In the video above, new parents Rebecca Joseph and Daniel Langhoff present Denver Actors Fund President Will Barnette with the Colorado Theatre Guild’s first Community Impact Award at the 2016 Henry Awards.
The Denver Actors Fund, which in three years has directly distributed more than $55,000 to metro-area theatre artists in situational medical need, has announced it is expanding financial eligibility to theatre artists statewide, effective immediately.
Since forming in June 2013, the grassroots non-profit has come to the financial aid of 32 actors, directors, stage managers, backstage technicians and others. In addition, a team of more than 60 volunteers has provided practical neighborly assistance that includes making and delivering more than 200 meals to dozens of additional beneficiaries facing surgeries, illness, family deaths and other difficulties.
When the Denver Actors Fund was founded, the board of directors could not have yet known how much funding the start-up non-profit might have available for artists in need, or how much of an initial demand there would be for its services. So the board chose to launch prudently, using the seven-country metro area as the initial eligibility boundary. Since then, the organization has raised $120,000 in seed money, mostly from small benefit performances and individual donors. The response from the community has been so generous, Barnette said, that the board voted unanimously to expand eligibility to statewide.
“In the Denver Actors Fund, we have a wonderful resource to continue to support this community,” Barnette said. “And that resource has grown large enough now that we are happy to be expanding our financial grant coverage to the entire state of Colorado.”
Denver Actors Fund founder and Executive Director John Moore announced that Jalyn Courtenay Webb will be the DAF liaison to all theatre companies outside the metro area. Webb is Director of The Academy at the Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins, a place where students from kindergarten through high school explore their potential through arts and creativity.
Despite the initial metro boundary, the DAF has received significant volunteer and donor support from communities such as Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, even though their artists were not yet eligible. That, Barnette said, made the board particularly pleased to expand eligibility to artists statewde.
“We look forward to reaching out to every theatre company in the state and letting them know what we can offer to their artists in need,” Barnette said.
Moore will be working with Webb to make initial contact with all statewide companies. He said it will take several months before the DAF will have a plan in place to deploy action-team assistance in remote communities outside the metro area. “But eligibility for financial relief starts today,” he said.
To be eligible for Denver Actors Fund assistance, an artist must have worked in some creative capacity on a legitimate theatrical production somewhere in the state of Colorado within the past five years, and have called Colorado home for at least six months. That could include actors, directors, crew members and designers. It does not at present include administrative staff or volunteers.
Moore said that if the Denver Actors Fund continues its present growth trajectory, the board will next consider possible eligibility for actors who perform in other types of theatrical genres, including improv comedy and, eventually, film.
“One of the things we are most proud of is our commitment to sensible, managed growth,” Moore said. “That’s what has allowed us to make this announcement today, and will hopefully pave the way for even more expanded eligibility in the near future.”
In July, the Colorado Theatre Guild presented the Denver Actors Fund with its first Community Impact Award.
The Denver Actors Fund’s two most significant sources of revenue (after the annual Colorado Gives Day) are its annual “Miscast” production, which is coming up Monday, Sept. 26, at the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center; and a monthly film series in association with the Alamo Draft House in Littleton.
For Miscast, which is among the most entertaining evenings of the Colorado theatre year, some of the best theatre performers in Colorado sing songs they would never … ever! … get cast to perform on any legitimate stage. Tickets are $20 and are available at 303-794-2787 or online at townhallartscenter.org. Cocktails at 6 p.m.; show at 7. ORDER TICKETS
“The Denver Actors Fund Presents …” film series is an opportunity for the DAF to partner with a different local theatre company each month, and help them to promote their current productions. The DAF schedules the screening of a movie with a stage counterpart that’s being presented by a local theatre community. That company’s cast entertains the Alamo audience with 30 minutes of performances, trivia and prizes before the source film is screened. Next up: “Night of the Living Dead,” with live pre-screening entertainment from Paper Cat Films and The Bug Theatre. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the Alamo Draft House in the Aspen Grove shopping center. ORDER TICKETS