TYA Response to COVID-19

TYA/USA is actively working to convene, unite, and support the TYA field through the COVID-19 crisis. Please read below for information about our response, and ways that we can provide resources to you through peer-to-peer exchange and virtual connection. We must lean on each other as a national community to navigate this moment together.

Updated March 19, 2020

Webinar Panelists from the March 18 TYA Virtual Community Meeting: COVID-19 and the TYA Sector

Dear TYA/USA Community,

We know that so many of your are struggling through this confusing and overwhelming time, for our industry and for the world. We exist to connect you, support you, and advocate on your behalf⁠—and that mission has never been more urgent and important.

In the last few weeks, we’ve created several Emergency TYA Affinity Support Groups, to connect peers across the country in similar roles to discuss decisions, share strategies, and seek resources. We have found that one of the most vital things we can do in this moment is to exchange information, recognize our similar challenges, and begin to craft strategies for ensuring the future of our work.

We invite you and your colleagues to complete the form below so that we can connect you with your peers across states and regions. Tell us about who you are and what you need, and we’ll do our best to serve you.

You can also find the recording of our Community Wide Virtual Meeting that was held yesterday, March 18.

We are committed to supporting you and helping you navigate the next few months in any way possible. Please keep in dialogue with us, let us know the challenges you are facing, and share the plans you are implementing to mitigate the impact. As always, feel free to reach out to me directly at jchapman@tyausa.org.
Stay Healthy and Safe,

Jonathan Shmidt Chapman
Executive Director, TYA/USA

 

Webinar Recording: TYA Virtual Community Meeting: COVID-19 and the TYA Sector / March 18, 2020

View Webinar Recording Here

 

TYA Emergency Affinity Group Request Form

Join a virtual support network, and let us know what topics you would like to explore for upcoming virtual convenings. Please complete the form below so that we can connect you to peers and offer resources for particular challenges you are facing and will face in the coming weeks.

Submit a Request Form Now

 

 

 


LETTER FROM TYA/USA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO THE TYA FIELD – March 11, 2020

We are living through challenging times. As the news swirls around the impact of COVID-19 in communities across the US and around the world, I’m reflecting on the sacred act of public gathering. Those of us who work in TYA have built our entire careers, passions, and personal missions around the value of live engagement in the arts, experienced in community. We fervently believe in the power of coming together to witness a story, especially for children and families. Just two weeks ago (can it really only be two weeks ago?), social media was filled with stories about the largest school performance ever staged, when Broadway’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was presented for free and for one-show-only to 18,000 young people in Madison Square Garden. Many journalists emotionally wrote that this experience was one of the most profound they’ve ever had in the theatre, noting the palpable energy and clear impact the work had on the young audience present. Today, we’re faced with the reality that the act of public gathering is being banned in many cities, and a fearful public is staying away from theatres and other community spaces to avoid the risk of infection. When our entire industry is built on our ability to share physical space, what do we do?

We know that the TYA field will weather this storm with creativity, intelligence, and resilience. We know that when the panic subsides, people will seek opportunity to be together to share joy, wonder, and connection. Until then, we must prepare, plan, and protect our community. TYA/USA doesn’t have any answers, but we are here for you. We are listening, we are organizing, and we are uniting an anxious field.

Here are a few of the ways we are mobilizing to action:

INFORMATION GATHERING: The news is changing on a daily basis. Some communities are already in crisis mode, and others are barely affected and focusing on contingency planning. We want to know what you are experiencing in your work as a result of this crisis. Please take a moment to fill out the survey.

COMMUNITY RESOURCE SHARING: We will hold the first TYA Virtual Community Meeting to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the TYA sector on March 18 at 3pm EASTERN. Please tune in and participate. You can register HERE. We have also collected and provided a series of resources below from other organizations.

FUNDER COMMUNICATION: We are actively reaching out to foundations and arts funding bodies to explore the possibility of emergency relief funding specifically for the TYA community. We will keep you updated as we have more information, and we hope we can be an organizing force for the field on this issue. In order to do this, we need up-to-date information from you and what you are experiencing on the ground. The best way to provide that is through the survey link.

We are committed to supporting you and helping you navigate the next few months in any way possible. Please keep in dialogue with us, let us know the challenges you are facing, and share the plans you are implementing to mitigate the impact. As always, feel free to reach out to me directly at jchapman@tyausa.org.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, Executive Director / TYA/USA

TYA IMPACT SURVEY – COVID-19

Please help us understand how you are currently experiencing the impact of COVID-19 in your work, and the ways in which you are taking action in response. We will use your responses to organize the collection of resources, best practices, and a unified relief effort for the TYA field.

Complete the TYA COVID-19 Impact Survey

 

HELPFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES

We will update this page as new resources become available.