How to support the arts, or find support
during COVID-19

Theater makers and theater lovers,

As we head into May, we have seen individual shows and entire seasons cancel their performances into October of 2020 due to the COVID-19 health crisis (to see a full list of cancelled or postponed shows, click here). It's clear that we can no longer predict when things will be returning to normal.

While the economic impact of COVID-19 will permanently and severely impact all industries, some are more vulnerable than others. Our local arts and cultural organizations, their staff, and the artists they employ are among those most vulnerable.

Many performing arts organizations have had to cancel their shows after spending hundreds or thousands of dollars producing them. Now they will not have the opportunity to make that money back in ticket sales, and there is no insurance to cover this kind of emergency. For many artists, cancelled shows and closed venues means no income for the foreseeable future.

If you are someone who loves theater and live events, you might be asking, "How can I help?"

First, it's important to understand that helping organizations and helping artists are two separate things. Both are important. We'll lay out some options for each.


  1. PICK ONE: Pick an organization that's near you, or that you love.
  2. DONATE or SUBSCRIBE: If you can afford to, send them a donation. If you can't afford to donate, then subscribe to their email list, and 'like' or 'follow' them on their various online platforms.
  3. STAY ENGAGED: They will let you know how best to support them, but only if you stay engaged. Open their emails. Many organizations are hosting content online. View it, follow it, share it, comment. This kind of engagement can be used by the organization to build their audience, help win grant money, and ensure a stronger comeback when things settle down.


In New England, each of the state's respective arts councils have set up some kind of Artist Relief Fund. This is the MOST DIRECT way to impact artists. Please consider donating, or these organizations will run out of funds to distribute to artists.

State Arts Agency Artist Relief Funds:

  1. Connecticut: CT Office of the Arts
  1. Maine: Maine Artist Relief Fund
  1. Massachusetts: COVID-19 Relief Fund for individuals
  1. New Hampshire: New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
  1. Rhode Island: Artist Relief Fund
  1. Vermont: Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief

TALK TO ARTISTS: Your artist friends are deeply feeling, empathetic, intelligent, entertaining, and often social creatures who are feeling lost and confused. Reach out to them! Everyone wins.


We've compiled some links and resources for you, if you would like to view them, please click here.

During the crisis, TheaterEngine will do its best to keep audiences and artists informed of the most reliable resources relevant to the performing arts. Please be healthy, and as always, thank you for your continued interest and support of TheaterEngine.

Dominic Spillane