The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) will distribute grants covering car service and taxi fare for Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander theatre artists who travel to and from work. The fund is made possible through a partnership with Indie Theater Fund/IndieSpace, which administered similar grants following the 2021 murder of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia.
With initial funding from the American Theatre Wing, The Actors Fund, and Dramatists Guild Foundation, the fund will launch with $35,000, and will disburse grants of $250—approximately the cost of 10 car rides—with the opportunity to re-apply based on fund availability. These grants are intended for artists who are Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, and who do not feel comfortable taking mass transportation due to record levels of violence.
The American Theatre Wing’s President & CEO Heather Hitchens said, “I am very moved to see our community come together like this to protect our AAPI friends and colleagues. I am particularly grateful to ATW Advisory Committee member Clint Ramos who brought us all together.”
Further donations will be required to maintain the funds reach. Said AAPAC member Pun Bandhu: “We are so grateful that our theatre community is coming together to help its own. We have to acknowledge that this situation has reached crisis levels. I know several theatre workers personally who have been harassed or assaulted; most went unreported. Every institution needs to be thinking about how they can make it safe for their Asian employees to get to and from work. $35,000 is 140 people that we can help. Priority will be given to those who are the most marginalized, working Off- or Off-Off-Broadway who do not have institutional support and who feel like they have no choice but to use mass transit, but we hope that with more donations, this initiative can help even more people as the need is dire. Please donate if you are able. This is one small thing we can do to help keep those most vulnerable in our community safe.”
If you would like to support the fund, tax-deductible donations can be made through PayPal.