Funding awarded from the Theater Artists Emergency Fund

Sep 8, 2020 | Press Release

Donations exceed expectations; every applicant recommended for relief funding from the Theater Artists Emergency Fund. 

September 8, 2020 (TUCSON, AZ) — It is rare for funders to be able to award every single person who applies for funding, but the Theater Artists Emergency Fund (TAEF) was able to fulfill this goal with generous support and donations from the community. TAEF, administered by the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (AFTSA) with support from the Arizona Daily Star, received a total of sixty applicants and $34,028.95 in donations to support theater workers in Southern Arizona who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each applicant was recommended to receive $500 in funding to help offset the financial loss during the ongoing pandemic. 

“As an artist it is very easy to feel like this pandemic has taken everything from us. We had to give up much more than just a job,” stated an anonymous TAEF awardee. “Theatre is family, it is our home and it is where we feel safe. This pandemic has shown me that the theatre community is resilient, kind and thoughtful. Thanks to my theatre family, I was informed about the Theater Artists Emergency Fund and got the helping hand I so badly needed. I thank everyone who put this together, from the bottom of my heart.”

Theaters have a significant economic impact in Southern Arizona. Theater workers comprise many jobs in the theater industry including actors, stage managers, box office workers, and the countless other people needed to make a theater run successfully. From salaries to building rent, theaters invested nearly $16M in the most recent fiscal year to benefit the local economy. The cultural impact is significant as well.

“On stage and behind the scenes, theater artists connect us with the full range of human emotions from joy, to heartbreak, to social consciousness,” said Adriana Gallego, Executive Director for AFTSA. “They open us up to new places, ideas, and stories through their creative work. It is important for us as a community to support them now so they can continue this work in the future. We thank the community for their generosity and support of these incredible artists.

For information about the TAEF, visit For more information about the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, visit


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