization with Rita and Karen Krolak. She was the very first donor and on our initial Board of Directors. Drawing from her experiences developing programs at the Dover Public Library and teaching in the Ashland school system, Joan guided us through our first outreach programs and helped us to establish a genuine community at Monkeyhouse. She is an outstanding ambassador for Monkeyhouse who has introduced friends to our projects, coaxed her son into videotaping early First Night shows, travelled hundreds of miles to see performances, and devoted thousands of hours volunteering. Monkeyhouse loves you dearly, Joan.

JP Licks - For more the later ¾ of Monkeyhouse’s existence we’ve had the great fortune of having a relationship with JP Licks. They have been our longest corporate sponsor and we are forever indebted to them. Whether donating ice cream for a closing night party, cross promoting events through their FB page or sending their head ice cream maker to judge the Your Just Desserts Bake Off, JP Licks has always been there for us. You’ve had the chance to grab a sundae at many Monkeyhouse events over the years. Take some time today to say a quick THANK YOU on their Facebook page for all that they do for arts in the greater Boston area today! Monkeyhouse Loves You!

Isabel Fine- Have you ever wondering how Monkeyhouse became an organization in residence at Springstep? It was all Isabel’s brilliant idea. She recognized that Springstep had some underused resources and approached us about how to combine forces. Thanks to her, Monkeyhouse was able to have regular rehearsal times, which expanded the number of dancers and choreographers presented in our concerts. We were able to develop pieces with prop elements and costume designs that would have been unwieldy if we had had to transport them each week. Our artists were inspired by the remarkable architecture of the building and have found bold ways to incorporate this into their creations. In addition, she is also the person who encouraged us to apply for the first Dance in the Fells concert. Best of all, she has gone on to join our Board of Directors where she shares her expertise on everything from administration management to curating concerts. Did you know that she currently curates the performances series for the Music Department at Wellesley College and that she use to be the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival? We are so honored by her support.

Zach Galvin - I’m not sure it possible to count the number of ways Zach has ties into
Zach Galvin (by JK Photo)
Monkeyhouse. He is a former classmate of Karen’s. Nicole was a student his first year as an English teacher at Natick High School, where he is now Vice Principal to many of our recent interns… The list goes on and on. And on top of that, Zach has been an active cheerleader for Monkeyhouse since day one. His encouragement and support are overwhelmingly appreciated! If you’re looking for another reason to love Zach, check out all the work he’s doing for the Jimmy Fund! Thank you, Zach!

Kelly Long - For close to the first decade of the 21st century Karen was choreographing musicals for Dover-Sherborn High School. It was there that she first met Kelly, a perky and outspoken young dancer. Kelly quickly began studying with Karen and Nicole at Impulse Dance Center and became a regular at Monkeyhouse company class. She volunteered at Monkeyhouse events (I have a vivid memory of Kelly, Ashley Chandler and Joanna Macone getting themselves horribly lost on their way to a fundraiser in JP then eagerly donning wigs and talking to donors without blinking an eye) and was always eager to engage in conversation about all sorts of big ideas. Since leaving high school Kelly has gone on to study dance therapy and is helping people find the very important meaning in their own movement. She has always been a huge ambassador for Monkeyhouse and because of her word of mouth we were given over $500 in donations last spring! Thank you, Kelly, for always having Monkeyhouse in your heart! We love you dearly!Pam & Steve Harris - Monkeyhouse is an all encompassing lifestyle for those of us at its heart. Many of our families and close friends have taken up the torch too, each in their own way. Nicole’s parents, Pam & Steve, are no exception. You may remember them from their gracious hosting of both Your Just Desserts and the ATO Thank You Luncheon at their beautiful home. (Did you know that Steve completely renovated that lovely house himself?) Pam’s homemade apple pie has been an often fought over auction item at fundraisers and they are both always on hand to lend us anything from a lemonade dispenser for post show events to drop cloths for a site specific performance. A heartfelt thank you to both of you from your daughter and all her Monkeyhouse friends.

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