The foundation created by Cabaret lyricist Fred Ebb has awarded a record-setting $2.6 million to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The gift is the single largest in Broadway Cares history.
The year-end 2021 gift from The Fred Ebb Foundation, shepherded by Ebb’s nephew Mitchell S. Bernard, will kick off Broadway Cares’ continuing national grant-making in 2022. The gift was put to immediate use by providing $1.5 million to The Actors Fund.
“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,” said Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola in a statement.
Ebb, who died in 2004, declared in his will that royalties earned on his works would be distributed each year to Broadway Cares through the Fred Ebb Foundation. An initial donation of $300,000 was made in 2005, and his contributions have continued to break Broadway Cares donation records through the years.
Ebb, whose collaborations with composer John Kander include Cabaret, Chicago, The Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink and Woman of the Year, among others, has, through his foundation, now contributed $24.8 million to Broadway Cares since 2005.
“The pandemic has limited the foundation’s income because the theaters were dark,” said Bernard, Ebb’s nephew. “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.”
To celebrate the Fred Ebb Foundation’s latest donation, the cast of Broadway’s Chicago created a special video of “Hot Honey Rag” featuring onstage and backstage company members, clips of past Chicago performers and a tribute to dancer Ann Reinking, who died in 2020.
Watch it here: