Award-winning director Sam Mendes, the Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre have called on industry figures, corporations and charitable trusts to donate to the Theatre Artists Fund, which supports creatives that are out of work as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The fund, which Mendes launched on July 6 with a £500K donation from Netflix, has now earned £3.5 million to date. With individual grants of £1000 per applicant, applications for round two are now open and will remain open for two weeks.
Further support to the fund has been received from Arts Council England, Backstage Trust, Es Devlin, Jim Broadbent, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, Lee Hall and Beeban Kidron, Michelle Dockery, Peter Morgan, Phyllida Lloyd and Ralph Fiennes.
“This fund has enabled us to move fast in response to the urgent need that is out there amongst freelancers and self employed theater artists. But the situation is still desperate and many more still need help,” Mendes said in a statement. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Arts Council England for this transformative contribution, which I hope will lead to an ongoing relationship with the fund as it grows in scale and permanence.”