In the second week of March, as the Puget Sound and most parts of the world were beginning to adapt to a life of self-quarantining and recommended “working from home” to help flatten the Coronavirus curve, Pratidhwani was coming to terms with having to reschedule our annual tribute to semi-classical Indian music, Kashish, which was scheduled for March 21st. At the time, venues were still operational and stage shows were carrying on, albeit with heightened sanitary measures.
Rescheduling or canceling shows close to the performance dates is always a hard decision. Pratidhwani had multiple shows in the works that had to be rescheduled. We soon recognized that an entire economic ecosystem of artists, technical crews, venues etc. are facing tremendous uncertainty and hardship and a lot of livelihoods are at risk.
"Your innovation and generosity are AMAZING! Thank you for supporting ACT in this devastating time in our community. We cannot wait to partner again and bring joy!"
- Becky Witmer, Managing Director, ACT Theatre
We have always been immensely grateful to be a part of Seattle’s performing arts community, and it felt necessary to support this ecosystem in any way possible. While there are innumerable arts groups and artists in need of help, to make the contributions significant enough, we decided to raise funds for groups that have been incredible partners in the past, or with whom we’re actively pursuing a partnership in the future and match every donation up to $6,000 for the following 10 groups: ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (Producing Company), Kirkland Performance Center (Venue), Sound Theatre Company (Producing Company), Macha Theatre Works (Producing Company), Seattle Shakespeare Company (Producing Company), ReAct Theatre (Producing Company), Theatre Puget Sound (Service Organization and Venue), Theatre Off Jackson (Venue), Book-It Repertory Theatre (Producing Company) and ACT Theatre (Producing Company).
"I'm not sure I have the right words to express how much we appreciate this.Your generosity and kindness are admirable and we will do our level best to pay it forward by keeping ToJ's doors open and accessible for future artists and audiences creating and experiencing vital work. We will be there for you should you ever need it."
- Patti West, Executive Director, Theatre Off Jackson
We started fundraising on March 14th, and in less than 24 hours, the generosity of our social networks was on full display, pushing us over the 4K goal. In the next five days, we were delighted to see that not only did we reach our stretch goal of 6K but we actually went above and beyond to cross $7,000, and with your help, we donated over $13K to our partners.
Now, more than a month since our initiative to help partner orgs, it is time we changed gears to help individual artists. And with the global nature of this pandemic, it is important to help not just artists in the greater Seattle area, but also in our homeland - India - where a sum of Rs. 1000 (that’s less than $15!) can keep a family fed and safely sheltered in place.
With this in mind, we’re re-purposing our GiveBig campaign to assist individuals - actors, musicians, instrument makers, and more, all of whom have watched their sources of income simply disappear as entire nations experience lockdowns.
"You are amazing, what a quick, kind and neighborly response. We appreciate you all so so much."
- Amy Poisson, Artistic Director, Macha Theatre Works
We are exploring partnerships with groups that are assisting artists directly, in various geographies. A portion of whatever we raise via our GiveBig campaign will be donated to benefit distressed artists in India and in the Puget Sound region through these partnerships.
If your means allow, we invite you to join us. Early Giving for GiveBig is now open! Donate at whichever level is comfortable for you, and help artists pay their bills and live with dignity, so they may continue to pursue art when the opportunities open up again. Click HERE to donate.