The Charlotte Cushman Foundation reaffirms its commitment to providing grants to professional nonprofit theater companies in the Philadelphia area solely for the salaries of actors in a staged production, as explained in the eligibility criteria below.

In light of the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, for the foreseeable future, the Foundation will consider grant applications from companies that are producing plays to be performed in places other than theaters, including online, outside, or in site-specific venues. This does not include readings, workshops, or recordings of previously-performed plays.

If you are unsure if your project meets these guidelines, please contact us at charlottecushmanfoundation [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Stay safe, and keep creating!

The Charlotte Cushman Foundation provides grants to professional nonprofit theater companies in the Philadelphia area solely for the salaries of actors in a staged production.

The companies must have 501c3 status or be fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 organization. Grants are given only for a specific production, not for a season and not to individuals. The funding area is restricted to Pennsylvania within 25 miles of Philadelphia.

Last year, Foundation grants ranged from $500 to $3,000 per grant.

The Foundation’s financial year runs from January 1 to December 31, and only one production per grantee is funded within that year. If funding is denied, application can be made for another production within the same year.

Proposals must be received by the first day of the month at least two full months prior to the production, however proposals for September must be received in May and those for January must be submitted in the previous October.

Grant proposals must contain the following:

    • Name of the play, playwright, venue, and the amount requested
    • Narrative with the merits, goals, and expectations of the project
    • Description of the major roles, number of performers, and profiles of known actors to date
    • Project timetable including production dates, opening night, and total number of performances
    • Project budget with a separate line item for performer fees
    • Brief history of the company
    • List of the Board of Directors and staff
    • List of other funders
    • Current IRS confirmation of 501c3 status or proof of fiscal sponsorship, and a PA BCO designation if held
  • Current financial statements and independent accountant’s letter (if available)
    • Companies too small to have an audited financial statement can submit their most recent Form 990 and any financial reports available for the last fiscal year

To submit proposals:


Please send three (3) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy as one (1) consolidated PDF of your proposal to:

The Charlotte Cushman Foundation
P.O. Box 40027
Philadelphia, PA 19106
charlottecushmanfoundation [at] gmail [dot] com

Please note: As this address is a PO Box, do not send with signature required or your proposal may not be received.