Pictured above: Sophia Sapronov and Jessica De Maria in Horizon Theatre Company's production of Once.
As COVID-19 has all but shut down our whole city, many small businesses and non-profits are taking a huge financial blow and are uncertain if they will be able to recover.
Atlanta theatres have all shut down to support the “social distancing” mantra and protect the city. In this trying time, a group of artists has come together to appeal to patrons to help keep the theatres afloat even in the midst of this crisis.
Together, representatives from 19 local theatres crafted this letter.
To Our Local Theatre Fans, Friends, and Family:
Right now is an unprecedented time for our community, and the local theatre community will likely be hit especially hard. COVID-19 has caused a great deal of change, and we are all facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Currently, our leaders are making the hard but necessary choice to ban mass gatherings of people, and nobody is sure how long this may go on for. This directly affects theatres, as we will most likely be unable to host shows and sell tickets for an extended period of time. Theatres are facing a major loss in revenue because of this. In addition to the impact on our organizations, the performers, artisans, and administrative staff of local theatres are also likely to have personal financial struggles through the coming weeks.
We are coming to you now to ask for your continued support of local theatre, even as we temporarily shutter our doors. There are three easy ways you can help support us through these uncertain times: make a donation, buy a gift certificate, and talk to your legislators.
Make a donation. All of the theatres listed in this letter are nonprofit organizations. That means that we re-invest any profits we make back into our mission, rather than paying shareholders. As nonprofit organizations, it also means we can accept tax-deductible donations! This is by far the best thing you can do right now to support your local theatres. A pledge for monthly support is also a wonderful way to provide sustained support as we work to recover in the coming months. Finally, if you bought a ticket to a show that gets cancelled, consider turning the cost of that ticket into a donation, rather than asking for a refund.
Buy a gift certificate. Many local theatres have the ability to issue gift certificates that patrons can use for future shows. Please check with the theatres you frequent, and inquire if they can sell a gift certificate. Treat your future self to a night of entertainment, and once life returns to normal we look forward to welcoming you into our theatres!
Talk to your legislators. In the coming weeks there will likely be bills put forth on the state and national levels for economic relief for those affected by COVID-19. Please reach out to your legislators and let them know that nonprofit arts organizations and artists should be included in these relief packages.
We can make it through this together, but local theatres need your support to help weather this storm. Even once COVID-19 passes, theatres will still be facing financial gaps and tight budgets, and will likely be asking for your donation to offset our losses. Please have patience with us. We are all dedicated to bringing you amazing theatrical experiences
We look forward to seeing you once again at our theatres. Until then, stay safe and healthy.
This too shall pass.
Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Center for Puppetry Arts
City Springs Theatre
Dad’s Garage Theatre
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Horizon Theatre Company
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre
Out Front Theatre Company
Stage Door Players
Theatre du Reve
You can donate directly to the Atlanta Artists Relief GoFundMe here.
Click here to to donate to and read about C4 Atlanta’s Lost Gig Fund for artists.
C4 Atlanta is our local non-profit arts business incubator that provides professional development opportunities and more for artists in the region. They run the annual Unified Auditions for Atlanta’s theatres, among many other support projects for Atlanta’s theatre and arts industry.