For a full month Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW will ask theatre lovers around the state and across the country to donate to help sustain members of the performing arts community. These vital funds have never been more important in helping the performing arts to survive.
Over the last 18 months Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW has played an essential role in keeping our performing arts and artists safe. With the help of donations we have been able to meet hundreds of requests for urgent help.
ABF has paid medical, dental and mental health costs, household bills, registration of cars, assisted with rent and mortgage payments, covered emergency accommodation expenses and provided food vouchers to ensure that families and individuals have food on the table.
The demand has been huge and will continue for many months to come. We need help to keep this level of support available until our industry is back on its feet. Without donations to top up our buckets we cannot do this.
Once again all our theatres are closed, not just in Sydney but in every part of the state, throwing countless numbers of actors and entertainers, dancers, directors, writers and designers, technicians and venue staff out of work.
Plays and musicals have been postponed or cancelled, concerts, festivals, cabarets and other live productions are on hold indefinitely, tours of shows to regional centres have been cancelled until 2022. The live performance world has been devastated.
In past years Sydney audiences became familiar with Actors Benevolent Fund volunteers rattling ACTober collection buckets in theatre foyers across the city. They were often joined by actors leaving the stage to mingle and thank delighted audience members for their generous donations.
Due to the pandemic this personal connection is not possible and we ask the audiences we would have connected with to fill our virtual buckets instead.
Throughout the loneliness of lockdown the performing arts have been a lifeline to the world. Artists have entertained us on our TV screens and streaming services, on podcasts, audiobooks, concerts and cabarets via zoom.
Without their contributions our lockdown days and nights would have been very bleak. Now is the time to show your appreciation for the relief they have given us.
This is the second year in which ACTober will be an Australia wide campaign.
In 2020 six Actors’ and Entertainers’ Benevolent Funds across Australia and New Zealand united in an Alliance* with the common goal of helping performing arts workers across the country. Each organisation will fundraise in their home state under the ACTober banner to support their local arts workers.
Since 1944 Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW has been helping our artists and arts workers to survive the difficult times and our help has never been needed more than now. Your generosity will enable Actors Benevolent Fund to continue to provide a financial safety net to our NSW performing arts workers in these difficult times.
Formed in 2020, the Alliance of Australasian Performing Arts Benevolent Funds (AAPABF) represents the region’s leading arts industry charities, funds and trusts. The purpose of the Alliance is to act as an overarching advocacy group at both a national and international level.
All Alliance members are predominately volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisations that annually assist hundreds of performing arts artists and workers when they face tough times often due to illness, accident, age related issues and something as unprecedented as the shutdown of the entire industry.
The formation of the Alliance has been supported by Cate Blanchett. The six members of the AAPABF are:
- Actors Benevolent Fund of New South Wales
- Actors & Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund of Queensland
- Artist Relief Fund WA
- New Zealand Actors Benevolent Fund
- Performers Support Fund of South Australia
- Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust