How to Continue Helping Arts Workers During an Unprecedented Era of Theatre

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How to Continue Helping Arts Workers During an Unprecedented Era of Theatre

Industry members need your support as theatres remain dark.

A version of this article originally ran October 15, 2020, following the announcement of the Tony Award nominations.

On Inauguration Day for President Joeseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, there’s plenty for the arts community to celebrate and much to look forward to. Undeniably, however, the excitement is set against the backdrop of a pandemic and uncertainty of the future stability of the theatre industry.

Millions of arts workers face unemployment and scarce opportunities to hone their craft. And with Broadway shutdown scheduled to last until at least June 2021 (and likely longer), theatre fans have the opportunity to step up and help ensure Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, and local theatres are still standing when the time comes for the curtain to rise again.

There are plenty of ways to contribute—dollars, activism, and artistry are all accepted. So check out some first steps below and make a pledge to support the cause as we celebrate the new leadership of Biden-Harris.

Civic Engagement

With a high proportion of arts groups supported by grants and loans, the government is a major player in keeping the sector alive. Be An #ArtsHero has emerged as a leading campaign, with letters calling on the new administration to create a Department of Arts and Culture. The group is also focused on passing the DAWN (Defend Arts Workers Now) Act, which would allocate $43.85 billion to the arts and culture sector. To support the cause, you can sign a petition, call your senator, write a letter, or donate. For more information, visit BeAnArtsHero.com.

Black Lives Matter

In June 2020, Playbill released a guide on how we can all support Black people in the fight against policy brutality, systemic racism, and oppression in America. On a micro-level, Black Lives Matter stirred something in the theatre community to change the predominately white institutions that currently serve as gatekeepers. Click here to read our starter guide, which has been updated with a number of Black-run theatre organizations to support.

COVID-19 Relief

Have the funds, but not sure where to donate? Playbill put together a list of organizations in May that artists had highlighted since the start of the shutdown. It’s now been updated with the most current information. No amount is too small.

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