Request for Proposals

The LIT Fund 2015:  Paying Artists!

What do we mean by “Paying Artists”?   We mean just that. Paying the artists you work with. That can be your actors, your director, your designer, your stage manager. Anyone who contributes creatively to make your production happen.

Why is that what you’re funding this year?   In our first two years, we gave Community Resource grants to projects designed to benefit many.  Both our previous grantees, The Sh.I.T. List and Indie Theater Guide, are doing great things to help our community thrive, and we will continue to support their efforts with refresh grants this year.  In a recent survey, however, our participants spoke up loud and clear: paying artists is the highest priority, and it isn’t easily funded by other means. It’s super important to us, as well.  So we will shift gears for our primary grant giving this year and give 5 grants of $1,000 each, earmarked for paying artists, to 5 companies or venues.

The new funding process will be as “radically transparent” as the one we invented for the community resource grants, with some adaptation for the task at hand.  From the get-go, we’ve had no interest in becoming arbiters of art or artists, or in convening a traditional panel to adjudicate for us.  Our rules for eligibility are simple; our community will have the opportunity to display its limitless creativity somewhere in the process, and will also have a chance to weigh in; participation should feel neither onerous nor competitive.  In this case, everybody wants to pay artists.  So everyone will have a shot.  These grants will be determined by old-fashioned lottery.  So here we are!

And here we go.

How will it work?

First up:  August 3.  You’re holding in your hands (or seeing on your screen) a fact sheet designed to gather pertinent information about you and your company. Super simple. A way for you to raise your hand and say you want this money, and for us to make sure you are eligible for it.  Due date via email in Word or copied into the body of the email to randi@litfund.org: August 18

Second:  August 18.  You’ve handed in your facts.  Sheets in hand, our board will ensure that your proposal meets eligibility requirements (that you have worked on or in three productions in NYC theaters with 99 seats or less; and that you are producing a show in the next 12 months in a theater in NYC with 99 seats or less. That’s it!)

Next:  August 24.  You will be notified via email if you are eligible for a grant. If you are eligible and you want one chance to win this grant – done!  That’s all you have to do! Just show up at our give party at Parkside Lounge on October 6th to (hopefully) win!

OR increase your odds by participating in our nifty Instagram project. THIS is the creative challenge, should you decide to accept it!  Create a 15-second Instagram video that somehow, in some way, represents your show. A video about the project or projects whose artists will receive portions of your grant.  Post your video to your Instagram page at or after 12:01 AM on Tuesday, September 8, tagging @TheLITFund and using the hashtag #LITFundpaysartists.  Circulate your video until 11:59PM on September 28, and get yourself some Likes! The three videos with the most Likes on Instagram by the 9/28 deadline will each get three chances to win a grant in our lottery – in other words, they’ll have three chits in the hat instead of one, that’s two extra shots at the money!  (But only one possible grant; extra chits increase your chances, but you can’t be pulled twice.  Want more details?  Just ask.)  Key dates: September 8 – 28

And THEN!  October 6.  We’ll throw a party (also a mini-fundraiser for the Fund, suggested donation $5) at which we’ll pull the chits out of the hat and give away the cash. You or someone representing your project, company or venue must be present when the chits are pulled to win one of five $1,000 grants. Checks will be cut that night and you’ll be on your way to paying artists for their work on one of your next shows! Party is October 6th at 6:30. Parkside Lounge.

Be in touch with us anywhere down the line if you have any questions at all.  We are here!

A few quick notes:

– To be eligible, you must plan to produce at least one show in the 12 months following the give (October 2015 to September 2016)

– Checks will be cut to companies or venues, not directly to artists

– You must have a bank account set up in the name of the company or venue which is accepting the grant check

– Grant money can be paid to one artist or split between artists; paid to artists working on one show in your season or split between them; however you see fit within the grant period

– A report consisting of simple documentation of how grant funds were disbursed is required by the end of the one-year grant period. This will let us know how many artists were served by the five grants.

– You must be a LIT Fund participant to receive a grant. Become one here: http://www.litfund.org/become-a-lit-fund-participant/



1st step: Project Fact Sheet!


Primary contact (person we should be in touch with about this proposal):


Name______________________   Company/Venue_________________


E-mail_______________________    Phone ________________________


Website_____________________ Instagram ______________________


Name of at least one show you will be producing in the next 12 months:


Brief description of production(s) (it is OK if description is a work in progress):


Is an artistic team already in place for one or more productions? If so, who are the artists?


Is a theater space already booked for one or more productions?


If you receive this grant, do you anticipate splitting it among more than one artist, and if so, how?


Do you have other funds set aside to pay artists for their work on this show?


Name of the company or venue to whom we should write the check, should you receive one:


The “I’m eligible for The LIT Fund” check box!


_______ YES!  I/we have been involved in 3 or more productions in theaters with 99 seats or fewer in one of the 5 boroughs of New York City.  We’re eligible!


Not yet a participant and want to be more involved?  It’s easy! Sign up for the LIT Fund here:  http://www.litfund.org/become-a-lit-fund-participant/


Questions?  Email Randi Berry at randi.berry@litfund.org



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