The Theatre Artists Fund launched in July, spearheaded by Sam Mendes, and through generous donations from Netflix, The Estate of Sir Peter and Lady Saunders, Backstage Trust, Arts Council England, Talking Heads Collective, and John Gore & Broadway.com. and private donors and public fundraising, so far we have supported 4,621 theatre freelancers affected by the crisis with £1000 grants.
“Hearing the individual stories of those for whom we have managed to provide short-term financial relief is a stark and moving reminder about why we created this fund in the first place. Their passion and refusal to give up have made us want to continue to push for more support from the public and the industry alike. So for all those out there, who are on the verge of giving up, we have one message: Don’t.“
– Sam Mendes
In a recent survey completed by 632 grant beneficiaries, over 70% of respondents said they had not been able to secure any professional theatre work since lockdown in March. 85% of participants said the Theatre Artists Fund helped them pay their bills, mortgage or rent, with 62% saying it helped them put food on the table. 36% said they had used their creative skills to help the NHS or their local community.
Below are some of the individuals who benefited from the fund in Round 1.
‘The grant is a lifeline. It allows me to still survive this with my family and hopefully do all I can to protect them until our industry opens successfully again’
– CJ Mitchell (Youth & Stage Manager)
‘I was in a really difficult financial situation as I wasn’t eligible for any government help. A lot of money, just for living, has gone out over the last five months so being able to have some money in my account to stay safe during this time in case something else happens has been so helpful’
– Tess Letham (Dance Artist)
‘When the theatres do reopen, it will mean that I get my job back again, and not only my job, but the space in life that keeps me going. The space that I love. Theatre is medicine, if I’m honest’
– Loussin-Torah Pilikian (Actor)
Find out more about how the fund helped Louissin-Torah Pilikian in an interview here.
‘The grant itself has proved invaluable. It is an invaluable contribution to my living costs, for outstanding utility bills and family sustenance so it’s been an enormous respite despite the odds that we face daily.’
– Femi Elufowoju Jr. (Director)
‘As someone that has dedicated their life to the theatre, I applied for the Theatre Artists Fund as I very much hoped that this might offer me some support at this difficult time, especially without knowing when we would next be able to work in a theatre environment.’
– Amy Dolan (Company Manager)
Who received the grant in Round 1 and 2?
The grant recipients were from all over the UK, from the Scottish Isles to Cornwall, Northern Ireland, Wales, London, and many cities and towns in between. Over half of the grant recipients (53.6%) were based outside of the capital.
Recipients were from a wide variety of socio-economic and educational backgrounds, and worked in various onstage and offstage theatre roles including Writers, Prop and Set Designers, Stage Managers, Actors, Casting Directors, Technicians, Comedians, Dancers and Costume Makers.
Some recipients were more recent graduates or were at the beginning of their careers, others have been working in the theatre sector for many years.
Am I eligible to apply in future rounds?
To see our eligibility criteria, please go to our ‘Who is the Theatre Artists Fund For?’ page.
How do I donate to the fund?
If you would like to make a donation to the Theatre Artists Fund, please visit this page for more information. We welcome any size donation.