Our mission at Soho Rep. is to provide meaningful opportunities to radical theater-makers at critical junctures in their artistic practice.
In many ways, there has never been a more critical juncture for the artists in our community, our institution, and the field as a whole. According to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, 95% of artists and artworkers in the US have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly two-thirds have become unemployed altogether.
So in September, we launched our intervention in this moment — a new job creation program called “Project Number One” — to reaffirm, loudly and wholeheartedly, that artists have an inherent value in our society. Through this program, we have added eight artists to our full-time staff, with each person receiving health insurance and a salary of $1,250 per week, which is equal to our average staff salary. Project Number One artists include: Becca Blackwell, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Stacey Derosier, David Mendizábal, Ife Olujobi, David Ryan Smith, Carmelita Tropicana, and Jillian Walker.
Since then, we have been meeting together with this cohort every other week to reimagine our theatre-making process and redefine our civic function. The group has also begun working on eight incredible new artistic pieces, from physical installations at our theater, to printed zines and digital shows, which we’ll start to share with you early in 2021.
We also can’t wait to be gathered with you at our beloved theater on Walker Street. We have five productions, originally slated for production this season and last, that we are eager to share. And every day, we feel more hopeful that we’ll be able to invite you to our Writer/ Director Lab showings and to Studio workshops in the spring and summer.
We need your help to do this work. As a small theater, we have cut every single expense possible in order to responsibly launch Project Number One and continue to develop many new shows. However, we still need to raise $130,000 from individuals like you this season.
Please consider giving a gift today. Your generosity will ensure the success of Project Number One and is essential in helping us return to in-person gathering as soon as possible.
Sarah Benson, Cynthia Flowers, Meropi Peponides
Directors of Soho Rep.