Equity will contribute $500,000 and match another $250,000 in contributions; Funds raised will support members at risk due to work cancellations in the effort to contain COVID-19

New York – Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced the creation of the Actors’ Equity Emergency Curtain Up Fund, and issued a grant to The Actors Fund to provide support for members at risk due to work cancellations resulting from COVID-19. Actors’ Equity is contributing $500,000 to launch the fund and will match another $250,000 of contributions from other donors, dollar for dollar.

Individuals can make a tax-deductible donation to support the Curtain Up Fund. To contribute visit

“Everyone who works in theatre has had their shows postponed and are worried about how they will make rent next month, to say nothing of other essentials like groceries and health care,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “It is imperative that we do our part by creating the emergency Curtain Up Fund and we hope that everyone, from theatre lovers to audience members, actors and producers, will contribute right away to support Actors Fund’s vital social services and financial aid programs.”

Anyone who wants to make a contribution can donate to The Actors Fund at

In addition to supporting relief at The Actors Fund, Equity quickly mobilized to partner with other entertainment unions and advocate for arts and entertainment workers during this unprecedented crisis. Actors’ Equity first made the public case for emergency relief for arts and entertainment workers on March 11, when news reports emerged that Washington state and others would limit public gatherings. Since then, Equity members have sent thousands of letters to their member of Congress. Equity has also partnered with the Coalition of Broadway Unions (COBUG) to seek relief for members in New York State.

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing and secondary employment and training services.  

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks

March 24, 2020