Vilar Center offers relief fund program for area performing arts gig workers
Are you an Eagle County performing arts gig worker? If so, keep reading.
A new initiative from the Vilar Performing Arts Center will award $150,000 in relief funds to local performing arts gig workers through the end of December. The program works in partnership with the Colorado’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CVRF).
Eagle County residents, people who live elsewhere but perform in Eagle County, or Eagle County residents who work elsewhere are encouraged to apply.
“These are hardworking people who saw their industry grind to a sudden halt,” said Duncan Horner, the VPAC’s executive director. “We are so grateful to Eagle County for helping us procure these funds, and to the governor and the state’s Department of Local Affairs for supporting the program.”
The Eagle County government staff, including County Commissioners Matt Scherr, Jeanne McQueeney and Kathy Chandler-Henry, helped the VPAC work through the grant application process. Funds are accessible through the Colorado CARES Act, which Gov. Jared Polis signed in May to help mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic. The CARES Act is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
Horner, who has served as the VPAC’s executive director since 2016, said that while many understand performing arts venues as places to see music, theater, dance comedy and more, a lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure that those shows can go off without a hitch. The industry specialists who make it happen are often gig workers, and without performances, their livelihoods have been all but destroyed.
Supporting these workers — lighting technicians, sound engineers, stage managers, as well as the artists themselves — was a driving force in the VPAC’s efforts to secure the funding.
“We are doing everything we can to bring attention to their financial situation, and to do what we can to help,” Horner said. “This will be very helpful for many of them to bridge the gap for now, but there is still much more work to do.”
All applications were due by Dec. 5. Learn more at vilarpac.org/cvrf.
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