“Between her awe-inspiring talent and boundless generosity, we are so grateful to have Bette as a loyal and true friend of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,” said Executive Director Tom Viola. “As our performing arts community faces unprecedented hardship, her enthusiasm and advocacy allows us to continue providing lifesaving, life-affirming assistance to our friends and neighbors on Broadway and beyond.”
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Donations to be matched by Midler, who won the 2017 Tony Award for Hello, Dolly!, can be made at broadwaycares.org/help2020. Donations to Broadway Cares’ special emergency fund, administered by The Actors Fund, support onstage, backstage and behind the scenes workers facing health and financial challenges as theaters remain dark and television and film production are shut down during this pandemic. Supported by the emergency assistance fund are stage managers, ushers, ticket takers, hair and makeup artists, dressers, box office personnel, and performers, among others in the industry.
Broadway Cares launched the emergency fund March 17 with an initial $250,000. Special fundraising initiatives have since included $52,000 generated by Lin-Manuel Miranda during a special segment of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition. Another $73,000 was raised through a virtual reading of Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart on April 6, performed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson , Ari Graynor , Celia Keenan-Bolger and Zachary Quinto.
Other events have included the April 19 site-specific performance of Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar starring Michael Urie ($209,262), the April 30 Sing Street stream called “Grounded – At Home with the Broadway Cast,” which raised $310,924, and “Broadway Does Mother’s Day,” which featured Midler and other Broadway stars, their children and their mothers celebrating the day with skits and songs ($160,000).
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