IndieSpace announces The Big Give, the annual community building and funding event, on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 7pm, taking place both virtually on Zoom and in-person at Chelsea Factory, 547 W. 26th Street, NYC. The event is a celebration of indie theater and an opportunity to provide financial support for small theaters who are often unable to received funds from more traditional grantors. For more information on applying for a grant and to RSVP for the free event, visit indiespace.org/the-big-give.
At The Big Give, reconnect with fellow indie theater makers and honor the amazing work, artistry, and love the indie theater community has shown over the past two years. Be there as IndieSpace gives away at least fifty “Pay Your People” $1,000 grants to deserving NYC-based indie theater companies and venues. The event is open to everyone, even if you are not applying for a grant this year.
The “Pay Your People” Grant is to do just that: pay the people on your team that makes the work possible. The grants will be distributed via lottery. Of the grants, 80% will go to NYC-based companies or productions, and 20% will go to NYC-based indie theater venues.
IndieSpace has built a fundamental commitment to equity and inclusion into the values and culture of our organization. They want to see the work of diverse artists on stage, and they believe that diverse leadership in their participant organizations is essential to encouraging diverse and equitable practices.
To be eligible for IndieSpace grants, companies or venues must commit to using their grant to pay artists or leaders of color and/or artists or leaders who have been historically excluded from funding based on gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic disadvantage, refugee/immigration status or for other reasons you define.
Grant funds can be paid to one artist or leader or split between several; paid to artists working on one show/reading/workshop in your season or split between more than one; in other words, use as you see fit within the grant period. These grants are to help you pay your people!
Applications are due Thursday, December 1. The simple application gathers pertinent information about you, your company, and/or venue. This is how you raise your hand to say you want a grant and our way of making sure you are eligible for it. To apply, visit indiespace.org/the-big-give.
IndieSpace was established in 2016 to disrupt the ongoing displacement of small theaters and to address systemic inequities in NYC real estate. In 2022, it merged with Indie Theater Fund, an organization focused on a new model for equitable funding for the indie theater community. By contributing a nickel per ticket from their shows to a pot of money for funding, the indie theater community could create a method of self-sustainability and could rethink philanthropy and the process of grant making. Through radically transparent and equitable grants, community resources and advocacy, the Fund supported hundreds of indie theater companies and thousands of individual artists.
Now as one organization, IndieSpace has an expanded capacity to serve hundreds more artists on an annual basis, helping individual artists, small companies and indie venues plant roots and grow. In addition to continuing its founding mission of supporting indie venues facing a real estate transition, challenge, or opportunity, and helping them create permanent solutions, IndieSpace continues initiatives started by Indie Theater Fund, such as running a Mental Health program that has served over 200 artists; leading several coalition-based funding programs, including the Cultural Solidarity Fund, the AAPI Transportation Fund, and the DCLA City Artist Corps grants; and providing hundreds of hours of professional development to individuals and small companies that cannot afford those services directly, focused on fundraising, budgeting, marketing, anti-racism and anti-oppression trainings.
Since its founding, IndieSpace has: consulted with 70+ venues making real estate decisions, including The Tank, Frigid NY, The Chain, the wild project, Wooster Group, and Classical Theater of Harlem; helped 18 organizations sign new leases; saved seven theaters from being closed or repurposed; created four real estate operation partnerships; walked one venue through the purchase of their new home; and co-established a rehearsal space co-op in a 99-year lease. During Covid, IndieSpace supported over 50 venues navigating their leases by helping them stay open, and also collaborated with Indie Theater Fund to provide over $1.5M in relief grants to the indie theater community. For service to the community, IndieSpace received the Ellen Stewart Award and a citation from the City Council of New York. IndieSpace also worked with Community Board 2 to negotiate a permanent space for the cultural community in a new development on Gansevoort Street, which it will co-operate with HERE, the New Ohio and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.