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Sam Mendes backstage at the 2018 Olivier Awards

Best Director winner Sam Mendes backstage at the 2018 Olivier Awards

Theatre Artists Fund & Sam Mendes recognised at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 29 July 2021, Last Updated 29 July 2021

We are delighted to share that last week, in recognition of his work in spearheading Theatre Artists Fund, Sam Mendes received the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts During the Pandemic for an Individual.

Established by Sam Mendes, the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, the Theatre Artists Fund has provided emergency relief grants to theatre workers and freelancers throughout the UK effected by Covid-19 over the last year. The fund has been managed and administered by the Theatre Development Trust, providing grants of £1,000 to those in our sector in need of urgent and critical financial assistance.

In his acceptance speech, Sam acknowledged the huge contribution of the thousands who donated and the major input of those who helped to realise the fund in support of the UK’s cultural workforce. The fund has received a tremendous injection of £1.25 million of public funding from Arts Council England, alongside more than 3,000 donations from people, foundations and businesses and has now provided over 7,200 grants since its inception in July 2020.

Watch the video of Sam’s speech below:

Sam also announced the development of a two-year pilot bursary programme, working in conjunction with Backstage Trust, for UK theatre freelance professionals. The new scheme will aim to empower freelancers to be part of the next stage of the industry’s recovery from the pandemic, and to create employment opportunities.

We are so grateful for each and every donation, which enable us to help more professionals in our sector who are struggling. You can donate to the Theatre Artists Fund through the link below.


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