Broadway Cares
Broadway Cares

How to Help Broadway During the COVID-19 Crisis

In these unprecedented times, many entertainment professionals have entered uncharted territory. Key organizations in the industry are working to protect the people who allow this industry to thrive in these times of uncertainty and strain.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the leading fundraising organizations in the theatre and entertainment industry. They fund the service work of The Actors Fund and award grants to AIDS service organizations nationwide.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Every donation helps those onstage and behind the scenes get health care, emergency financial assistance and counseling during this pandemic. To support the efforts of the fund, Broadway Cares contributed an initial $250,000 toward their goal of $1 million which they hope to reach by April 12. To donate to this fund, click here. Donations are tax-deductible.

The Actors Fund

The Actors Fund offers a broad variety of programs, workshops, and online resources for entertainment and performing arts professionals. Their mission is to foster stability and resiliency, and provide a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.

To facilitate a quick reaction to the needs of the arts employees whom the Actors Fund serves, the Fund has transitioned to an online application for those members of the industry who are in need of assistance. If you are seeking support at this time, please visit the Actors Fund’s Emergency Financial Assistance application here.

The Actors Fund has also launched a new series, “Stars in The House,” in order to encourage awareness and support within the industry. These daily online mini-shows will feature favorite stars of stage and screen singing and performing live from their homes. The series is intended to raise the spirits of those watching, as well as encourage donations to The Actors Fund throughout this time of uncertainty. To donate to The Actors Fund, click here. Donations are tax-deductible.

Actors’ Equity Association

Actors’ Equity Association is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. The association works to foster the live theatre community by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.

On March 24, Actors’ Equity Association announced its Emergency Curtain Up Fund. Equity will be working with The Actors Fund to provide support to members of the theatre community who have been put at risk by the current COVID-19 situation. Equity has contributed $500,000 toward launching this fund and will match another $250,000 of contributions from additional donors. To donate to this fund, click here. Donations are tax-deductible.

Action Network

In addition to these two major industry organizations, a petition is circulating on the Action Network. The Action Network offers a simple opportunity for people to reach out to their congressional representatives and take action. This particular petition encourages Congress to include displaced entertainment workers in their relief package. The petition states: Entertainment workers depend on the income from each project they book to ensure they can support themselves and can qualify to participate in our collectively bargained health plans. Rules designed specifically for the traditional single employer relationship, or even for multi-employer work in the construction industry are likely to exclude our members, and entertainment freelancers in general…Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against COVID-19. We need a special Emergency Coronavirus Economic Support Benefit geared to include workers who have a bona fide, good faith offer to work that gets canceled due to the coronavirus.” The petition is sponsored by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. To sign the petition, click here.

For a roundup on ways the Broadway community is sharing live performance over live stream, click here.