After Sandy: Help For Theaters and Theater Artists

Has Sandy caused hardship for the theater you head, or for you personally as a theater artist? Help may be available.

Many small organizations, including theaters and galleries, are eligible for emergency relief from the Small Business Authority and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) For advice on navigating both, follow Heritage Preservation’s guide

Once you’ve applied for disaster relief, you might want to register  with New York City Communities for Change which can support you in the application process

Here are other organizations

Actors Fund of America
 Eligibility for The Fund’s financial assistance program requires an application, documentation of your professional earnings and an interview. Applicants are encouraged to call and speak with an intake Social Worker who can determine which program will best fit your needs. (Financial assistance varies by program.)
Mailing Address:
729 Seventh Avenue, 11th floor  
New York, NY 10019
Telephone: 212- 221-7300

American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) 
AGVA offers its current and previous members emergency aid through the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund. Once a need has been verified, the AGVA Sick & Relief Fund will pay a variety of bills such as: rent, utilities, telephone, etc. as well as give emergency grants. All grants are confidential and these grants are handled through a separate office to ensure privacy. 
Mailing Address:
184 Fifth Ave, 6th floor
New York, NY 10010
Telephone: 212-675-1003 Ext. 105


Dramatists Guild Fund
The Fund provides confidential grants to professional dramatists experiencing personal hardships such as health-related problems or the temporary loss of income. Recipients need not be Dramatists Guild members. 
Mailing Address:
1501 BroadwaySuite 701New York, NY  10036
Telephone: Sue Drury, Administrator Dramatists Guild Fund:212-398-9366 x 14

Episcopal Actors Guild of America
Offers aid to those in economic need because of extenuating circumstances such as debilitating illness, (including chemical dependency problems); illness or death of a family member or significant other; a sudden increase in expenses or unforeseen drop in income; or, if retired or disabled, an insufficient fixed income from sources such as pensions, social security or disability benefits. 
Mailing Address:
Little Church Around the Corner
One East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016-7405
Telephone: 212- 685-2927
Fax:  212-685-8793
Email: info@actorsguild.orgWebsite:


Screen Actors Guild Foundation
The SAG Foundation makes it a priority to help Guild members in need.  The Emergency Assistance program, the Self-Pay Premium program, and the Catastrophic Health Fund assist eligible members facing challenging circumstances.
Mailing Address:
5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 124
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Telephone: Stacey Jackson, Emergency Assistance Administrator: 323-549-6773
Email: sjackson@sagfoundation.orgWebsite:

Screen Actors Guild Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund
The Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund (MPPWF) is an emergency financial assistance fund of the Screen Actors Guild New York region designed to assist eligible members who are struggling with a financial, personal or medical crisis.  The Screen Actors Guild contracts with The Actors Fund to administer the MPPWF as well as provide an array of services to meet each members needs.
Telephone: 212-221-7300, Ext. 119

Taking Care of Our Own
Taking Care of Our Own is a new initiative of theatreWashington and was born to meet a critical need in our community, assisting currently active Washington area theatre professionals and artists in personal emergency situations or medical bills. Any area theatre artist in need submits an application that is reviewed by an advisory panel comprised of members of the theatre community. The advisory panel determines and allocates funds to the artist.
Mailing Address:
2233 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20007
Telephone: 202-337-4572

Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund
The Fund serves veterans of the theatrical community – those who have worked in the exhibition, distribution or production of theater or movies – who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event. 
Mailing Address:
Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation
10045 Riverside Drive, Third Floor
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Telephone: 888-994-3863
Email: info@wrmail.orgWebsite:
Fractured Atlas is offering free fiscal sponsorship and fast-tracked approval so that artists may recoup losses as quickly as possible.

The New York Foundation for the Arts: Emergency Resources List

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Emergency Grants List:

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

If you are an artist or an hourly worker, and lost your income due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, you may qualify for DUA.


Here’s more


TCG Disaster Management Resources

CultureBot’s Post Sandy Resources for the Arts

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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