Seed money includes $10,000 personal donation from DCPA CEO Janice Sinden
The Denver Actors Fund today announced the unprecedented expansion of its founding mission by creating a second, temporary $35,000 emergency relief fund that will provide immediate financial assistance to Colorado theatre artists whose wages have been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are now being taken here.
The DAF Emergency Artist Relief fund (or DEAR) will be seeded by $25,000 from The Denver Actors Fund’s reserve and a personal donation of $10,000 from Denver Center for the Performing Arts CEO Janice Sinden. The life of this temporary fund will be extended by additional donations from the community that are being accepted here.
To start, one-time stipends of $250 each will be paid immediately to 140 qualified Colorado theatre artists. Chris Gibley, President of The Denver Actors Fund’s Board of Directors, said that decision was made to help as many impacted artists as possible – and as quickly and fairly as possible.
“We have created this temporary fund in recognition of the unprecedented economic hardship theatre professionals are facing all across Colorado as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gibley said. “We all have a part to play in helping us all to get through this, and our role is to provide some modest relief to some of those who have lost their income. We’re all in this together.”
The Denver Actors Fund is a grassroots nonprofit founded in 2013 by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore and local attorney Christopher Boeckx as a specific source of medical relief to the Colorado theatre community. To date, The Denver Actors Fund has provided $480,000 in direct medical and dental aid to Colorado theatre artists, in addition to practical and neighborly services through a vast network of volunteers. The DEAR fund will move that total over the half-million mark.
“As the severity of this crisis made itself plain, we knew that The Denver Actors Fund had to step into the void.” – Denver Actors Fund Executive Director John Moore
“But when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted and the entire theatre community was shut down for the immediate future, hundreds of theatre artists not only lost their opportunity to perform, and the income that goes along with it, but most of them lost their secondary sources of income as well, including part-time jobs as Teaching Artists and servers in bars and restaurants,” Moore said. “That double-whammy has left most of them with no source of income for the immediate future, including unemployment insurance. As the severity of this crisis made itself plain, we knew that The Denver Actors Fund had to step into the void and do our part to help as many local theatre artists that we can.”
To make the DEAR program as impactful as possible, $250 stipends will be available to:
- Colorado theatre artists who had been retained in a paid capacity to work on or off stage on an upcoming legitimate theatre production that has been canceled or postponed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Paid Theatre Teaching Artists whose classes have been canceled as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Full-or part-time employees of Colorado theatre companies in paid “theatre adjacent” positions such as ticketing or administration who have been laid off, furloughed or had their hours cut back.
(Note: Qualified applicants also must not be presently working in a continuing full-time job of any kind.)
Applications will be considered immediately, and in order of receipt. Stipends will be processed for as long as there are DEAR funds to distribute.
Throughout its seven-year history, The DAF’s mission has been medical. Creating DEAR as a temporary, separate emergency fund allows the nonprofit to continue its primary mission of serving artists in medical need through its founding fund, while also now financially assisting theatre artists in the absence of their own specific medical condition through DEAR. “Our legal counsel has determined that essentially, this pandemic is a medical condition that is impacting everyone in the world right now, regardless of whether they are personally infected,” Moore said.
The DAF, Gibley added, “is committed to finding more ways to be of service to our theatre community.” That includes urging members of the Colorado theatre community to take advantage of its free video urgent care teledoctoring service in partnership with Hippo Health.