Broadway Cares Receives Largest Gift Ever

BC/EFA Receives Largest Gift Ever

As 2021 ended, the Fred Ebb Foundation, founded by legendary lyricist Fred Ebb, awarded $2.6 million to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the foundation’s largest donation ever, cementing its place as the largest single donor in Broadway Cares history.

In his will, Ebb, who created Tony Award-winning musicals with John Kander, provided that royalties earned on his works would be distributed each year to BC/EFA through the Fred Ebb Foundation. With an initial donation of $300,000 in 2005, his contributions have continued to grow exponentially; the Ebb Foundation has donated $24.8 million to BC/EFA since that first gift.

Broadway composing team Kander & Ebb left an indelible mark on musical theater, with shows like CABARET, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, and CHICAGO.

The year-end gift was put to work immediately, with $1.5 million in additional support sent to The Actors Fund to provide assistance for everyone in entertainment and the performing arts, particularly through The Friedman Health Center, the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center and the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Ebb’s nephew and head of the Foundation, Mitchell S. Bernard, said in a prepared release, “The pandemic has limited the foundation’s income because the theaters were dark. But for the same reason, this is a time of enormous need within the theater community with so many people unable for so long to work and keep insurance, even as their medical and other needs increased. That makes me especially glad to make this contribution from the Ebb Foundation.”

In addition to their yearly donations to BC/EFA, the Fred Ebb Foundation helps artists and musicians strive for greatness through the Fred Ebb Award, given annually to an aspiring songwriter or songwriting team that shows true excellence and potential. In 2021, the award of $60,000 was given to the team of Isabella Dawis and Tidtaya Sinutoke.

To celebrate the Fred Ebb Foundation’s historic donation and to honor the Kander and Ebb team, the current cast of Broadway’s Chicago created a special video of “Hot Honey Rag” featuring onstage and backstage company members, clips of iconic Chicago performers and a tribute to iconic dancer Ann Reinking, who died in 2020.

“Fred and Mitch give us the means and ability to respond with strength and reach those struggling in our theater community as well as in communities across the nation in the hope that a brighter tomorrow belongs to us all,” Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola said.

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