Providing financial relief and support for Washington, DC-area theatre-makers when they need it.


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If you are a theatre-maker – on stage or off – currently residing and working (or have in the past two years) in the Washington, DC-area, and are dealing with an unforeseen medical or personal emergency, you may apply to the Taking Care Fund.

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Theatre Washington is committed to keeping the Taking Care Fund open. Grants of direct support are made to theatre-makers on a monthly cycle, ensuring that they receive funding swiftly when they need it most. Donations to the Taking Care Fund are tax-deductible.

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Thank you all so much for absolutely everything you are doing to continue to help artists in this time. Your support is unbelievably heart touching, and you all continue to help me see the light at the end of this tunnel.
Anonymous Grantee

About the Taking Care Fund

Theatre professionals—actors, designers, directors, stage managers, box-office staff, choreographers, administrators, dramaturgs, technicians, and more—experience unforeseen personal emergencies like everyone else. Professionals in the arts often rely on working hours to “earn” healthcare benefits and lose access to those benefits when emergencies take them away from that work.

We created the Taking Care Fund in 2012 to help colleagues in need. The Taking Care Fund was established to assist area theatre professionals in times of unforeseen hardship. Support is provided in the form of an outright gift that never needs to be repaid.

Today, the Taking Care Fund is open to individuals in the theatre community facing personal emergencies, medical emergencies, debt relief, expenses related to dependent care, and financial hardship caused by the ongoing Covid-19 global health emergency. The Taking Care Fund is a single fund with a single application. It strives to be a simple and streamlined application and approval process for those in need.

The Covid-19 Global Health Emergency

From March 2020 to February 2022, in response to the pandemic outbreak, we created additional opportunities for the long-standing Taking Care program to provide grants to theatre professionals who faced financial hardship from closings, postponed productions, and other lost wages, as well as relief for longer-term expenses like rent coverage, debt relief, and medical care. Grants were awarded between $500 and $5,000 per individual, with average grants funded at $1,500. As stated above, the Covid-19 Emergency Fund is now merged with the longstanding Medical Fund, with a single application and streamlined process.

Since March 2020, the Taking Care Fund has expanded to provide for the community:

  • Over 1,000 grants have been made to theatre-workers across the Washington, DC-area
  • Over $900,000 has been distributed through grants
  • Over 60% of grantees have worked in the Washington, DC-area theatre community for five or more years
  • 42% of the recipients identify as Black or African American, 37% identify as White, 9% identify as Hispanic, and the remainder identify as Middle Eastern or North African, Multiracial or Multiethnic, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, or other 
  • 18% of grantees reported dependents or have caretaking responsibilities

Questions? Contact us!

Theatre Washington welcomes questions on the Taking Care Fund and its application process. Please contact Taking Care Fund Associate, Cody Whitfield.