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Fundraising, Retroactively and for the Right Reasons

A month after curtain closes, former Oak Parker's crowdfunding effort supports working dancers.

Annika Sheaff is raising money for a show that's already finished.

It's not that she's indebted to any theater landlords or anything like that. She's just trying to make things right for the artists who helped her out with a recent project.

"Dancers have a hard time making money by presenting their choreography. Sometimes they even have to pay." said Sheaff. "I don’t think it's appropriate. I don’t think that should be happening. [Dancing] is a job like anything else and you should get paid."

Sheaf, 27, a graduate of Juilliard School of Music who studied "her entire young adult life" at Oak Park's , was handpicked to create a new dance for a production at New York City's Dixon Place theater.

With just three weeks to prepare for the Feb. 7 performance, she knew raising a big chunk of money to pay the dancers — three fellow Juilliard grads and a friend — wasn't likely to come together quickly. Still, she promised them at least $100 each from her own pocket, then offered a pledge: If the crowdfunding effort works, she'll give them a big bump in pay.

Hence, her IndieGoGo page.

And it's working. Since launching the effort earlier this year, she's only about $600 shy of the $6,500 goal. To curb any suspicions about where the money is headed: Sheaff has included an itemized list: mostly to the dancers; the remainder for props, photo and video.

So how was the show, anyway?

"Great," she said. "We sold more tickets to that show than that theater had in its entire history."

Interested in donating? Check out Sheaff's IndieGoGo page.

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