The Actors Fund (TAF) – which provides a safety net for the US performing arts sector – raised USD1.1m (€940,000) via a Virtual Gala on 2 November. The amount compares favourably with its usual in-person event, which last year raised a record USD1.5m.
The gala featured performances from the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Broadway Inspirational Voices. There were also guest appearances from Stephen Sondheim, composer Stephen Flaherty and singer Lea Salonga.
In addition to the speeches and performances, a number of people were presented with TAF Medals of Honour, including Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick.
Since COVID hit the US in mid-March TAF has distributed USD16.9m emergency financial assistance to over 13,900 people. It has also offered help with health care costs and supported people through its counselling and other services.
“But one of the key strengths of TAF is our commitment to meeting the constantly changing needs of everyone in performing arts and entertainment,” said TAF president and CEO Joseph P. Benincasa.
“This virtual celebration showed the vital importance of ongoing support for the fund, to help ensure that we continue to build stability and resiliency in our community, and provide a safety net to those in need over course of this pandemic and beyond.”