Anti-Asian hate crimes increased in New York by 361% in 2021.
The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) will distribute grants covering car service and taxi fares for Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander theater artists traveling to and from work. The fund is made possible through a partnership with Indie Theater Fund/IndieSpace, which administered similar grants following the 2021 murders of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia.
With initial funding from the American Theater Wing, the Actors Fund, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation, the fund will launch with $35,000 and pay out grants of $250, or about the cost of 10 car rides, with the possibility of reapplying depending on the fund. availablity. These grants are for artists who are Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, and who do not feel comfortable taking public transportation due to record levels of violence.
Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theater Wing, said, “I am deeply moved to see our community come together in this way to protect our friends and colleagues at AAPI. I am especially grateful to Clint Ramos, member of the ATW Advisory Board, who brought us all together.
Further donations will be needed to maintain the reach of the funds. AAPAC member Pun Bandhu said, “We are very grateful that our theater community is coming together to help theirs. We must recognize that this situation has reached crisis levels. I personally know several theater workers who have been harassed or assaulted; most went unreported. Every institution needs to think about how they can make their Asian employees’ commutes safer. $35,000 means 140 people we can help. Priority will be given to those who are most marginalized, working Off- or Off-Off-Broadway who have no institutional support and who feel they have no choice but to use public transport. common, but we hope that with more donations, the initiative can help even more people because the need is crying out. Please donate if you can. It’s one small thing we can do to help keep the most vulnerable people in our community safe.
If you would like to support the fund, tax-deductible donations can be made via PayPal.