The Stage – News – Coronavirus: Genesis Foundation offers freelancers £100k support boost

A £100,000 fund for freelance artists has been launched by the Genesis Foundation, as its founder calls for philanthropists to play their part in helping theatre recover.

The Genesis Covid-19 Artists Fund will add £100,000 to its annual commitment to partner organisations including the National Theatre, LAMDA and the Young Vic.

These organisations will distribute the grants at their discretion to help freelance actors, writers and directors whose livelihoods have been affected by the lockdown, the foundation said.

John Studzinski, its founder and chairman, said freelancers were “bearing the brunt” of the damage inflicted by Covid-19, but that he hoped the fund would provide a lifeline for those worst affected.

“The Genesis Foundation calls for other charities and philanthropists to provide further support to this traditionally thriving sector. Supporting the arts is not charity, it is an investment. The sector is a crucial driver in this country’s economy and prestige. It reinforces communities. It enhances our mental health, well-being and spiritual growth. We need artists more than ever. Let’s help them now,” he added.

The £100,000 boost represents a 20% increase on the amount given to the foundation’s partners.

It will offer grants to the Almeida Theatre’s Genesis writers, to LAMDA’s student hardship fund, to performers associated with the National Theatre’s musical theatre development programme, to directors on the Young Vic’s Genesis-funded directing schemes and to singers associated with choral group the Sixteen.

Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold said: “These times are very challenging for the whole performing arts sector and, in particular, for freelancers and emerging artists. With the theatre closed and no box office income, it is grants such as this that allow us to continue offering support to artists such as our Genesis Almeida Writers group.”

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