Similar to many other professions, the worldwide pandemic coupled with the hurricanes that hit Southwest Louisiana in August and September hit the theatre community hard. Many theatres have been unable to host performances or bring in income and are now having to keep up with bills alongside the damages sustained through the hurricanes.
The Artists Civic Theatre and Studio Inc, also known as ACTS, recently launched a GoFundMe to help them raise $20,000 to sustain both damages and pandemic impacts to their theatre. ACTS has been serving the local community for over 55 years, bringing the arts and their passion to the stage and those who visit it.
“We need a lot of interior work done on the building; we need to make some updates so that the building can be useable. We’ve had a rough year, financially, with COVID—we haven’t been able to bring in any kind of income at all. On top of the updates, we do have everyday expenses like a mortgage and bills and all of that,” explained performer and Vice President of the board Markie Hebert.
She explained that ACTS has been unable to bring in income since February. The theatre suffered damage to the roof and interior, and much of the damage complications are in part due to the historical aspects of the building that need updating.
“We had been working on a show and we were going to be ready for the stage as soon as we got the okay, we had a show that was ready,” expressed Hebert, “We were expecting to get to be able to get it going pretty quickly, and then the hurricane came and messed up the building. We had actually been working on that show since March.”
Currently, as of Wednesday, they have raised $1,185 of their $20,000 goal. To donate or share the fundraiser to spread awareness, people can visit GoFundMe and search for “ACTS Theatre Building repair.” Any donation is appreciated as they work on rebuilding their home away from home.
“With the storm and so much damage not only to us, but to all the theatres in the community, we don’t have a place,” said Hebert, “To me, ACTS is kind of like a second home—it’s kind of like a place to go and get away from things and have the chance to do something else. I know that’s the way a lot of our community feels about the theatre and being part of the theatre. So, everyone that helps us with our fundraiser helps us get one step closer to bringing that back for people.”
She said that those involved with ACTS hope to come back sooner and better than ever.