The Broadway community, via Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is donating $50,000 to the Twin Towers Fund in memory of the firefighters lost from Battalion #9, "The Broadway Firehouse," located on 48th Street and Eighth Avenue.
The visible theatre-district firefighters were some of the first to report for duty when the World Trade Center was attacked Sept. 11. The battalion lost 14 members that morning. If you would like to match or add funds to this donation, please call (212) 840-0770.
Michael Graziano of BC/EFA said the organization wanted to make itself available as one of the options for directing money raised by the professional Equity community."This particular fund, for us, seemed the most direct connection to the heart of Broadway," Graziano told Playbill On-Line. Individual companies in New York and on the road are deciding if and how to help raise money. The Full Monty cast in Chicago, for example, is asking for money for the American Red Cross, while Guys and Dolls on the road is giving any money raised to BC/EFA, which then earmarks the donation to the Twin Towers Fund (which is for the victims and families of police, fire and emergency workers involved in the Sept. 11 tragedy).
"We put out a call for the companies to do whatever they felt appropriate," Graziano said.
BC/EFA's effort is one of apparently many efforts large and small by theatre communities around the country. At St. Louis Repertory Theatre, post-show donations at Gypsy, are going to the Red Cross. At Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester, MI, money raised during the number called "Tips" in Pump Boys and Dinettes will go to the American Red Cross. In Chicago, the League of Chicago Theatres has encouraged its members to help raise funds for the American Red Cross. Local companies were given ideas how to raise money for relief.
In Pittsburgh, 10 Pittsburgh-area arts organizations will be collecting donations for victims of the terrorist attacks: City Theatre, Mattress Factory, The Andy Warhol Museum, Wood Street Galleries, Byham Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Black Sheep Puppet Festival, River City Brass Band, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance released this statement: "As an arts community, we have decided that our most proactive and empowering contribution is our art. We bring the arts to your life and we provide a space where you can be with others in your community. We believe that the arts are re-energizing, revitalizing, transforming, and life-affirming. This weekend, in the spirit of prayer and remembrance called for by President Bush, we have resolved to present our exhibits, open our shows, and raise our curtains. We may make changes to our event formats, or have special comment periods, but our doors will be open. To make it easier for you to make your contribution, we will have American Red Cross Victim Relief donation boxes in our lobbies and galleries."
If you know of a theatre company that is working toward raising money toward relief for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the U.S., let Playbill On-Line know by clicking here.
— By Kenneth Jones