Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ in-theatre red bucket fundraising returns beginning March 18. The post-show audience appeals, which traditionally take place twice a year, and the #RedBuckets have been absent from theatres since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry in March 2020.
Companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring shows now resume their decades-long tradition of encouraging audience donations that help provide meals, medication, health care, counseling, and emergency financial assistance for those in need. The spring fundraising campaign continues through May 1.
Donations support the emergency assistance and social service programs of The Actors Fund and provide funding for 450 local social service organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Broadway Cares also recently announced that the two-day Easter Bonnet Competition performance, which typically celebrates the end of the spring fundraising efforts, will remain on hiatus until April 2023. The Red Bucket Follies, a variety/competition performance celebrating fall fundraising, is set for Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre December 5 and 6.
Although Broadway Cares put red bucket appeals on hiatus last fall, four Broadway shows—Girl from the North Country, Six, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and Wicked—made audience appeals after their performances in November and December 2021. The Eliza and and Peggy national tours of Hamilton also joined in the scaled-down fundraising.
“As Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring shows have returned to their theatres, it has been our utmost priority to respect the work it takes to get these productions up and running,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said in an earlier statement. “Delaying the return of the Easter Bonnet Competition performances until next year allows shows to step back first into fundraising efforts while maintaining their current safety protocols. This tiered approach—a trial run of appeals last fall followed by a full season of appeals this spring—will allow productions to enthusiastically join us this fall in both our fundraising and in the return of the celebratory Red Bucket Follies performances, which will lift the roof of the New Amsterdam Theatre on December 5 and 6.”
Since March 2020, Broadway Cares has awarded $35 million in grants to The Actors Fund and 450 other social service organizations across the country. Last month, Broadway Cares provided a record $2.5 million in grants to 127 food service and meal delivery programs nationwide, the first round of this year’s national grants.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses across the United States.