Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has sent $5 million from its COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund to The Actors Fund, to help ensure those who work in theatre and the performing arts will receive financial support during and after the current pandemic.
The donation represents nearly half of what The Actors Fund has awarded in just two months to more than 9,300 entertainment professionals. The grant has provided basic living expenses including essential medications, housing, food, and utilities.
The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which has received support from nearly 18,000 individuals, continues to accept donations at BroadwayCares.org and has a new goal of raising $6 million.
“Time and again those in the theatre community share their time, talents, and generosity with Broadway Cares, and during these dark days for our industry we knew we had to offer help any way we could,” said Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola . “That’s why, within days of theatres shutting down, we launched our COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is proudly the single largest financial supporter of The Actors Fund’s full spectrum of social service programs. Our steadfast commitment has thrived for 30 years and will continue throughout the pandemic and well beyond.”
Broadway Cares launched the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund March 17, 2020, with an initial $250,000. A week later, more than 20 Broadway producers offered a $1 million challenge match to double the impact of donations. Once that initial match was met, another group of producers offered a second $1 million match.
The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund provides additional resources for the social service programs of The Actors Fund, including emergency financial assistance, health insurance, counseling, and the operation of The Actors Fund’s Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts.