MANILA — From workshops with Ryan Cayabyab and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde to readings of theater scripts, Filipino netizens are expected to be treated to a variety of artistic pursuits through the fundraising project dubbed Open House.
On Facebook, Open House posts or shares videos of various artists sharing their craft and talent in a bid to raise funds for displaced and vulnerable workers in the performing arts community.
Congressman Christopher De Venecia, coordinator of Open House and vice president of Philstage, said the fundraiser was organized by Artists Welfare Project, Philstage,Theater Actors Guild, SPIT, Third World Improv and Ticket2Me.
The project was launched on March 26 and has since featured ballet barre classes with Ballet Manila's Macuja-Elizalde; musical-writing workshops with National Artist for Music Cayabyab; panel discussions with the country's top female directors and sound designers; cast reunions of cancelled shows such as “Next to Normal,” “Lungs,” and “Every Brilliant Thing”; trivia nights; live readings of shows such as Virgin Labfest's “Ang Goldfish ni Prof. Dimaandal,” and many more.
Since it was launched, it has had 50 volunteers, 25 programs, and more than 77 participating artists.
It has also raised P440,000. Of that amount, P202,000 was disbursed to support 101 performing arts workers.
While the programs are free, viewers can donate by visiting https://bit.ly/DonateOpenHouse and purchasing “tickets” that range between P300 and P5,000.
“We're targeting to raise P1 million to support 500 displaced workers in the performing arts community,” De Venecia told ABS-CBN News, adding that performing arts workers are freelancers so they do not enjoy benefits and paid leaves.
They also do not qualify for government programs meant to support workers who are not employed.
“Neither are they considered indigents so they also don't benefit from the social amelioration programs of DSWD. At best, our workers may be extended the TUPAD program of DOLE but these have yet to materialize through the efforts of the LGUs and the NCCA,” De Venecia said.
“We're talking about stage mangers, dressers, light boards men, musicians, performers and many other artists who go from paycheck to paycheck. With the ECQ in place, shows and events from which most of them solely derive their livelihood are non-existent.”
He pointed out that Philstage alone has 16-member theater, ballet, and opera companies, “most of whom had shows that got cancelled during the enhanced community quarantine.”
“Which is why in the spirt of bayanihan and its private sector capacity, Open House has galvanized the performing arts industry to help the most vulnerable among us,” De Venecia said.
“The response has been great so far.”
Besides raising funds, the group has been able to engage loyal supporters and new audiences through the digital space.
De Venecia said Open House has now become a platform for education and entertainment for viewers and the arts community.
“Most especially, Open House has been able to inspire and uplift our audiences during these trying and uncertain times,” he said.
Open House programs and schedules can be viewed via Facebook facebook.com/OpenHouseFundraiser, Twitter @OpenHouseFunds, and Instagram @OpenHouseFundraiser. One of their upcoming events is a fundraiser show headlined by Moira Dela Torre and Aicelle Santos on April 13.
To donate to Open House, click here.