How to Help Entertainment Professionals Affected by the Coronavirus (Updating)

2:32 PM 3/25/2020

by THR Staff

A guide on how to provide aid to entertainment industry professionals suffering economic distress due to the coronavirus pandemic, or how to apply for aid if you have been impacted.

A movie theater in Beverly Hills
A movie theater in Beverly Hills
Getty

The coronavirus pandemic has left a serious impact on members of the entertainment industry with productions halted, events canceled, offices closed and travel restricted. Below-the-line crew members, day-player talent and more workers have lost contract opportunities, while movie theaters are reporting zero earnings as worldwide social-distancing precautions take effect.

The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a living list of organizations, funds and individuals that are raising money to help entertainment businesses and industry members who are suffering economic distress in these unprecedented circumstances.

Government assistance is available to entertainment professionals in need. California's Employment Development Department's COVID-19 page provides information on unemployment, reduced hours, paid family leave, paid sick leave and disability benefits along with California's Labor & Workforce Development Agency and New York's Department of Labor (other states see here). California also notes that workers misclassified as independent contractors may be eligible for benefits and small businesses affected by the virus may be eligible for up to $2 million in federal disaster loans.

This is a living article, and will be updated regularly. If you know of additional resources for aid and would like to include them on our list, please send information to covidresources@THR.com.

  • The Actors Fund

    The Actors Fund is drawing on its emergency financial assistance program to provide money to working creatives for basic living expenses such as food, housing and health care over the next two months. The Curtain Up Fund, the emergency fund launched by the Actors' Equity Association issued a grant to The Actors Fund.

  • The Actors Fund of Canada

    The Actors Fund of Canada is offering assistance for entertainment industry professionals working in TV, film, music, theatre, and dance. Assistance is based on "immediate financial need" with an effort to reach the "largest possible number of applicants with their most critical needs."

  • American Federation of Musicians Local 47

  • Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

    Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund helps provide health care, financial assistance and counseling to entertainment professionals, to meet "coronavirus-related expenses and other challenges." Aid is available to "everyone in the performing arts and entertainment industry."

  • Casting Agencies Directory

    Casting Agencies Directory has created a donate page to provide direct payments (via Paypal and Venmo) to entertainment industry professionals financially impacted by COVID-19, including actors, models and production crew.

  • Dramatists Guild Foundation

    The Dramatists Guild Foundation offers emergency grants to playwrights, composers, lyricists and authors in "dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness." Due to increased application volume, grants are based "on severity of need, especially as it relates to COVID-19." Email directly to apply.

  • Directors Guild Foundation

    The Directors Guild Foundation offers confidential, interest-free loans to DGA members in need of financial assistance. Email directly to apply for loans and or to make a donation.

  • Entertainment Industry Foundation

    Through the organization's disaster response program, Music for Relief, EIF has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide money to entertainment industry workers who are most vulnerable in the crisis. Additional funds will be directed to support public health response.

  • Freelance Co-op Emergency Fund

    The Freelance Co-op connects creative freelancers with business resources and has created the Freelancer COVID-19 Emergency Fund for unforeseen expenses due to the coronavirus.

  • Hollywood Support Staff COVID-19 Relief Fund

    #PayUpHollywood, ScriptNotes Podcast and the nonprofit YEA! have teamed to create a relief fund for L.A.-based support staff by providing "modest onetime stipends" from $450-$900. As of March 23, $353,248 had been raised, surpassing a $100,000 goal. The industry's top showrunners have also been matching donations for the campaign, which includes assistants, coordinators, PAs and other industry support staff who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WGA's publication, Connect, is also raising money for the fund.

  • L.A. Mayor's Economic Relief Package

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an $11 million economic relief package for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses in the city of Los Angeles can apply for no-fee loans of $5,000 to $20,000.

  • Leveler

    Leveler is a "peer to peer wealth distribution" platform where individuals with job security can contribute directly to people whose employment status has been impacted by the coronavirus, including freelancers, service industry, and gig economy workers.

  • Lost My Gig NYC

    Event workers based in New York City in need of financial assistance due to the coronavirus crisis, can apply to Lost My Gig for aid. Donations are made directly to individuals through Venmo, CashApp and Paypal.

  • Motion Picture & Television Fund

    It will support members who are undergoing hardship due to COVID-19-related issues such as "productions getting shut down or pushed back, staffs being trimmed as companies anticipate financial downturns from our new normal," per a statement on the org's website. Intake line: 323-634-3888.

  • MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

    The charitable arm of the Recording Academy, MusiCares, established a fund to help music industry workers affected by the pandemic. For a more comprehensive list of relief resources for entertainment professionals specifically in the music industry, Billboard.com has created a state-by-state resource guide.

  • Patreon

    Patreon, a platform that offers creatives an opportunity to manage a subscription-based service to fans and followers, has created a grant to support artists and creatives affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis.

  • SAG-AFTRA Foundation with Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund

    The organizations have partnered to create the COVID-19 Disaster Fund, available to anyone is currently active and paid up on dues through October 2019. The fund will cover basic expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills and other essentials.

  • Society of Composers & Lyricists

    The Society of Composers & Lyricists has created a COVID-19 resource link page to support composers and songwriters find aid.

  • USBG Foundation

    Many gig workers supplement their entertainment incomes with work in the service industry, which is no longer an option during the time of mandated restaurant and bar closures. The USBG Foundation has created a COVID-19 Relief & Response initiative to provide economic aid to service industry professionals.