And if you are a DC-area theatre-maker in need of support, please learn more about applying to the Taking Care Fund.
Billie Krishawn is a performer and artist, living in Washington, DC and working on stages throughout the region, including Mosaic Theater Company, The Kennedy Center, Synetic Theatre, Theater Alliance, 1st Stage, and Constellation Theatre Company. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Drew University and a Helen Hayes Award nominee (2019) and recipient (2020).
I’m a DC native, born and raised. I’m a mom. I’m an entrepreneur. And I’m really proud to be part of the Washington, DC-area theatre community, performing professionally in the area since 2016.
I just finished our run of The Till Trilogy with Mosaic Theater Company, which was a powerful experience in a number of ways. One being that it was three years in the making. We started rehearsals before Covid hit and resumed after a major change in my life – I became a mother!
When the pandemic first postponed the opening of The Till Trilogy, in March 2020, I was in the midst of personal transition as well. The sudden loss of income, losing time spent with colleagues in creative spaces, of worry for our collective future, added to my own uncertainty. A colleague sent out information about Theatre Washington’s Taking Care Fund, letting us know it was a resource if we needed help. I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing, just for us, as DC theater artists. I hadn’t had time to build my savings account going into the pandemic and I knew I would need assistance to propel me into a next phase. I applied and received my first grant. It felt like a lifeline.
I want you to know that receiving these grants over this time holds meaning beyond the financial. As artists, the reality is that a large part of our job is proving that we have the talent, the capacity, the skill to get a job. We constantly fight to show the world that we’re worthy. What the Taking Care Fund does is say: you are already enough. They say, “tell us who you are and where you are in your journey,” and that alone is enough to receive support. This affirmation is the kind of gift that I hope everyone is able to receive at some point in their life.
I also want people to know that the process of applying to the Taking Care Fund is handled with such care and dignity. It’s anonymous, there’s abundant and supportive communication, it feels totally non-judgmental. You just feel like there are these mysterious forces that are here to support you. You never know when life is going to happen, and I hold extreme gratitude for knowing the Taking Care Fund is here for me and all of us in this community.
What’s on my horizon? I’m working to expand my art and body care business, Absolute Reality. I’m looking forward to my Everyman Theatre debut in the upcoming production of JUMP (details at www.BillieKrishawn.com). And I’m on a restorative and positive path, thanks in part to the grants I have received from the Taking Care Fund.