(VIDEO) Columbia College Chicago Theatre Alumnus Establishes Ed.Arts to Help Aspiring Artists Fight Student Debt

Chicago actor Derrick Trumbly (BA ’05), a graduate of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department‘s BA Program in Acting, has established Ed.Arts (educatedartists.org), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to help aspiring artists avoid, emerging artists manage, and committed artists achieve financial freedom from student loan debt. Trumbly, whose credits include roles at American Theater Company (Rent), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Cymbeline, Pericles), About Face Theatre (Abraham Lincoln Was a F***t), and Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Shenandoah), explained his organization’s plans in a video published on November 14, 2015, and posted here.

Ed.Arts’ goals are to:

  • Show aspiring artists a realistic picture of their future financial obligations involving student loan debt, and give them access to a database containing information on the realities of student loan debt and alternatives to funding an arts education.
  • Provide free information, seminars, webinars and access to financial experts for artists currently dealing with student loan debt obligations while pursuing a career in the arts.
  • Offer financial support: “For select artists who have proven themselves committed and have continued to pursue their craft for at least 7 years after leaving school, despite extreme financial hardship in the face of student debt, we will make contributions to help them actually pay off their student loan debt. For now we will make as many awards, for as much as we can, based on the amount of donations we have coming in.  We strive to one day be able to pay, in full, the remaining balance of the student debt weighing down these select ‘exceptional indebted creatives.’ We will select these award recipients through a rigorous and ongoing application review process.”

Ed.Arts has launched an Indiegogo capital campaign to jump start further fund raising to cover expenses associated with:

  • Creating free services, including a searchable database of resources, webinars and seminars.
  • Marketing its free services so that the people who need help can find the group.
  • Building a network of professionals willing to donate their time to help counsel and mentor “indebted creatives”  to manage their debt.
  • Researching and vetting the ever-changing and growing landscape of alternatives to student loans for funding an arts education and amassing them as a comprehensive resource for aspiring artists, their parents and teacher /advisors.
  • Vetting applications from worthy artists for Ed.Arts’ Debt Relief Awards, and making as many as possible, for as much as possible, as soon as possible, as the group continues to raise donations.
  • Overhead and related costs — insurance, operating costs, filing fees, office tools, etc.
  • Staff to help with development, grant writing, and managing programs.

You can join Ed.Arts’ mailing list, become a donor on its website, and share your student loan stories at the group’s website.

Ed Arts

Michael Allen Harris