On Monday, October 7th, in the packed Parkside Lounge on the historic Lower East Side, The LIT Fund's inaugural Community Resource Grant was awarded to The SH.I.T. List, an idea conceived by Flux Theatre Ensemble and Gideon Productions
The S.H.I.T. List is a web-based database that independent theater companies in and around NYC can use to sell, rent, lend or swap basic set pieces, furniture, props and costumes. Community resource: Most small theater companies in New York City lack storage space, so set pieces and props hit the dumpster after a show closes. The S.H.I.T. List is a low-cost solution for reducing waste, lowering design costs, and moving small theater companies toward a greener process.
Says Heather Cohn
, producing director of Flux Theatre Ensemble, "With the support of the LIT Fund, Flux is thrilled to continue our history of partnering with Gideon Productions
. Our Indie theatre field thrives when we pool resources and collaborate on shared goals, and we hope the S.H.I.T List will empower many such connections and exchanges."
The S.H.I.T List was chosen through a two-tier, radically transparent voting process. In the first round, anyone on the planet could vote for his or her favorite project. The three projects receiving the most votes went on to the final round where only LIT Fund participants voted.
"One of the goals of the LIT Fund was to eliminate the secrecy and closed-door culture of so much of the grant-giving world. We gave five thousand dollars to a deserving project without any panels of experts or separate deciding body. The audience and the artists made the decision." said John Clancy
, LIT Fund Board Chair.
The LIT Fund represents a coalition of companies, venues and artists who contribute 5 cents of every ticket they sell to a pool of money that supports independent theater. We call this the "Nickel Campaign," and it's the LIT Fund's core notion. The Fund will also solicit contributions from patrons of the arts. The Fund is apportioned according to three areas of need identified by our community: unrestricted project funding, an urgency/opportunity fund, and an endowment. Through a radically transparent process, funds will be granted to applications made by theater companies or by individual artists, as well as applications for community-wide projects spearheaded by those artists and companies individually or as consortia. The Fund will not operate pay-to-play; if an artist or company meets the eligibility requirements, they can apply and be funded regardless of whether they contribute to the Fund.
The League of Independent Theater ("LIT") is the only 501(c) 6 advocacy organization for the independent theater and performing arts population of New York City, serving over 50,000 independent performing artists, 86% of whom vote regularly. LIT will endorse candidates in every City race, and work to form alliances with other cultural advocacy organizations in the City that will foster an all-out "Get Out The Vote" effort on behalf of those candidates selected.