This has been a tough year for all of us, and some industries have taken specifically hard hits. Live theater and all kinds of performing arts events have been canceled since March in much of the U.S., parts of Europe, and around the world. Film and TV productions have stopped, started, and halted indefinitely.
Since Frock Flicks is focused on the performing arts in the form of movies and TV, we’d like to share a few nonprofit organizations that are trying to help folks affected by pandemic-related work stoppages. Not everyone in the entertainment industry is a fabulous star making bajillions per film or TV episode — behind the big-name stars are hundreds and thousands of artists, craftspeople, and technicians who make everything come to life onscreen.
Just think of who does the work we focus on: costume designers, stitchers, tailors, milliners, hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe supervisors. The dozens of jobs these freelancers might typically work on have dried up as movie sets closed and theaters shut their doors.
While we can’t vouch for anything but the reviews and Charity Navigator ratings of these arts nonprofits, they’re a good start.
The Actors Fund: Started in 1882, this national human services organization provides emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care, and more to those working in theater, film, television, radio, music, dance, opera, and circus. When you donate, you can select to specifically give for COVID-19 emergency assistance.
MPTF: Founded by Mary Pickford, the Motion Picture & Television Fund supports the entertainment community in living and aging well and in helping each other in times of need. When you donate, you can select to specifically give to the COVID-19 emergency relief fund.
Broadway Cares: Earlier this year, the organization launched the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund to help entertainment professionals meet coronavirus-related expenses and other challenges brought about by the pandemic. Resources are available to everyone in the performing arts and entertainment industry.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation: Created by union members, this foundation promotes education and giving back to the communities for actors, voiceover artists, broadcasters, dancers, and other artists. It’s assisting SAG-AFTRA members who are unable to pay their basic living expenses during the pandemic. When you donate, you can select to specifically give to the COVID-19 disaster fund.
Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund: Established to help those who work in theatrical entertainment, this year the fund is offering relief to those who work in theatrical exhibition (aka movie theaters), distribution or vendors exclusive to it. Donations will go towards providing emergency financial assistance, supportive counseling, and other resources.
Also take a look around for nonprofits in your city, region, and country — many have emergency funds for local theaters and artists right now. Other relevant places to donate to include museums and historical societies. And, of course, we’ll be re-upping our donations to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood because even with change coming to the American government, our civil rights and health care always need more support. Pro tip: If you work for a big company, ask for a corporate match of your personal donations so they go farther!
What are you supporting on Giving Tuesday?
I was employed by a local non-profit that manages ten different historic theatres in our city. A month ago almost all the employees had to be let go. They had kept us furloughed for a few months so we could keep our health insurance, but eventually they got to a point where they couldn’t afford to do that anymore. I encourage everyone if you’re looking for a place to donate to remember to look at any local organizations for the arts! You don’t have to go to New York for live theatre – that’s often great things happening locally.