BROADWAY CARES: Your Students’ Voices Make a Difference

Zach Dulli Archive

by Taylor Mattes, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Your students have the power to make lifesaving differences in your community and across the country – they just need to know it. The young artists in your classroom are the future of the theater community, and now is the time to encourage them to think beyond themselves. Join Broadway Cares to explore how incorporating philanthropy into your theater program builds character and camaraderie among your students. Together, we can empower them to create change and join a powerful movement within our theater community.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the philanthropic heart of Broadway, helping ensure those affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses receive medication, healthy meals, counseling, and emergency assistance. By collaborating with high school and college students and teachers across the country, Broadway Cares brings the fundraising done on Broadway closer to home, creating opportunities for these young artists to use their art for good, give back, and connect with the theater community at large. Just this year, we’ve already seen how these experiences can be powerful learning opportunities for students.

At Bronxville High School in New York City, student Jack Pasquale led the charge to start making a difference by adding a Red Bucket fundraiser to his school’s winter musical, ‘Curtains.

“It was awesome to get so much support in bringing the iconic Red Buckets to Bronxville High School from students, teachers, administrators and the local community,” Pasquale said. “The fact that we were able to join together and do our part to raise money to provide meals, medication, and health care to those in need across the country made ‘Curtains’ even more meaningful and impactful.”

Just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, West Chester University has produced its annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit for 24 years. This fully student-produced event features performances from the university’s theater department, as well as on-campus dance, improv, and vocal groups. While the benefit offers an enjoyable evening of performances, the students know that the impact of their work is greater than that.

“As performers, we love to make people happy,” Courtney Parker, the student choreographer for 2023’s benefit, said. “We love to evoke emotion from audiences, but to know that our work is really going toward something tangible that is helping real people is extremely rewarding and makes the work of the show that much more meaningful.”

Young artists are providing support to those in need today while planting the seeds for a lasting commitment to giving back. As they sing, dance, and hold Red Buckets, students not only develop essential skills in collaboration and community engagement but also learn the importance of thinking beyond themselves. Your students can stand side-by-side with fellow artists to provide meals, medication, health care, and hope to those in need—using their voices for good.

Join the Broadway Cares movement with a Red Bucket fundraiser in your school. Click here or email [email protected] to get started.

About Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theater community, since 1988, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people living with HIV/AIDS, struggling with COVID-19, and facing other critical illnesses in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the single largest financial supporter of the essential social service programs at the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund), including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. They also award annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.

Visit the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS website to learn more.

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