Letter From The Executive Director

August 2001

Dear Friends:

As I write this, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is in the middle of paying out $1,635,000 to 432 AIDS service and advocacy organizations across the country. We have also paid over half of our pledged $3,000,000 dollars to The Actors’ Fund for this year to support the AIDS Initiative and six additional programs that assist a wide variety of individuals in the entertainment industry.

I mention this to remind myself and you that while so much of what is commonly associated with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the “show-biz” aspect of how we raise funds, the second “silent” half of our mission is grant-making.

Fund raising. Grant making.

Benefits, audience appeals, show posters, snow globes and auctions. Social services, case-management, emergency funding, food banks and harm-reduction.

Broadway. Off-Broadway. “The road.” The Actors’ Fund, grassroots organizations across the country, inner-city family services. South Africa.

However you think of it, the two parts of this equation are inseparable, constantly running parallel to each other.

I’m happy and proud to say that BC/EFA’s unique legacy is, in fact, the successful negotiation of these two objectives. But this is done only with the support and generosity of hundreds of theatrical professionals on stage and behind the scenes, tens of thousands of individual donors outside the industry, corporations, unions and guilds, and many more.

Likewise, our fund raising and grant making goals exist side by side.

As fundraisers within the entertainment industry, we must constantly be aware of the importance of nurturing the profound relationship between BC/EFA and, most particularly, the theatrical community. I truly believe that what has been accomplished together over the past 12 years is nothing short of historic, from our humblest beginnings to now. But to ever forget the unique lessons learned of how to work with this extraordinary community or to take for granted one gesture of generosity would be a serious mistake.

As grant-makers within the entertainment industry, BC/EFA must continue to expand support for services beyond those earmarked solely for people with AIDS. This objective is closely related to the one above. Since most of the funds BC/EFA provides for people with AIDS are raised by the entire theatre community, it is essential that within that specific community BC/EFA’s embrace include as many people in need as possible. For this reason, in addition to our on-going commitment to The Actors’ Fund AIDS Initiative, BC/EFA also is proud to support The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Actors’ Work Program and Physician Volunteers for the Arts and more. Each of these additional programs addresses the needs of hundreds of people within the theatre community who make our AIDS fundraising possible.

With our national grants program, BC//EFA continues to extend itself to organizations struggling to provide services that meet the full dimension of human needs, particularly in those neighborhoods where AIDS threatens the basic fabric of family and community.

In 2000, BC/EFA distributed over $6 million in financial assistance to The Actors’ Fund and social service organizations across the country — over $34 million dollars in total since 1987

I thank you for that. I hope, as you read through this annual report, that you will join us, re-commit yourself, or in some way become a part of these mutual efforts.

Fund raising and grant making. When you participate in one, you become an integral part of the other. And therein lie the heart, soul, and muscle of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.



Tom Viola
Executive Director