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Help is on the way.

The mission and purpose of the Theatre Community Fund of Kansas City is to support all theatre artists, technicians, and supporting staff in times of financial distress or hardship with volunteer support, food bank donations, and direct financial relief.

Get to Know Us

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A note from our Founder, Jake Walker:

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, like millions of other theatre artists, I lost all my work, and all prospects of work for the foreseeable future. I had a little savings, but not much, and when that ran out, I had no idea how I would pay rent till my unemployment kicked in. I put out the call for help and in two days, the people in my community completely covered me. I’ve wanted to create something like TCF for some time, but this was my call to action; to create a way for any local theatre artist to have access to the same help I received.

KC is a theatre town, and it’s been my home for 30 years. I was in my first equity show at The Unicorn in 2001. I was in my first Shakespeare production here. I got my equity card at The Coterie. A lot of local theatre folks have the same story. We make homes and lives and families here. We get to know the people in the audience, we see them at the grocery store, or at the movie theatre. The theatre community in KC is a buzzing little eco system, everyone relying on each other in some way.

At some point, we all need help, and we all are capable of making a difference in someone else's life. TCF was created to serve as a lightning rod for the generosity that already courses through our community, connecting the helpers with folks in need, grounded in the knowledge that we are all here to take care of each other. And that’s that.

Jake Walker

TCF Founder

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Statement

Community is the pillar of our organization, and a key word of the organization’s name. The Theatre Community Fund of Kansas City strives to be inclusive of all individuals. TCF stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We work in line with - and hope to exceed, guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act, recognizing and accommodating seen and unseen disabilities into our work.


TCF publicly commits to practicing traditional Native land acknowledgment at food bank locations, fundraising events, and other public space activities. “For more than five hundred years, Native communities across the Americas have demonstrated resilience and resistance in the face of violent efforts to separate them from their land, culture, and each other. They remain at the forefront of movements to protect Mother Earth and the life it sustains. Today, corporate greed and federal policy push agendas to extract wealth from the earth, degrading sacred land in blatant disregard of treaty rights. Acknowledgment is a critical public intervention, a necessary step toward honoring Native communities and enacting the much larger project of decolonization and reconciliation.” (U.S Department of Arts and Culture). 


TCF will not stand for any discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class. As an artist based organization invested in exploring multiple perspectives and fostering social justice, we embrace the value of all people. We therefore strongly reject any form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred, as we seek to cultivate an environment in Kansas City, which our differences are explored with generosity and openness. 


TCF recognizes that we must have talented board and committee members with diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and experiences to support our innovation and creativity. TCF has formed its inaugural Board of Directors to build balanced core committees from all walks of life in the Kansas City theatre community. TCF is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness. As we grow and learn the collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and talent that our organization invests in represents not only part of our culture, but our reputation.


TCF acknowledges Kansas City theatre's newfound dedication to diversity and inclusion, but there remain inequities across the community. We believe that, despite good intentions, there are biases in place that impede fair equity for underrepresented groups. TCF believes that this lack of opportunity contributes to the inability of these artists to create a sustainable career in local theatre. Theatre Community Fund of Kansas City is extremely open to accept feedback, update policies, change behavior and recognize our shortcomings as we build and grow as a non-profit organization. 


The following Theatre Community Fund values are of particular relevance to our diversity and human resource policies:

  • Include, respect, and appreciate differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, ability, sexual orientation and identity, education, and religion in our goals and objectives.

  • Establish a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to oversee TCF’s efforts and make recommendations to the Executive Board through consistently integrated conversations.

  • Create structured opportunities for the Executive Board to increase awareness and understanding of the issues inherent in the work of inclusion and diversity within the Kansas City theatre community.

  • Advocate for action on diversity, inclusion, and equity issues across all our media platforms.

  • Partner with local organizations (AIDS Walk KC, etc.), to ensure that current and future programs align with TCF’s inclusion and diversity goals of creating access and opportunities for underrepresented theatre artists, and proactively support the various sectors of the local art’s community.

  • Make available free workshops and training opportunities for underrepresented groups in the Kansas City Theatre community (headshot and resume workshops, audition classes, etc.).

  • Keep diversity, parity, and equity at the forefront of our considerations with regard to the nomination of candidates for our Board, and ensure our continued practices fully reflect that commitment.

  • Recognize success and advocate for a Kansas City theatre community that represents a robust body of work of both familiar and unfamiliar voices.

 

 

TCF will continue to review our diversity and inclusion program every fiscal year.

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