With donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund now exceeding the $2 million mark, a second group of Broadway producers will match new donations up to $1 million.
The fund, administered by The Actors Fund, is helping those onstage, backstage, and behind the scenes impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the launch of the fund, Broadway Cares has shared four payments of $500,000 each with The Actors Fund, sent March 17, March 26, April 1, and, most recently, April 13, after the fund passed the $2 million mark.
The original challenge was initiated by Spencer Ross, who pledged $50,000 and began recruiting other producers to join with the same amount. Rebecca Gold Milikowsky followed suit and joined Ross to co-lead the recruitment effort. Over the next few days, 20 producers came on board, collectively offering the $1 million pledge. The first round of producers included Ross, Milikowsky, Elizabeth Armstrong, Bill Damaschke, Diana DiMenna, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, S. Asher Gelman, John Gore and Lauren Reid of The John Gore Organization, Louise Gund, Judi Krupp, Larry and Beth Lenke, Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan, Marc Platt, Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Scott Rudin, Jeffrey Seller, Jana Shea, Iris Smith, David Stone, and Barbara Whitman. (Reid, Roth, and Stone also serve on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees.)
Inspired by this first $1 million match challenge, the theatrical production company No Guarantees (Christine Schwarzman and Darren Johnston) kicked off a second round by reaching out to their collaborators to form a new group: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation; Deborah Barrera/FireMused Productions; Adam Blanshay and André Desmarais; Jamie deRoy; Barry Diller, David Geffen and Scott Rudin; Amanda Dubois; Wendy Federman; Barbara H. Freitag; Sonia Friedman; Getter Entertainment; Mara Isaacs; Junkyard Dog Productions; Kevin McCollum; No Guarantees; Fiona Rudin; Jayne Baron Sherman; Allison Thomas; Joop van den Ende; and Ken and Liz Whitney. (McCollum also serves on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees.)
This group is represented on Broadway by Hadestown, West Side Story, Company, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lehman Trilogy, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Six, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, To Kill a Mockingbird, Come From Away, Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mean Girls, The Minutes, Jagged Little Pill, The Book of Mormon, and Dear Evan Hansen.
With the new producers’ challenge match, the goal for Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund has increased to $3 million. Tax-deductible donations can be made at BroadwayCares.org/help2020.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.