Rosie O'Donnell's Theater Group Gets $30,000 From Trump Administration

Comedian's group accepts NEA funding despite intense hatred for president

Rosie O'Donnell / Getty Images
March 13, 2018

Rosie O'Donnell's intense hatred for President Donald Trump did not stop her theater group from accepting funding from the Trump administration.

Rosie's Theater Kids, founded by the comedian and actress in 2003, received $30,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts last month. O'Donnell's theater group has now received $80,000 from the administration, led by a man whom the comedian calls a "racist, creep, conman, liar, rapist, fake."

The new grant will fund theater training for kids during a summer and after-school program. Broadway performers will teach students dance, drama, and music.

Rosie's Theater Kids was founded in a public school in New York City, intended for kids who "walk by Broadway theaters daily and never have the opportunity to go inside."

"Over the years since its debut, RTKids has blossomed into much more than simply a song and dance venue," the group says. "The dedication and inspiration of its expert staff and generosity of its guest Broadway professionals have yielded truly remarkable results."

"We're rehearsing for life," O'Donnell says.

These days, O'Donnell's life is filled with anti-Trump activism, whether it is selling paintings calling Trump "one fake f—k" or her daily Twitter diatribes against the president.

Monday she tweeted, "He must be removed." She retweeted a tweet accusing the GOP of being "complicit" with Trump for "normalizing hate."

In another recent tweet, O'Donnell called Trump a "RACIST - CREEP - CONMAN - LIAR - RAPIST - FAKE - #FUCKER #TrumpColluded #TrumpRussia #TRUMPrapes #resign #MuellerTime #stupidity #loathing."

Trump has long called O'Donnell "a total loser" during their public feud that dates back at least to 2006.

Most notably, Trump used a question during a Republican primary debate in August 2015 about misogyny to pivot to his disdain for O'Donnell.

"You call women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs' and 'disgusting animals,'" Megyn Kelly began. Trump interrupted, "Only Rosie O'Donnell."

Since moving into the White House, Trump has continued to prod O'Donnell, tweeting last year, "We finally agree on something Rosie," with a link to the comedian's tweet calling for former FBI director James Comey to be fired.

O'Donnell has publicly worried she will not survive the Trump presidency.

"I seriously worry whether I personally will be able to live through [his presidency] and whether the nation will be able to live through it and survive," she said in an interview with W magazine.

Rosie's Theater Kids, on the other hand, is thriving during the Trump presidency. The group, which first began receiving taxpayer funding under the Obama administration, has continued to receive generous funding, with a $50,000 grant in 2017 and a $30,000 grant this year. Overall, the group has received $300,000 since 2012.

Rosie's Theater Kids did not immediately respond to request for comment on whether accepting the funding makes the group "complicit" with the Trump administration.