FAQ

Use the links below to jump to each section.

General Information

Eligibility

Application

Using My Funds

GENERAL INFORMATION

Q: Don’t other people need this more?

A: Ask this question to yourself instead: Am I having trouble making ends meet because of the industry shutdown? Am I doing everything I can to stay afloat and still having difficulty paying my bills? TCBF is a resource for all artists and theatre practitioners in need and exists to help all members of our theatre community, so please apply. 

Q: How can I be sure that my personal information won’t be shared outside of the board?

A: We are a completely confidential board and have agreed to and signed paperwork stating that we will keep all TCBF communications confidential. Nothing you include in your application (or even the fact that you applied) will be shared with anyone outside of the TCBF board.

Q: How do you keep the applications secure?

A: All applications are kept secure through password protected drives. Paper correspondence is held by the Executive Board only.

Q:  Is it okay to list a board member as a reference?

A:  Yes, you are welcome to list a board member as a reference.

Q: I like what you do. How can I become a board member for TCBF?

A: If you’re interested in learning more about TCBF, you can contact any current board member. You are also welcome to send a cover letter and resume to tcbfboston@gmail.com for consideration. 

ELIGIBILITY

Q: Am I eligible if I live out of state but work in MA?

A: Yes. You are eligible to apply if you are an active member of the Greater Boston theatre community, even if your permanent residency is in another state. As long as you can demonstrate a sustained and meaningful connection to Massachusetts theatre on your resume, you are welcome to apply. 

Q: What if all my work isn’t in theatre? Do I still qualify?

A: Yes. As long as you are an active member of the theatre community, you qualify.

Q: Do I need to be a member of StageSource to apply?

A: No, you do not need to be a member of StageSource to apply or receive funding. 

Q: Am I eligible if I am friends with people on the board?

A: Yes. Board members may recuse themselves from voting on applicants for any reason, and will do so when they have a direct relationship with the applicant. Knowing a member of the board will not increase or decrease the chances of being funded.

Q: You accept applications for work in “Greater Boston and the surrounding areas”. How do you define the “surrounding areas”?

A: Applicants should work within ~50 miles of Boston in any direction, and extending out to Western MA, Rhode Island, and Southern VT, NH and ME.

Q:  Most of my work has been in film, on Zoom, or on podcasts.  Does that qualify as theatre work?  

A: TCBF exists to support theatre artists in need, so our focus is not on the film or podcast industries. That being said, if you are a Boston-based theatre artist or practitioner who, over the past year has worked exclusively in the virtual sphere (film, Zoom, or podcasts), then you are of course still eligible.

Q:  Do I need to be a member of a union to apply?

A:  No, you do not need to be a member of any union to apply.

Q: Most of my work is in community theater. Am I still eligible?

A: Yes – community theater is an important part of our theatre community.

Q: I am a student. Am I eligible to apply?

A: Eligibility is dependent on the amount of work you have done in the theater community itself. We do not consider theatrical work at the high-school or college level; you would need additional work at non-academic arts organizations. And as a reminder, TCBF does not cover tuition and/or school costs.

Q: I have a full time job. Am I eligible to apply?

A: You are eligible to apply although your income will be factored in when determining need.

Q: What things absolutely disqualify me from applying?

A: You may not apply for the following: 

  • Personal business ventures –this includes real estate ventures (e.g., buying a house to rent or sell and not finding a renter or a buyer, owning an AirBNB that is not being occupied, making home renovations, etc.)
  • Elective surgery
  • Tuition for classes or academic programs
  • Artistic projects 
  • Non-essential purchases (i.e., not relevant to sustaining livelihood)

APPLICATION

Q: How often can I apply?

A: At this time, you are eligible to apply for a grant every six months.

Q:  How many times may I apply?

A: At present, you may apply every six months.

Q: If my application is rejected, can I reapply?

A: If your application is rejected, you will receive feedback by email as to why your application was not funded at this time. If you review that feedback and would like to submit another application that does meet TCBF criteria, you are more than welcome to do so. 

Q: If I apply and am denied, can I appeal the decision?

A: We do not have an appeal process, but you are welcome to apply again should your eligibility align with our requirements in the future. 

Q: What is the turnaround time once my application has been received?

A: The turnaround time is generally 3 weeks or less, but if we need to follow up with additional questions or if the application is incomplete, it might take a little longer. 

Q: I was awarded a grant, but it was for less than I requested. Why?  

A: The board uses a set of criteria to assess the applicant’s need, based on several factors, (including but not limited to) current/future employment status, savings, and reliance on theater -related work as income. While we wish we could grant every application at the requested amount, we do have to make sure that we are being fair and equitable so that we can serve as much of our community as possible. 

Q:  I have a disability and/or have limited computer access. Do you have someone on staff who can help me file my application?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have a staff; rather, TCBF operates with a completely volunteer board. While it is not within our scope to help someone individually file an application, we can clearly explain what you need to do and help point you in the right direction to find aid in doing so. 

USING MY FUNDS:  

Q: Can you offer Direct Deposit?

A: At this point, we are not able to offer Direct Deposit. You will receive a paper check in the mail. In some circumstances, we can send a check directly to the person or organization requiring reimbursement by the applicant (e.g. landlord, doctor’s office, etc).

Q: Do I need to claim my funded grant on my taxes?

A: No. The grant is a gift, not income, and does not need to be claimed on your taxes. 

Q: If I am awarded a grant, do I have to pay it back or make future donations to TCBF?

A: No. The grant is a gift. 

Q:  Can TCBF funds be applied to rent or mortgage payments?

A: Yes.

Q:  Can TCBF funds be applied to car repairs or replacement?  

A: Yes, if your car is essential to your livelihood. 

Q:  As theatre work has dried up, I am taking state certification courses to train for new employment.  Can I apply to TCBF for tuition and license fees?

A: No, TCBF does not fund tuition or schooling fees.