Netflix donates £500K to Sam Mendes's Theatre Artists Fund

The theatre and film director has set up the new fund with the goal of financially helping UK theatre workers.

Sam Mendes

In an effort to assist the theatre industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, global streaming giant Netflix pledged £500K towards Sam Mendes's new theatre fund.

Called the Theatre Artists Fund and established with the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, Mendes announced that the fund will provide one-off £1000 grants for freelance workers in the arts sector. 

The announcement of Netflix's financial support comes after Mendes's urgent appeal to the streaming company a month ago. In an article in The Financial Times, the theatre director pleaded for Netflix and Amazon Prime to use their "lockdown millions" made "from our finest acting, producing, writing, and directing talent” to invest back in the UK’s great theatre sector. 

Mendes announced that the purpose of the fund are “not for buildings, or regular staff, but for freelance artists who actually make the shows that the public pay to see." He further stated that the fund "is specifically designed for theatre workers who find themselves at breaking point, for those unable to put food on the table or to pay bills, or for those considering leaving the profession altogether.”

Applications for the first round of grants will be open through 13 July. To be eligible, applicants need to have worked in the theater sector between 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2020 and show proof of limited savings. For more information, visit the Theatre Artists Fund website

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