Hello Rooftop Films friends, fans, and family! I hope you’re doing well, all things considered, during these complicated times.
This is a crucial time for many arts organizations, and especially for Rooftop. If you are able to make a donation to the Rooftop Films 2020 Emergency Fund, we would greatly appreciate it, and it would help insure that Rooftop Films can survive this difficult time, keep our core staff employed over these next few months, and make it possible for us to continue to present amazing and meaningful events once this crisis subsides. If we aren’t able to raise funds in the next few weeks to replace our lost revenue, we will be forced to furlough most of our staff, and the long-term existence of Rooftop Films will be in serious jeopardy. Please support us now so that we can make it through these next few precarious months—100% of funds raised will be allocated to our full-time staff, to keep as many of them employed as possible.
Rooftop employs 7 year-round employees, nearly 100 seasonal employees, and all of us are dedicated to bringing beautiful and uplifting work to you and to this city that we love. It breaks our hearts to even consider that we might need to furlough the staff, that the best films of 2020 won’t be seen, or that the people of the five boroughs won’t be able to come together and celebrate these extraordinary accomplishments. We need your help to make sure that our organization and our employees can make it through to better days, so that these films can be shared.
This is the point of year that Rooftop would usually be finalizing sponsorship contracts, putting finishing touches on our programming, hiring dozens of seasonal employees, and selling our first tickets and Summer memberships. Instead, we are working from home and adjusting our plans as fast as we can. Once the city reopens, we’re particularly well situated to bring people together joyously and safely, since our events happen outdoors and our venues can easily accommodate crowds while giving people the space to spread out. But right now, nearly 90% of our normal seasonal revenue is currently frozen, and without any of our normal sources of income, we can only survive for a few more months.
18 years and 5 months ago, back on October 11th, 2001, Rooftop Films presented the first public screening of films created in response to the events of September 11th. We presented those films to hundreds of people on our Bushwick rooftop, the roof from which we had watched the towers fall one month earlier. It was a powerful evening for all of us, and it was also a moment of healing. Then, as now, there was great uncertainty, but the one thing that we were sure of was that we were all happier, stronger, and more resolute—that we were simply better people—when we didn’t feel that we were alone.
We look forward to that next moment of solidarity. Though most of us are social-distancing right now, there will soon come a time to safely celebrate together, to once again communally experience the uplifting power of truly innovative filmmaking. When that beautiful moment arrives and the summer breeze blows open the door, Rooftop Films wants to be there to make those events come to life—but that can only happen with your help. If it is within your means, we hope that you can support Rooftop Films today. It would mean the world to us, and we look forward to thanking you in person, sometime soon, as the sun sets and we get ready to show our first film of the summer, with you and hundreds of kindred spirits, in some scenic spot, finally outdoors and together, again.
See you on the roof.