Inspired by fellow artists and leaders who have initiated similar ideas, New Earth Theatre is setting up a British East South East Asian (BESEA) Freelance Theatre Hardship Fund for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are aiming to provide 10 x £200 relief fund donations for any East Asian artist living and working in the UK. To this end we are kickstarting this with £400 from our own funds. Please consider giving what you can to help out others badly affected by the current climate. To contribute, please visit our JustGiving page.
The economic impact COVID-19 is having across the globe has been exponential and in the UK it has already affected our theatre industry to such a degree that the freelance work force, the backbone of our industry, find themselves out of work and out of pocket.
We feel it is vital to support our BEA artistic community at this critical time, and despite the welcome news from the government that freelancers will be able to apply for a loss of earnings, this money won’t be available until June and support is needed now.
In addition to the economic hardship, this has been a particularly challenging time for British East Asians as we have witnessed an increase in racism and xenophobia directed at us as though we were in some way to be blamed for this virus. This has further compromised the well-being and mental health of our community. We have been deeply shocked and saddened at this and utterly condemn such behaviour. We stand in solidarity with all BEAs and Asians across the globe and will do all we can to counter this.
As per the inspiring model and work of other artists and organisations, these funds will be distributed on a first come first served basis and there will be no questions asked. If you need it, you can have it and once it’s gone it’s gone. Any Gift aid will be added to the fund, and if we surpass the target then we will continue this fundraiser and reach more artists.
We welcome those who need to access this fund to DM us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and we can set you up as a beneficiary.
On 8 April we reached 100% of our goal of £2000. We have now increased our target to £2600. The fundraiser will be open until June. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received on this and want to thank everyone who has donated. We hope to help as many artists as need our help and have started a waiting list. If you haven’t done so yet, please consider giving.