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Thank you all so much for everything you are doing to continue to help artists in this time. Your support is wholeheartedly appreciated!

Applying to the Taking Care Fund

If you are a Washington, DC-area theatre professional – on stage or off– currently residing and working (or have in the past two years) in the Washington, DC-area, and are dealing with an unforeseen medical or personal emergency, you may apply to the Taking Care Fund. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis, due by the 5th of each month. Grants are awarded to applicants with the greatest need based on the information provided on the application. Funding is available in grants ranging from $500 to $2,500, with the average grant estimated to be $1,500. Applicants can reapply as many times as needed, and can receive up to $5,000 per calendar year. Applicants can be awarded a lifetime cap of $7,500.

Apply to the Taking Care Fund


Who is eligible for the Taking Care Fund?
Actors, designers, directors, stage managers, administrators, box-office staff, choreographers, administrators, technicians, playwrights, teaching artists, and more are eligible to apply.

Applicants must be theatre professionals who have lived, resided, and actively worked in the Washington metropolitan area for a total of at least two years, some portion of which must be within the past two years.

At least one of each applicant's professional theatre credits must be for traditional multi-week runs. Educational and community theatre credits are ineligible for consideration. Resident theatre credits are preferred over presenting theatre credits, though both are eligible.

What kind of emergencies qualify for assistance?
Assistance may be provided for the following qualifying emergencies/events:

  • For medical and personal emergencies of an unforeseen, unanticipated, catastrophic, or extraordinary nature;
  • In the absence of personal or liability medical insurance or where such coverage does not meet the demand or emergency in question;
  • Normal expenses incurred within the last six months for an applicable emergency;
  • Lack of income as the result of an applicable emergency, such as effects of the Covid-19 global health crisis; or
  • Gender affirming surgeries.


The following are not qualifying for assistance:

  • General wellness procedures and needs such as standard doctor’s appointments, annual physicals, dental hygiene and maintenance, or standard optical needs.
  • Elective or cosmetic procedures.
  • Non-emergency employment gaps or lack of employment opportunities.
  • Non-emergency, ongoing situations that are expensive, but do not demonstrate extraordinary or extenuating circumstances.
  • Unfunded or underfunded entertainment events.


What documentation do I need to apply?
Applying requires no supplemental documentation, only a completed application (found here). Please read the questions carefully and answer as many as possible in as much detail as possible. If anything is unclear, Theatre Washington will contact applicants and make updates with any necessary clarifications.

What can I expect from the application process?

  • Complete and submit the application.
  • If you have questions, please email
  • Applications will be reviewed as they are received and assistance determined at the discretion of the Taking Care Advisory Panel, a committee of Theatre Washington.
  • Theatre Washington will notify all applicants with the Advisory Panel's decision. If your application is accepted, Theatre Washington will contact you to obtain more detailed documentation needed to disburse payment.
  • Requests meeting the eligibility requirements and approved by the committee will be considered for amounts ranging from $500 to $2,500, and will be determined based on available funds, other requests for available funds, and applicant’s level of need.


What happens if my grant is approved?
In order to satisfy legal requirements, Theatre Washington gathers documentation that demonstrates need before disbursing funds. Generally speaking, eligible documentation needs to include the grantee’s full name, the name of the billing company, the date, and the amount charged to pass an audit. Usually screenshots of a webpage, email, or app do not meet eligibility criteria. Once documentation has been submitted, Theatre Washington will connect with grantees through in order to disburse funds through direct deposit.

What type of documentation do I need to provide?
Documentation can include living expenses or funds associated with the need demonstrated in the application. Depending on the type of hardship that you specify in your application, documentation could be grocery bills, utility bills, phone/internet bills, fully executed current lease agreements, or a rental ledger with an official letterhead or signature; this documentation could also take the form of medical invoices, explanations of benefits, receipts from prescribed pills or equipment, or physical therapy documentation. This list is not all-inclusive, and Theatre Washington will work with you to determine the best documentation to provide for your situation.

Can I send in a credit card statement?
Credit card statements are applicable only if they are itemized; the amount that can be reimbursed are the “Purchases” or “Transactions” made that month.

Why do I need to provide any documentation at all?
Theatre Washington’s financial activities are subject to periodic audits by an independent firm to determine whether it’s acting within its mission or committing fraud that would cause it to lose its 501(c)(3) status. Since the pandemic began, Theatre Washington has distributed over $950,000 through the Taking Care Fund. Every cent of it is accompanied by documentation that justifies the community's need, according to criteria provided by the auditors. If Theatre Washington didn’t request documentation before disbursing funds, then it would be at risk of losing its non-profit status, jeopardizing further rounds of funds from being disbursed.

How long does it take for funds to be disbursed?
Once eligible documentation has been submitted, funds are usually disbursed within ten business days.

Do I need to repay funds that I’ve been awarded?
No. Funds are provided as outright gifts and do not need to be repaid.

Questions? Contact us!

Theatre Washington welcomes questions on the Taking Care Fund and its application process. Please contact Taking Care Fund Fundraising and Administrative Associate, Cody Whitfield.