A Letter To Miles Copeland

ED NOTE: I may not have made it clear in my original posting that I did in fact get resolution from BDSS accounting 4 months after the show. I had chosen to publish this letter as an expression of my concern about BDSS business practices, and as information to other potential sponsors. Please see the full story at the Gilded Serpent.

As some readers of this blog may know, in February of 2013 I sponsored Club Bellydance in Fargo/Moorhead. It was a pretty fantastic time, I must say, but there were some rough spots, particularly after the actual performance was said and done. The Gilded Serpent has kindly published my account of the entire experience which you can read here. As indicated in that article, on June 14, 2013 I sent the following email to Miles Copeland and I am publishing it here as information for anyone considering being a local Club Bellydance sponsor. As of publication I have not received a reply from Mr. Copeland, but this email was the impetus to finally get some resolution from accounting.

Dear Mr. Copeland and associates,

My name is Erica Franklin and I was the Fargo sponsor for Club Bellydance in February of this year. I am writing directly to you because I am having some rather serious problems with follow-up after the show and I have not been able to get any sort of useful response. It has been 4 months since the show and I have still not been paid. That also means my dancers have not been paid, so that is not reflecting well on me. After consulting with some colleagues I have decided to appeal to you directly for assistance. Please be aware that since my inquiry for advice resulted in a great deal of debate and interest, I will be sharing your reply with others.

I was initially contacted by Stevo Glendinning of course, but he never did give me a payment timeline. The day after the show my door volunteer informed me that Stevo asked him for the cash admissions, and when they were relinquished, Stevo did not count the money, but just wadded it up and put it in his pocket. Obviously this was a bit troubling. I had emailed Stevo but he has not replied to me. Since then I have been in contact with Roxanne Goon, who has made efforts to assist in resolving this, but accounting isn’t really her department so I felt I should not bother her with this issue any further. I would like to mention here that she has been very helpful and a genuine pleasure to work with.

But I digress. After 4 months and no resolution I appealed to some of my dance colleagues for advice. The replies I received were quite surprising. It appears that my issue with BDSS was not at all isolated, and in fact delayed payment and non-payment appears to be a rather serious and widespread problem amongst your sponsors and vendors. BDSS appears to be generating a bad reputation in this area. Some other sponsors have suggested that they would not produce Club Bellydance on future tours. Vendors had similar attitudes.

BDSS has done so much to promote Middle Eastern Dance in the years since it began, it is really heartbreaking to see that the company has developed such a poor reputation. I would like to see BDSS recover from this situation and that is why I am taking the time to inform you of how bad things have become. I hope you realize that because of the internet and workshops all over the country, we all know each other and talk to each other all the time. It’s just like any other profession or serious hobby. I hope you will take this to heart.

Because I do not believe Stevo has any receipt of payment I will give this info to you:

20 pre-sale tickets @ $20 ea = $400
67 door admissions @ $25 ea = $1675
Total ticket sales = $2075
$2075 x .20 = $415 due to me

Please let me know if you have any questions. I anxiously await your reply.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Anonymous Donor Rights Bellydance Wrongs, Restores Faith in Humanity | Belly Dance with Erica

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