Last Year's Rent – a Fundraiser for the Vulnerable in British Arts

Former reporter for Bleeding Cool, Frazer Brown, is better known as a successful theatre producer in the UK, including Bleeding Cool-friendly projects such as the Toxic Avenger play that ran in the West End and the upcoming version of Night Of The Living Dead. All theatres in the UK have now closed, causing industry-wide devastation, so Frazer has stepped up. He tells Bleeding Cool,

Alright, I'm stepping up & putting my money where my mouth is. I've created LAST YEAR'S RENT a fundraiser to pay 1 months rent or mortgage (£1k) for those facing current hardship in the UK Arts. Whatever we raise before the end of April, I will match personally

The Arts have closed all operations for the foreseeable future and West End Theatres have gone dark as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic. This leaves it crews, creatives, casts, front of house staff and even producers open to economic vulnerability. Over 2 million people work in the ARTS in the UK. Every single one of them is currently unsure of what the future holds financially or for their careers. I am raising this fund for a very basic reason. To help those in the arts keep a roof over their head during this time of crisis, and alleviate some of that uncertainty.

The funds goal is £10k which will be allotted £1000 at a time to those that apply and meet the criteria for need. This £1000 can be paid directly to mortgage lenders or landlords- alleviating one of the main concerns people have in such a tumultuous time.

The arts is an integral part of society, entertaining and inspiring millions around the world. It is also one of the most precarious and underfunded too. If you are involved in the Arts or simply a member of public please consider donating a nominal amount to the cause.

The initial goal is £10k but with each unit of £1000 we raise another person can be given peace of mind. I will be setting up a submission system to allocate funds to people that meet the criteria and dispensing it as soon as is humanly possible. I will also update everyone on the funds allocations so you can see where the money is going (recipients can choose to remain anonymous if they wish)

INDIVIDUAL – £2-£5 is a great start it's the price of a coffee and highly appreciated.

THEATREGOER: The shows are closed. Why not consider donating the price of a ticket? Balcony; £25 or if you usually sit in front row stalls £100.

INDUSTRY:  PRODUCERS: That show you were going to invest in at £5k a unit? Why not invest in an individual's mental health and put £1k in to the fund. It could literally change somebodies life in this climate.

If you can't donate at present that is fine, please consider sharing the campaign, talking about it and promoting it across social media.

In addition to my matching we have received two private donations bringing the total to £5000.00 meaning at least 5 people can have peace of mind in the coming weeks. I will be launching an application portal asap for people to access the funds.

We have been covered by VARIETY, THE STAGE, SKY and the BBC – I'm so grateful to the Hollywood celebs and UK national treasures that have all retweeted and offered help. It is fantastic for getting the word out there and exposing the cause BUT it's the grassroots efforts and donations that help the most. ESPECIALLY DONATIONS – You guys!!!! You will be changing someone's life this month – -Thank you.

Cup of coffee it is, Frazer…

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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