Paul Libin, the Broadway industry leader who for the past 24 years has served as president of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is stepping down from his role at the industry-based non-profit organization that has been vital to individuals with HIV/AIDS for three decades.
Libin made his retirement official at BC/EFA’s February 22 board of trustees meeting, where he was honored with a special $100,000 grant to The Actors Fund for the creation of the Paul Libin Center.
The Center will serve as the New York City home for The Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead program, which helps young professional performers and their families build the skills necessary to continue their careers into adulthood.
Libin will be succeeded by Shubert Organization co-CEO Robert E. Wankel, who has been a Broadway Cares trustee since 2009 and became executive vice president of the organization's executive committee in 2015.
“When I came on board with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the toll of the this horrific disease was visibly present and taking a terrible human toll every day in our community,” Libin said in a statement. “We couldn’t not do something. And while there’s been great advancement in treatment since, the need for help is as strong today as it was then. In response, Broadway Cares’ mission has expanded and embraced all members of our theatrical family and people in crisis and need across the country. To witness that growth and be involved with this organization for 24 years has been one of the greatest privileges and honors of my career.”
Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola added, “As Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ longtime president, Paul has been an incomparable champion and advocate. He has offered his counsel, personal support and strategic guidance as both a leader in the Broadway community and a friend. I will be forever grateful for both. With Paul’s leadership, Broadway Cares grew from awarding grants of $2.4 million in 1994 to last year’s record-breaking $12.9 million of support. The lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in ‘the business’ and in communities across the country have been lifted up and their well-being assured because when we asked for his help, Paul said, ‘Yes.’”
In December, Libin retired from his role as executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, a position he held since 1990. While at Jujamcyn, Libin worked alongside Rocco Landesman to bring to landmark plays dealing with HIV/AIDS to Broadway, including Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America, and Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion!
Since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses across the U.S., awarding annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states. The non-profit is the main financial supporter of Broadway industry social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts.