For the better part of two decades, a unique collaborative relationship has existed between Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Actors Fund, with our fundraising success contributing directly to the vital programs The Fund provides for professionals in the theatrical community.
A little bit of history: Equity Fights AIDS was created as a committee of Actors’ Equity by the Equity Council in 1988, not long after the creation of The AIDS Initiative by The Actors Fund.
Broadway Cares was founded by a group of producers in 1988 with the mission to raise funds in the Broadway community and make grants to AIDS service organizations across the country, including Equity Fights AIDS. With the merger of these two separate organizations and the creation of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as a new not-for-profit organization in 1992, the missions combined: support for the HIV/AIDS Initiative of The Actors Fund and a national grants program.
AIDS funding remained BC/EFA’s sole grant-making focus until 1996, when it was determined by the BC/EFA Board of Trustees to provide support for The Actors Fund’s newly created Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative.
Today, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS supports the essential social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, the Actors Work Program and The Dancers’ Resource, as well as numerous projects such as The New York Stage Managers Unofficial Health Directory and more.
Since 1988, BC/EFA has granted more than $59.5 million to The Actors Fund to support these vital initiatives and programs.
In Fiscal Year 2011, BC/EFA awarded $4,014,500 to The Actors Fund.
The HIV/AIDS Initiative received $2,100,000, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative received $600,000, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic received $600,000, the Actors Work Program received $350,000 and The Dancers’ Resource received $200,000.
In 2011, $1,280,811 was distributed by The Actors Fund in emergency financial assistance to 262 individuals living with AIDS.
BC/EFA also was glad to support the Stage Managers’ Project with a grant of $75,000 for the print and online version of The New York Stage Managers Unofficial Health Directory, as well as $89,000 for The Actors Fund annual gala, memorial gifts and other smaller donations.
Through our partnership with The Actors Fund, BC/EFA has touched the lives of thousands of entertainment professionals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as hundreds of thousands more coping with a variety of other health issues, emergencies and challenges. The Actors Fund is a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment including everyone in the theatre community. With BC/EFA’s expanded support for The Actors Fund, everyone in the entertainment industry can benefit from the safety net created first for people with AIDS, but now for all of us.
The Actors Fund provides for the welfare of all who earn their living through employment in the entertainment industry: the stage manager, dancer or theatrical press agent with AIDS and no health insurance; the actor looking to make a transition into a second career; the retired costume designer having difficulty living on Social Security and unclear about his Medicaid benefits; the stage carpenter, company manager or actress facing a crisis around an issue of addiction or the musician in need of supportive housing. All are part of the entertainment industry and all can find assistance through The Actors Fund.
For more information about The Actors Fund, visit actorsfund.org