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Local Comic’s ‘BabeFund’ Helps Work Toward a More Inclusive Future for Comedy

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Local Comic’s ‘BabeFund’ Helps Work Toward a More Inclusive Future for ComedyPhoto courtesy of Christine Horvath.
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Christine Horvath has been a comedian for 10 years, and said growing up she didn’t see a lot of people who looked like her doing stand-up. When she did find people who looked like her, she gravitated toward them.

As her career in comedy grew, she thought about ways to help comedians like her—comedians who don’t see people like themselves as much on the TV screen or the big comedy specials. The BabeFund is for the comics who are of marginalized identities and who are having a having a hard time of it because of their identities, she said.

Especially now, nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, and many clubs and venues only opening back up to the public this year, it’s easy to see how comics, especially from marginalized communities, could still be struggling.

“I really did not feel comfortable going and performing out for a long time,” said Horvath. She only started getting back out to shows at the end of the summer, a year and a half into the pandemic. “And even still now, we’re requiring masks at shows and proof of vaccination. So there’s definitely still is an atmosphere of caution, I would say, because the pandemic isn’t over, it’s still going on.”

“It’s been a little bit of a rocky ride, I would say, just because you’re not sure what kind of response you’re going to get to shows right now,” she said, adding that people continuing to be cautious may be challenging for performing but it is still good to see people taking what’s going on seriously.

So far the fund has raised $1,400 as of earlier this month, closing in on Horvath’s goal of $2,000 by the new year. She plans to give out four $500 mini-grants in January and hopes to have a bit of a head start for the next quarter of grants.

Applications close on Nov. 30. The first grant winners will be announced on Friday, Jan. 14.

Applications for the next round of grants are set to open in February, with the next donation push to soon follow.

Horvath’s vision is to help fund a more inclusive future for comedy, and The BabeFund sees that vision come to life.

“It’s kind of been a lifelong journey to get here and honestly, seeing it live is like a dream come true,” she said. “Comedy is a big part of our culture. And to get to a point where it is like this luscious, diverse world, not that it isn’t already. But I think that injecting more of everyone into it can almost only be a good thing.”

The response to the fund has been great, and people are very impassioned, said Horvath. She said her hunch that this was a necessary project has been proven true.

“Lots of people have said things like, ‘I wish this existed when I was a young comedian.’ And that was a big reason that I created this thing,” she said. “To hear that spit back at me from other comics, and especially from comics that I admire, has been very validating, very rewarding. So I’m excited to see what happens, how people use this thing and what it ends up looking like in the future.”

For more on the fund and Horvath’s upcoming shows, visit baberoar.com.

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