Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

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Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Inc.
BCEFA logo.png
Predecessor Equity Fights AIDS (formed October 1987)
Broadway Cares (formed February 1988)
Formation 1993[1] (merger of Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS)
Type Nonprofit organization
Purpose AIDS-related charity
Headquarters 165 West 46th Street, #1300
Manhattan, New York City New York 10036
United States
Coordinates Coordinates: 40°45′31″N 73°59′05″W / 40.75859°N 73.98466°W / 40.75859; -73.98466

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is an American nonprofit organization, headquartered in New York City. It is the theatre community's response to the AIDS crisis. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the theatre community, on Broadway, Off-Broadway and across the country, the organization raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, it has raised over $175 million as of 2013 for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV, or HIV-related illnesses.

The organization's grantmaking has two emphases. The first is The Actors' Fund of America. BC/EFA supports five major social service programs at The Fund, each of which provides direct assistance to entertainment industry professionals and performing artists who are dealing with a variety of problems, including AIDS, HIV, and HIV-related issues. The second major grantmaking effort is the National Grants Program, through which the organization makes grants twice a year to hundreds of community-based AIDS Service organizations across the country.


In October 1987, the Actors' Equity union founded Equity Fights AIDS, and in February 1988, The Producers' Group founded Broadway Cares, both in response to the growing AIDS epidemic. The groups merged in 1993 to form Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.[1] Between 1988 and 2006, the groups granted over $77 million to The Actor's Fund of America and various community-based AIDS Service organizations.[2] At the 47th Tony Awards in 1993, it was awarded a Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre.

Broadway Cares is affiliated to the UK charity, The Make a Difference Trust.


Broadway Cares has two major fundraising periods, The Easter Bonnet Competition (in the spring) and The Gypsy of the Year Competition (in the Fall).[3] Over six weeks of fund-raising shows on and Off-Broadway engage in a friendly competition to see which show can raise the most money for BC/EFA. Awards are presented to the shows raising the most money and to the winning presentation. The 2010 Easter Bonnet Competition raised $3,265,700.[4] The 2010 Gypsy of the Year raised $3,776,720, the third-highest gross in the history of the event.[5]

During this fundraising period, actors return to the stage after bows and ask patrons to donate as they leave the theater.[3] Some actors have objected to this, because they oppose asking patrons for more money, or because they do not wish to break character. The shows are in competition to raise funds, and use various approaches, such as auctioning signed memorabilia, to raise more than other shows.

The 2007 Broadway stagehand strike slowed donations to a near halt. BC/EFA started an online campaign called "Team Raiser" in order to continue the competition for "Gypsy of the Year". Through the "Team Raiser" program, Second Life residents opened a virtual office for in-world volunteers, located on Broadway Live Island.

Broadway Bares is an annual burlesque show fundraiser for the organization, founded by Jerry Mitchell in 1992. Broadway dancers and actors perform striptease dances for the audience at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City for two shows only in June. It combines the naughtiness of burlesque and the razzle-dazzle of Broadway. The Broadway Bares events had raised $5.5 million as of 2010.[6]

"Broadway Bears" is a charity auction for BC/EFA, where teddy bears, each outfitted in original, handmade costumes by Broadway's leading costume designers and representing memorable characters from plays and musicals, past and present, are auctioned to the highest bidder. The bears have raised $2,048,427 since their beginning in 1998; the final bears were being auctioned in March 2012. These bears include Anything Goes, signed by Sutton Foster; Billy Elliot: The Musical, signed by Sir Elton John and Gregory Jbara; and Follies, signed by Danny Burstein, Jan Maxwell, Bernadette Peters, Ron Raines and Stephen Sondheim.[7]

Another major event that Broadway Cares sponsors is the Annual Flea Market and Grand Auction in Shubert Alley each September. The theatre community sells props, costumes and autographed memorabilia to raise money for Broadway Cares. The second part of the day features a live auction where bidders can win anything from a walk-on in a Broadway show, to lunch with a star, to a visit to the set of their favorite TV show. The event raised $7,758,752 from its inception in 1987 through 2008.[8]

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  1. ^ a b Staff (March 23, 2011). Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Inc. – Financial Statements – September 30, 2010 and 2009. p. 7. EisnerAmper. Retrieved June 18, 2012. "Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Inc. (the "Organization") is a not-for-profit entity formed in 1993 in the State of New York...."
  2. ^ "Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS – Web Page". Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
  3. ^ a b DiLella, Frank (November 23, 2010). "The "Gypsy" in Us All: A Curtain Call To Action". Playbill.
  4. ^ Ross, Blake. "Inside the Bonnet". Playbill. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  5. ^ Viagas, Robert (December 7, 2010). "Rock of Ages Wins Gypsy of the Year; Event Earns $3.78 Million for BC/EFA" Playbill.
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 10, 2010). "Rhodes To Direct Broadway Bares XX: Strip-opoly". Playbill.
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 19, 2012). "Final Broadway Bears Fundraiser Brings in Record-Breaking $198,300". Playbill.
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew (September 26, 2009). "23rd Annual Broadway Flea Market To Be Held Indoors at Roseland Ballroom". Playbill.

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