the confidential society of microphilanthropists
The catastrophic COVID19 disruption of the entire arts and entertainment industry has affected every performing artist and backstage/on-set worker I know, quarantining and de-employing my colleagues and friends from Hawaii to Maine, Canada to Latin America, Asia to France to Germany to cruise ships afloat... everywhere. Actors, singers, dancers, musicians, performers, backstage designers and support staff, camera crew staff. Our work often depends on the communal act of artist and audience coming together in person, on the "team sport" of a group of people creating something for an audience, and right now that work is at a standstill. Creating videos in our living rooms is fun, but it does not pay folks' rent. This is where you, Dear Patron, can help.
If you would like to help artists in need, the U.S. Actors Fund is an excellent place to start: actorsfund.org/
Every performing arts organization I know of has a way to donate to that particular company listed on their website if you would like to target your giving. Let your fingers do the walking! (Or typing in this case.)
Our unions have also stepped up to help their members: for instance, Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Musicals Artists each have extensive resources linked on their websites as well as charitable giving options.
If you want to help someone you know specifically - the next-door neighbor who acted in that commercial you thought was funny, the office worker who plays oboe in her local symphony, the nephew who just lost three months' summer stock theatre work in the midwest when the company closed - don't be shy. Ask them for their VENMO username or their Paypal ID (I guarantee 90% of us have either or both), and be their Personal Patron! Even spotting them the price of a cup of coffee, which you could then enjoy with them over Skype or WhatsApp video, is a great way to connect and support.
Stay healthy and safe, y'all, and we will meet again in the theatre soon.
All my best,