As our world reels from the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Washington theater community faces financial uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead. Many of the professional theater-makers in our community—actors, designers, directors, stage managers, box-office staff, choreographers, administrators, technicians, and more—are freelance, part-time, and/or contracted short-term employees. As theater productions and events are canceled and postponed, these individuals will face unforeseen financial hardship. Thousands of theater professionals’ jobs and healthcare are at stake, as well as the fate of the organizations they work for.
WHAT CAN I DO?
We are asking theater lovers across the region to help in a couple of very easy ways.
First, if you have tickets to a show that has now been canceled due to the virus, and you are in a position to do so, please consider donating the money to the theater instead of asking for or accepting a refund.
Second, theatreWashington has just expanded the Taking Care Fund, which provides emergency assistance to Washington-area theater professionals in times of unforeseen financial hardship. We are committing $100,000 to the Taking Care COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The Revada Foundation has contributed a gift of $10,000 and DC theater artists Rachel Grossman and Colin K. Bills have contributed another $5,000. We’re asking the public to match these pledged donations of $115,000. Every dollar raised through this fundraiser will be allocated to direct relief to theater professionals in need at this time. During the COVID-19 crisis, theatreWashington will be awarding $500 grants to at least 220 people financially affected by this event. As more money is raised, more money will be granted.
Click HERE to support.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FUNDING?
Any theater professional currently residing in and who has actively worked in the Washington metropolitan area within the past two years is eligible to apply for emergency relief.
Grants will be awarded in two phases. Starting on April 1, 2020, applications received by March 31 will be reviewed. On April 15, 2020, applications received by April 14 will be reviewed. After April 15, fundraising efforts will be assessed and more awards will be made based on funding activity. Applications will be notified and payments will be processed as quickly as possible.
We are so grateful for any help that you can give the Washington theater community at this time. We hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. And we hope to see you all back in the stalls and onstage once this is over.
theatreWashington’s mission is to strengthen, represent, and support all segments of the Washington region’s professional theater community, including theater companies, artists, staff, and diverse audiences of all ages.