Broadway Cares Pledges $125K In Grants To Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Other Anti-Racism Groups

Broadway Black Lives Matter

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on Monday announced $125,000 in immediate grants to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and three other anti-racism organizations.

The grants include a $50,000 commitment to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition as “a launch donation” for this week’s three-day forum Broadway for Black Lives Matter Again, as well as follow-up steps outlined by the group.

Three other grants of $25,000 each will be made to The Bail Project, Color of Change and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“The street action and protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others now demand that we address systemic racism in all communities, including Broadway,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “We need to hold ourselves accountable and do more to amplify and listen to BIPOC voices. We urge others in our community to support and engage with the critical work the Broadway Advocacy Coalition is doing to dismantle systemic racism. We’re committed to continuing the work of becoming an anti-racist organization.”

Adrienne Warren, a Broadway Advocacy Coalition co-founder and star of Broadway’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, said, “In 2016, when we produced our first Broadway for Black Lives Matter, Broadway Cares came forward with swift and clear support to make that event possible and we are humbled and grateful for the continued support now. Black Lives Matter is a statement of humanization. In this moment of pause, may we focus our energy on committing to doing the work to own the title we so often call ourselves, ‘community.’”

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition works with advocates, students, artists, organizations and communities to use the arts for social change, including ending mass incarceration.

Actor Britton Smith, Broadway Advocacy Coalition president, said, “Our nation’s history of racism has trickled into our industry in ways that prevent actors of color the liberties that white actors are accustomed to. With the ongoing support from Broadway Cares, we will be able to work to ensure that people of color join the tables where decisions are made, reflecting that black lives really do matter within our industry.”

In addition to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, the grant recipients include:

  • The Bail Project, which works to pay cash bail for people jailed on low-level and non-violent offenses;
  • Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization;
  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the civil rights law organization working toward racial equality, social justice and urgent legislative reform.

The organizations will be added to Broadway Cares’ National Grants Programs, ensuring annual grants continue in 2021.

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