NEW YORK CITY: The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation has announced the creation of the Emergency Assistance Fund to help members of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). The fund, combined with SDC’s relief program, will provide more than $300,000 in aid to SDC members experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Under the leadership of president Sheldon Epps, SDCF has been dedicated to offering access, opportunity, and community to directors and choreographers at all levels of their careers,” said SDC president Evan Yionoulis in a statement. “SDC is deeply grateful for this fund, which will provide immediate relief to SDC members who have been affected by COVID-19 to help them during this most difficult time. More than 500 members lost work immediately as the crisis hit, and countless others will face the impact in the months to come.”
The fund was established through gifts from SDC members Marc Bruni, Rachel Chavkin, Michael Greif, Thomas Kail, Susan Stroman, as well as Yionoulis and Josh Lehrer & Jeffrey Seller. Liz Diamond, Andréa Burns & Peter Flynn, Sue Lawless, Des McAnuff, Jason Moore, Bartlett Sher, Seema Sueko, and SDCF Trustees Mark Brokaw, Sheldon Epps, and Linda Hartzell also gave gifts. A portion of the fund is set aside for New York City-based SDC members, thanks to a donation from the Howard Gilman Foundation.
“Theatre artists, like all arts professionals, are reeling right now,” said Thomas Kail in a statement. “Community is particularly important for those of us who can’t practice our craft in isolation. For directors and choreographers, SDC has always been a place where our collective strength matters. My colleagues and I are grateful to all who have joined us in showing solidarity through this fund.”
Yionoulis continued, saying in his statement, “the union will continue to focus on sustaining members of our community as the crisis evolves and we better understand the long-term impact of this pandemic.”