Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded $2,135,000 to 262 social service providers earlier this month. After two COVID-affected years, the grant amounts supplied to these organizations restored annual funding to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
These social service organizations provide essential resources for their clients in the form of direct services, emergency assistance, harm reduction services and quality of life services.
This third and final round of grants this fiscal year brings the total for Broadway Cares’ 2022 National Grants Program to $5,712,500 in support of 435 social service organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The two previous rounds earlier this year awarded a record $2,532,500 to 127 food service and meal delivery programs in January and $1,045,000 to 45 of the largest ASOs and nationally recognized advocacy organizations in March.
“The National Grants Program has been restored to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, and I cannot overstate what this means to me, the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Directors and the entire staff,” said Executive Director Tom Viola. “It will make a difference in how a wide variety of services can continue to be delivered to hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS, COVID and other serious, debilitating illnesses in New York City and across the country. Bravo and thank you to all who have made this possible.”
The grants were determined by the Broadway Cares’ National Grants Committee of 21 Broadway actors and stage managers who helped lead their shows’ efforts in the Spring Fundraising Campaign.
When COVID shut down Broadway and the theater industry in March 2020, just as Broadway Cares’ traditional spring in-theater fundraising efforts were to begin, Broadway Cares anticipated having to temporarily suspend grant-making. However, thanks to Gilead Sciences and major donors, $1,171,000 was awarded unexpectedly to 279 organizations. Similarly in 2021, contributions from Gilead Sciences and major donors meant 252 social service providers received spring grants totaling $1,604,000.
In the June 2022 grant round, the grant amounts were fully restored and even increased for some. More than 30 organizations were awarded at least $2,500 more than their 2019 grant amounts and the average grant amount notably increased from $7,584 in 2019 to $8,200 in 2022.
“You get to feel like Oprah for a day,” one grants committee member exclaimed during the meeting.
In addition, nine organizations from Arizona, California, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and New York City were invited to join this grant round.
During this round, four categories were addressed:
- Direct Services: $795,000 was distributed among 102 organizations that focus on the well-being of their clients, including case management expenses, transportation costs, gasoline and care of vehicles, personal care items and clothing and supportive housing services and maintenance.
- Emergency Financial Assistance: 72 organizations that provide emergency or short-term support for bills, food, transportation or health insurance received grants that totaled $582,500.
- Harm Reduction Programs: $527,500 was awarded to 48 organizations that focus on programs for those with addiction problems who are HIV-infected or at significant risk for HIV infection.
- Quality of Life Services: 39 organizations that focus on companion animal support, art and education projects to the underserved, summer camps and recreational programs for children living with AIDS and their families and more received grants that totaled $230,000.
These grants are already on their way to help provide vital resources to underserved communities affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses so they can maintain their freedom, independence and dignity. Some of these organizations are the only of its kind in its area—like the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association— making their existence essential for those they serve. “With these national grants, we can actually be keeping the doors open for some of these organizations,” said another committee member.
In addition to the $5,712,500 awarded through the National Grants Program another $8.2 million that has been awarded to The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) in 2022 to support the HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Friedman Health Center, Artists Health Insurance Resource Center, The Dancers Resource, Addiction and Recovery Services, Senior Services as well as other programs and supportive housing residences.
Members of the National Grants committee for this round represented Aladdin, American Buffalo, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Harry Potter, Hamilton, The Lion King, MJ, Moulin Rouge, Six and Wicked.