Actors’ Equity Launches $500,000 Emergency Fund To Aid Members Who Lost Jobs To Coronavirus Shutdown Of Live Theaters

Actors’ Equity Association has launched an emergency “Curtain Up Fund” and issued a grant to the Actors Fund to help get members who lost work because of the COVID-19 shutdown of legit theaters across the country to get back on their feet financially. The union is contributing $500,000 to start the fund and will match another $250,000 in contributions from other donors.

“Everyone who works in theatre has had their shows postponed and are worried about how they will make rent next month, to say nothing of other essentials like groceries and health care,” said Equity executive director Mary McColl. “It is imperative that we do our part by creating the emergency Curtain Up Fund and we hope that everyone, from theatre lovers to audience members, actors and producers, will contribute right away to support Actors Fund’s vital social services and financial aid programs.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made here.

Actors’ Equity first made the case for emergency relief for arts and entertainment workers on March 11, when news outlets reported that Washington state and others would limit public gatherings. Since then, Equity members have sent thousands of letters to their member of Congress urging relief for the industry’s suddenly unemployed workers. Equity has also partnered with the Coalition of Broadway Unions to seek aid for members in New York state.

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