NEW YORK CITY – Rapid relief grants of up to $500 continuing to be awarded to support the indie theater community, prioritizing the consortium of companies, venues, and individuals working in NYC independent theater (Off-Off-Broadway in theater houses of 99 seats or less), operating with budgets under $250,000.
Randi Berry, Founder of Indie Theater Fund, began planning this emergency campaign with several other indie theater artists on the evening of March 12, 2020 and as of March 21, the fundraising topped $14,000. Says Berry, “Based on responses to the impact of COVID-19 in our community, we are allocating our Community Resource Funding and Urgency Funding to support our indie theater community, including our 546 active members.”
Donations can be made at www.indietheaterfund.org
Berry continues, “The Indie Theater Fund is receiving applications every hour from artists in our community that are in need of food supplies, money for rent and medicine. These theaters and artists are working through how to manage the deep financial impact of theater closings and often times, the loss of other jobs at restaurants, bars etc. The situation is dire and it is important to act now to support the most under resourced folks, who on a good day, live close to the edge financially. We do understand this is a marathon, though, and that industry wide relief through our philanthropic community is going to be needed for some time. The Indie Theater Fund is granting out our funds on a daily basis, as donations come in, and we intend to do so for the foreseeable future”
The Board of Indie Theater Fund has partnered with NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund and allocated additional funds to support the needs of low-income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary, queer artists and freelancers whose livelihoods are being affected by this pandemic in NYC.
The campaign also includes plans for:
• Supporting paid, digital Live-streaming of Independent Theater in order to keep our art practice alive, accessible and operational to support the living of NYC-based independent theater artists and companies.
• Creating an “Indie Theater-Makers Wellbeing Group” via Facebook to promote community-wide conversations, focused on well-being with professional counseling to facilitate these digital conversations.
• Strategic fundraising advice available in partnership with Sarah Benvenuti from Benvenuti Arts.
• Legal consultations TBD, to address the legal needs of our community following the cancellation of theater productions, (un)employment, and potential liability concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 in the sector.
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