In response to the widespread impact of COVID-19 on the theater community, two more philanthropic organizations have recently announced the availability, by application, of emergency support over the next two months.
The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, administered by the New York Community Trust, requests proposals from small and midsize nonprofits based in New York City with annual operating budgets under $20 million. To be eligible, organizations must have 501(c)(3) status and currently receive government funding from New York City or New York State. Grant awards, ranging from an estimated $10,000 to $250,000, will cover a twelve-week period. Collectively, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 25 other lead funders, and dozens of generous donors have come together to form the new collaboration and have invested $78 million for use as grants and interest-free loans to nonprofits in need. The funding is designed to cover personnel expenses, equipment to comply with public health measures, and new service offerings outside of normal operations. Donations are welcome; to contribute to the fund, go online.
For playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists who have experienced the cancellation, closure, or indefinite postponement of their professional shows – defined as Broadway, Off-Broadway, or LORT (League of Resident Theatres) full productions – as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation has announced its decision to reinvent the means by which it will distribute the funds for its 2020 Idea Award for Theatre. This spring, the foundation will offer up to 40 emergency grants of $2,500 each, for a total of $100,000, with a submission deadline of April 14, in order to make funds available as quickly as possible to artists in need. If more than 40 applicants respond, recipients will be chosen randomly by lottery. Each artist should apply online, one time only, and must submit proof of the show’s closure.
Amidst the hardships of the current cessation of all live public performances, it is reassuring to see the generosity, concern, and commitment of such dedicated organizations and donors to the unforeseen needs of affected nonprofit theaters and theater artists.