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Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund

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As we come to terms with a health crisis that might mean long-term closures for New York City cinemas, we must meet the challenges ahead with mutual aid and solidarity. These closures have been necessary steps in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, but many hourly workers will be paying an immediate price for the well-being of our city. 

With the assistance of Light Industry, Screen Slate, and other community partners, we have started a fund that can be accessed by cinema workers whose hours have been curtailed because of this crisis and who are not being otherwise compensated.

We’re focusing specifically on New York City movie theater employees so that we can provide quick, if modest, relief to those in our community, but encourage others to consider the needs of their own networks.

Hopefully more robust public resources will become available imminently, and individual theaters that have the means will do right by their furloughed workers, but we must band together in the meantime to make sure wage disruption is minimal. We aim to begin disbursing the funds we raise on 3/20. This is a time of great uncertainty, and this initiative is only a stop-gap measure, but our struggle against precarity is a common one.

For every $3,000 donated, we will be able to support five people with the equivalent of 40 hours a week at $15/hour. 

As the situation develops, of course, we will be responsive to the needs of our community and adjust the distribution accordingly.

Am I Eligible?
All hourly workers at cinemas in New York City who are experiencing wage disruption because of COVID-19 closures are eligible.

How Do I Apply? 
Applications to the fund are now closed, and we’re focusing our efforts on raising money for the over 300 out-of-work movie theater employees who’ve already put in requests.

Each week this page will be updated with a report on precisely how funds raised have been allocated.

[email redacted] 
Insta: @WorkerFund 
Twitter: @WorkerFund

Who Are We?
Thomas Beard - Founder and Director, Light Industry; Programmer at Large, Film at Lincoln Center; Screen Slate Board Member

Ed Halter - Founder and Director, Light Industry; Critic in Residence, Bard College

Nellie Killian - Independent Curator; Contributing Editor, Film Comment; Light Industry Board Member; Screen Slate Board Member

Sierra Pettengill - Filmmaker, Archivist, Screen Slate Board Member


  • Shaianne Hugh
    • $260 
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team (5)

Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund
Raised $17,276 from 362 donations
Brooklyn, NY
Light Industry
Sierra Pettengill
Team member
Raised $3,886 from 44 donations
Nellie Killian
Team member
Raised $3,285 from 42 donations
Ed Halter
Team member
Raised $1,460 from 32 donations
Thomas Beard
Team member
Raised $765 from 14 donations
This team raised $48,615 from 974 other donations.

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