“Imagine that you’ve never heard of Steve Buscemi, John Leguizamo, or even Al Pacino. Forget that the Broadway production of “Urinetown” won three Tony Awards a decade ago. And assume that if early works by European playwrights Bertolt Brecht and Jean Cocteau never made it to the U.S. stage, it would be their loss and not ours. Congratulations. You’ve successfully created a world without independent and Off-Off-Broadway theater.”
– Daniel Lehman, Backstage, February 2012
Objective of the Indie Theater Fund
The Indie Theater Fund, formerly the LIT Fund, is designed to financially and otherwise assist organizations and individual artists creating independent theater in the five boroughs of New York City. The intent of the Fund is to protect, sustain and strengthen this vital segment of American theater, in any economic environment, and to further enhance its positive impact on the cultural landscape of the city.
Where does the money come from?
At the core of the Indie Theater Fund is the simple idea of theater people helping theater people, from Off Off to Broadway. Money for the Indie Theater Fund comes from organizations, companies, venues and individuals donating five cents ($0.05) per ticket sold to their performances. Additional donations will be solicited from patrons of the arts. The Fund is conceived as an additional source of funding for the independent theater territory and not a “re-granting” mechanism.
Where does the money go?
All money collected will go solely to the independent theater territory. Funding priorities have been set by the field using information collected through surveys, town hall meetings and one on one discussions with participants. Money collected for the Fund will be divided between a Forever Fund, an Urgency Fund, unrestricted funding and an annual group resource and we will strive to keep costs associated with running the Fund to a minimum.
How is the money collected?
The $0.05/ticket will be collected directly from participating organizations or through their various ticketing agencies at the close of each run. Individual artists and patrons of the arts can also donate to the fund online or by check throughout the year.
Who is eligible for the money?
Only members of the independent theater community that meet the eligibility requirements will be able to receive money from the Fund. The requirements are that all companies, venues and individual artists have worked on at least three independent theater productions in houses with ninety-nine (99) seats or less in New York City.