AMERICAN THEATER | IndieSpace, Indie Theater Fund marry

The Board of Directors of Indiespace.

NEW YORK CITY: IndieSpace and Indie Theater Fund have merged into one company, with the fund becoming a program of IndieSpace. the tTwo companies have a lot in common: they serve the same community, are led by the same CEO, and share the same priorities and values. The merger of the two organizations, the indie executive said in a statement, will give them expanded capacity to serve many more artists on an annual basis, taking double management hours and dollars and putting them directly into programming. To celebrate the merger, there will be a ‘wedding ceremony’ party at a location in Chelsea on June 28th.

“As the CEO and co-founder of IndieSpace and the Indie Theater Fund,” Randi Berry said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that our merger that we’ve been working on for years is finally official. The work of both organizations has had an incredible impact on this vital part of the theater ecosystem, and this merger will greatly increase our capacity and allow us to serve exponentially more artists. Indie theater will be central to NYC’s recovery, and IndieSpace intends to be there every step of the way with the artists we serve.”

indie theater fund originally founded as the LIT Fund, was inspired by an idea by Judith Malina and Brad Burgess a new model for funding the indie theater community and was housed in the League of Independent Theater until it became its own organization in 2012. By contributing a nickel per ticket from their shows to a fundraiser, the indie theater community set out to create a method of self-support and a way to rethink philanthropy and the grantmaking process. The Indie Theater Fund has since supported hundreds of small theater companies and thousands of individual artists with radically transparent and equitable grants, community resources and advocacy. The fund began providing five $1,000 grants per year and by 2021 had increased that number to 50 $1,000 grants. It provided over $1.5 million (in partnership with IndieSpace) in relief grants for artists, small businesses, and independent venues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund also launched a mental health program that has served over 200 artists and has led several coalition-based funding programs, including the Cultural Solidarity Fund, the AAPI Transportation Fund, and the DCLA City Artist Corps grants. In addition, the fund has provided hundreds of hours of professional development focused on fundraising, budgeting, marketing, anti-racism and anti-oppression training to individuals and small businesses who cannot directly afford these services.

IndieSpace was founded in 2016 to counteract the ongoing displacement of small theaters and address systemic injustices in New York City’s real estate space. IndieSpace’s role was to support independent venues faced with a property move, challenge or opportunity and help them find lasting solutions. Since its inception, IndieSpace has advised more than 70 venues on real estate decisions, including The Tank, Frigid NY, The Chain, the wild project, Wooster Group and Classical Theater of Harlem; helped 18 organizations sign new leases; saved seven theaters from closure or rededication; formed four real estate operating partnerships; ran a venue through the purchase of her new home; co-founded a rehearsal space cooperative on a 99-year lease; and assisted over 50 venues to manage their leases during COVID. IndieSpace also worked with Community Board 2 to negotiate a permanent space for the cultural community on a new development on Gansevoort Street that it will partner with HERE, the New Ohio and the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. As of 2019, IndieSpace had a budget of about $64,500.

Support American Theatre: A just and thriving theatrical ecology starts with information for all. Please join this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theater Communications Group. When you support American Theater Magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality, nonprofit arts journalism. click here to make your tax-deductible donation today!

Table of Contents

Leave a Comment